The Borgias will be making its broadcast network première in Canada on 21 June on CTV. While there is no word either way about it being edited for content – there is a goodly portion of nudity and gets a TV M rating in the USA – it will finally be available to Canadian viewers in HD. Yes, if you were trying to find the Bravo! HD channel back when The Borgias premièred your efforts were futile as Bell Media, formerly known as CTVglobemedia, does not offer an HD version of Bravo!.
The Borgias, billed as “The Original Crime Family” as a not-so-veiled reference to The Sopranos, follows Rodrigo Borgia as he buys his election to Pope in the 1490s and set about building alliances and ensuring his legacy by any means necessary. While the Pope is still the head of state and head of government of the Holy See in addition to being head of the Roman Catholic Church back in the 15th century it was more like ‘he who rules Roma rules the world’ and Rodrigo Borgia spent his entire fortune to secure the highest position in the world. The 1980s band Tears For Fears has this song “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and Rodrigo Borgia actually did just that.
If you think of Pope John Paul II as the ideal Pope or even Pope Benedict XVI and the scandals of this time … while the scandals are most god-damn disgusting and evil they are in some ways a drop of rain in a hurricane compared to what the Pope and the Catholic church used to do and get away with. The Borgias is not be the kind of show that my über-devoutly Catholic uncle would ever watch. Blasphemous.
The cast of The Borgias is full of big names from both sides of the Atlantic. Jeremy Irons stars as the titular Borgia, along with Colm Feore, Holliday Grainger, Joanne Whalley, Peter Sullivan, Ronan Vibert, Emmanuelle Chriqui, and the two living legends of the British theatre Sir Derek Jacobi and Steven Berkoff.
If you enjoyed the CBC / Showtime / RTE series The Tudors then you will probably enjoy The Borgias. If you missed the show and can’t wait then you can watch the first 7 episodes on the Bravo! streaming video and catch episodes 8 & 9 the next two Sundays at 10pm ET / 7pm PT.