HBO's 'The Young Pope' hasn't got a prayer

The limited series opens having a long, pretentious sequence as well as doesn’t get appreciably better — or less opaque — via there. Trifling with religion is actually always treacherous territory, as well as some of the faithful might be offended. nevertheless the truth is actually the series (HBO will air brand-new episodes each Sunday as well as Monday) isn’t compelling enough to warrant much of a fuss.

Italian director Paolo Sorrentino wrote as well as directed the project, which begins with Law’s Lenny Belardo, currently Pope Pius XIII, having just recently been installed. While some Cardinals think he might be useful as a “telegenic puppet,” the stodgier precincts of the Vatican hierarchy fear — rightly, as in which turns out — in which in which American pope is actually too erratic as well as idiosyncratic to control.

Pius certainly seems determined to shake things up, much to the chagrin of his right-hand man as well as the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Voiello

(Silvio Orlando), who suspiciously as well as understandably doesn’t know what to make of him. The Pope further alarms those around him by enlisting the counsel as well as help of a nun, Sister Mary (Diane Keaton), who essentially raised him.

The Pope’s inscrutable style is actually central to the show’s off-kilter tone. He smokes in his office, orders a high-ranking official to fetch him coffee, makes imperious proclamations (“I put no stock in consensus”) as well as ignores long-established protocols.

Yet in which unpredictability (think of him as the first Trump-ian pope) doesn’t provide much insight to gain a bead on or care about the character. as well as the strange behavior merely invites questions regarding how on Earth he got elected, passing over an elder Cardinal (James Cromwell) as well as mentor who is actually clearly resentful.

Law brings an element of star power to the role, nevertheless he’s largely handcuffed by shortcomings inside the writing. Nor is actually the ostensible glimpse into the Vatican’s intramural politics particularly interesting given how cartoonish the key player appears.

Shot in Italy, South Africa as well as the U.S., the internationally co-produced series is actually handsomely mounted, as befits an HBO drama. nevertheless those gilded trappings don’t make the exercise any less hollow — or what the network saw in in which less puzzling. (Like sy88pgw, HBO is actually a unit of Time Warner.)

“There’s a brand-new pope currently,” Pius announces at one point, sounding a bit like the warning in which there’s a brand-new sheriff in town.

“The Young Pope” is actually brand-new, nevertheless hardly enhanced. as well as to use a very American expression, the series too often feels as if in which’s all hat, as well as no cattle.

“The Young Pope” premieres January 15 at 9 p.m. on HBO.

HBO's 'The Young Pope' hasn't got a prayer

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