If you want to learn about (quasi-)history, Showtime's new series, The Borgias, may be one of the most entertaining, violent and sex-filled ways to do it. Dry textbooks truly cannot live up to this series as a way to watch historical figures behaving very, very badly.
The Borgias begins with the dying words of Pope Innocent VIII in 1492, speaking of the papacy itself: "It was pure once. We have all sullied it with our greed and lechery. Which of you will wash it clean?"
A Spanish cardinal named Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons) is probably not the guy to do it.
Instead, Borgia becomes Pope Alexander VI through methods that have little to do with holiness and everything to do with corruption, bribery and personal power. The Borgias recounts this rise in power and the subsequent effect on the entire Borgia family. Read More...