• Network: SHOWTIME
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 3, 2011
Season #: 3, 2, 1
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 64
  2. Negative: 9 out of 64
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User Reviews

  1. Apr 15, 2012
    10
    Everything I loved about season 1 is back! All the opulent historical detail, the slow-burn performances, and the intrigue and backstabbing make a return. But on top of that, the pacing has been improved. The story moves at a more deliberate pace, and the Borgia family itself seems closer to the scandalous family that we've all read about in history. It is this change in the charactersEverything I loved about season 1 is back! All the opulent historical detail, the slow-burn performances, and the intrigue and backstabbing make a return. But on top of that, the pacing has been improved. The story moves at a more deliberate pace, and the Borgia family itself seems closer to the scandalous family that we've all read about in history. It is this change in the characters that is the absolute highlight of this new season. Whereas Juan was a spoiled playboy before, this year he descends to a much darker and violent place. And where Lucrezia was an innocent girl dreaming of true love, this year what little is left of her idealism is extinguished quickly. And these are just a few of the characters that undergo some profound change. Hopefully the rest of the season stays as strong as the early episodes! Expand
  2. Apr 28, 2012
    10
    Everything about this show is good: the political intrigue, the chemistry between the actors, the costumes and set. Whether you are a fan of history, you like political drama, or just are looking for something good to watch, The Borgias can meet your every need. Excellent show.
  3. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    Neil Jordan and company kicked it up a notch from pretty good season 1 to a near perfect historical drama. Elegant and dark, its main characters are ambitiously wicked but with some charmingly likable, even heroic traits. This is especially true of eldest son, Cesare, played with an arresting sincerity by Francois Arnaud. Although there were significant improvements in cohesiveness,Neil Jordan and company kicked it up a notch from pretty good season 1 to a near perfect historical drama. Elegant and dark, its main characters are ambitiously wicked but with some charmingly likable, even heroic traits. This is especially true of eldest son, Cesare, played with an arresting sincerity by Francois Arnaud. Although there were significant improvements in cohesiveness, action and intrigue from its freshman season, The Borgias is still The Borgias. It does not grab the viewer with sensationalist excess or cheap thrills. Its addictiveness is the slow burn character-driven kind. You have to have a little patience with this series to appreciate how sublimely good it is. Expand
  4. Feb 27, 2014
    10
    The second series proved to be even more intriguing than the first. By now, I know that many of the events are highly fictionalized, but I was not expecting a documentary. Rodrigo Borgia is developing something of a conscience, even if he still chases women. Lucrezia, having lost her innocence, is slowly turning into a more resourceful and merciless woman. Juan and Cesare reach a definingThe second series proved to be even more intriguing than the first. By now, I know that many of the events are highly fictionalized, but I was not expecting a documentary. Rodrigo Borgia is developing something of a conscience, even if he still chases women. Lucrezia, having lost her innocence, is slowly turning into a more resourceful and merciless woman. Juan and Cesare reach a defining point in their problematic relationship and the latter is also turning even more merciless. Michelozzo shows an unexpected side of his personality, while managing to be even more sinister than during the first series. I totally love the costumes, richly decorated and produced using what looks like first class material. Expand
  5. Jul 12, 2014
    7
    The political intrigues are far more interesting and the archetype characters feel more fleshed out this season as opposed to their introductions in the first season. The battle for the papacy has ended and creates a personal and unique take on the Pope's family.
  6. Feb 9, 2019
    7
    This series was produced by a Canadian TV channel and had three seasons. It focuses on the figure of Pope Alexander VI and his bastard children and their political games. But the series has several problems that I have to point out. First of all, it doesn't have a closed conclusion. At the end of third season you understand that it should have continued, but audience concerns probablyThis series was produced by a Canadian TV channel and had three seasons. It focuses on the figure of Pope Alexander VI and his bastard children and their political games. But the series has several problems that I have to point out. First of all, it doesn't have a closed conclusion. At the end of third season you understand that it should have continued, but audience concerns probably spoke louder and dictated an early end, so you get an unfinished story that would need, at least, a few more episodes to properly shut down. Another problem is the exaggeration of the sex scenes and the way the series faces some potentially shocking elements in the plot. I will explain: when you study the Renaissance and their popes, you understand that they were anything but holy. They were noblemen who used the Church to gain power, for themselves and their dynasties, not hesitating to run over anyone who opposed them. Therefore, for a pope or cardinal of this historical period, having lovers and children, or even having someone killed, was quite normal, it wasn't shocking, but the series shows this as something horrible because we, in the 21st century, think it's horrible. This difference of mentalities is essential to understand this pope but never appears in the series. In contrast, the series has made an effort to realistically show the Renaissance environment, and this paid off: the CGI-loaded scenarios are excellent, although sometimes we can see obviously the use of digital resources, in a way it spoils the effect. The costumes were also excellently done, movie quality, and faithful to the period. Jeremy Irons leads the cast, giving life to the Pope in a great performance, at his best level. Alongside him are Fran├žois Arnaud (in the role of Cesare Borgia) and Holliday Grainger (Lucrezia Borgia), two actors who stand out throughout the series, giving life to two historical characters who, even today, are controversial. I also liked the work of Gina McKee (in the role of Caterina Sforza), Lotte Verbeek, Peter Sullivan, Sean Harris and David Oakes. On the other side, I hated the way that Colm Feore (a good actor, with great talent) played the role of Cardinal della Rovere, one of the pope's opponents. But it's not Feore's fault. The problem is the way his character was developed in the series. Its very few 15th century and a lot of 21th century. In the real life, Rodrigo Borgia and Giuliano della Rovere aren't so different. They think in the same way but they're in opposite sides of the board. Just that. But the series have transformed Della Rovere in a champion of 21th century morality and this simply doesn't make sense. It's anachronic. I will finish with a recommendation: this series has lots of sex scenes, discrete or more obvious, and some violence also, so keep it away from children and teen's eyes. Expand
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 6 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    May 21, 2012
    88
    Given the amounts of sumptuous scenery to chew on, the acting is restrained, even if the gore and sex are not. [28 May 2012, p.40]
  2. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Apr 9, 2012
    75
    Rest assured: The Borgias are still bad to the bone.
  3. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Apr 9, 2012
    75
    Poverty and pigeons, bread and circuses--and so much decadent good fun, it's positively sinful.