The one thing that worried me--the thing that was make or break--was the show wouldn't know how to balance worldly corruption against religious fevor; the papacy was corrupt but it wasn't atheistic. They just really believed their actions could not be against God's work as they were the hands and body of God on earth.
Jeremy Irons is pulling off the dichotomy gorgeously. The coronation was everything I'd expect for a man who felt the mantle of God and what it meant. Being corrupt--especially in this period of time where corruption was standard--doesn't change the depth of faith.
In other news, five minutes in we have almost-incest. So they aren't even downplaying that. I forgot the racism against the Spanish was so prevalent before Alexander VI and Isabel of Castile and before the union of Spain and then joining with the Habsburgs and then the Bourbons.
Further note: Alexander's genuine horror at a Pope being poisoned was interesting. Alexander is an outsider as a Spainard; I don't think it ever occurred to him that being Spainard the Romans didn't believe he had God's mantle. This is fascinating. I didn't expect them to examine the racism that was part of Alexander's problems with the Vatican and the Roman cardinals as well as the racism of the Romans and Italians against the Spanish.
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