The Borgias: Season 1 (2011)

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Critic Consensus: It's deliberately paced and its characters might be too unpleasant for some, but The Borgias is a lush period drama with high production values and intrigue to spare.

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Episodes

1
Air date: Apr 3, 2011
2
Air date: Apr 3, 2011
3
Air date: Apr 10, 2011
4
Air date: Apr 17, 2011
5
Air date: Apr 24, 2011
6
Air date: May 1, 2011
7
Air date: May 8, 2011
8
Air date: May 15, 2011
9
Air date: May 22, 2011

The Borgias: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Toss in some Corleones with your Sopranos and you've got the makings of this sumptuous Renaissance-era soap opera-costume drama. Don Borgia, er, Rodrigo Borgia, played with devilish ham by Jeremy Irons, makes like Machiavelli (who, incidentally, shows up a few episodes down the Appian Way) and maneuvers and schemes his way to the papacy to become Pope Alexander VI. And he keeps things in the family, by naming son Cesare (François Arnaud) a cardinal, putting another, Juan (David Oakes), in charge of the papal armies and pimping out daughter Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) for a political alliance.

Cast

Jeremy Irons
as Rodrigo Borgia
Holliday Grainger
as Lucrezia Borgia
David Oakes
as Juan Borgia
François Arnaud
as Cesare Borgia
Aidan Alexander
as Joffre Borgia
Lotte Verbeek
as Giulia Farnese
Colm Feore
as Cardinal Della Rovere
Derek Jacobi
as Cardinal Orsini
Peter Sullivan
as Cardinal Sforza
Sean Harris
as Micheletto
Simon McBurney
as Johannes Burchard
Ronan Vibert
as Giovanni Sforza
Ruta Gedmintas
as Ursula Bonadeo
Michel Muller
as Giovanni Sforza
Julian Bleach
as Machiavelli
Elyes Gabel
as Prince Djem
Emmanuelle Chriqui
as Princess Sancia
Edward Akrout
as French Captain
Steven Berkoff
as Savonarola
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Critic Reviews for The Borgias Season 1

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (22)

Somewhere, "The Godfather" author Mario Puzo is smiling.

Dec 28, 2018 | Full Review…

As deadly as the Borgias were in life, this enthralling miniseries makes them immense fun to watch.

Dec 27, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Irons is a great actor who is aware that sometimes a project calls for great bad acting, and he not only chews the scenery in The Borgias, he savors it.

Dec 27, 2018 | Full Review…

In providing an account of the Borgias' misdeeds that is engaging and lucid, if heavy on intrigue but light on contextual detail, the US cable channel Showtime has succeeded.

Dec 27, 2018 | Full Review…

The Borgias is a visually opulent history lesson but lacks the amoral aura of a psychopathic family driven to hold onto power at all costs.

Dec 27, 2018 | Full Review…

Has all the surface requirements you'd expect from a prestige production. Now all it needs is a beating heart.

Apr 3, 2011 | Full Review…

At the center of Showtime's rich new romp about bad-boy Renaissance pope Alexander VI and his immensely corrupt circle, [Jeremy Irons] is dry as ashes and wickedly funny.

Dec 27, 2018 | Full Review…

The name alone conjures up images of depravity and debauchery. So why is "The Borgias" so dreary?

Dec 27, 2018 | Full Review…

There's enough good material to keep its sacrilegious fires burning.

Dec 28, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

It's definitely a program that's impossible not to admire on a technical level and the multi-faceted work by Irons is always fascinating, but the two-episode premiere can get a bit bogged down in its Shakespearian aspirations.

Dec 27, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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