Critic Consensus: The Young Pope's original premise and stylish blend of over-the-top melodrama with profane comedy helps overcome an occasionally muddled plot.
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as Lenny Belardo/Pope Pius XIII
as Sister Mary
as Cardinal Michael Spencer
as Cardinal Voiello
as Cardinal Dussolier
as Cardinal Gutierrez
as Archbishop Kurtwell
as Father Tomasso
as Sister Antonia
as Prime Minister of Greenland
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The good of the program often outweighs the bad, especially in Jude Law's magnetic lead performance, but it's a show that just misses television transcendence.
What goes on here affects billions of people around the globe, and while the series may feel like a religious fever dream filled with bizarre imagery, slowly we all awaken to the nightmare of truth at its core. The laughs just help us get there.
Law, who has often prospered playing cocksure princelings, convinces as a frocked martinet in the thrall of an idolatrous self-belief. The problem is that Pope Pius is less gripping than, say, House of Cards's Frank Underwood.
Sorrentino has set the stage for both a spiky war of wills and a twisting character study -- a sacred mystery shot through with stabs of the profane.
The Young Pope is Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's visually stunning but simply preposterous and only semi-interesting drama about the first American pope (Jude Law).
Audience Reviews for The Young Pope: Miniseries
"The Young Pope" is cinematic art. Costumes and locations are spectacular. The acting is a bit above average, with a particularly good performance from Javier Cámara. However, as storytelling, the series is a profound disappointment. With no grand plan ever revealed other than possibly glacial character development, watching a pope be horrid, arbitrary and unlikable while exercising absolute power, episode after episode, is tedious. I only suffered through all ten episodes hoping that some purpose would be revealed for the pettiness. I was disappointed. One simply cannot care about a character who cares about no one else, who almost no one likes, who abuses his power to demand betrayal, who speaks from hypocrisy, who bullies the kind, who is doctrinaire, and who is in all ways indifferent to anything other than his own cold theology. I would recommend watching a couple of the indistinguishable episodes for the stylishness of it all, but don't feel a need to complete the series -- it never gets any better.
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