The Borgias, Francois Arnaud

If The Borgias Shared a Potluck Dinner with the Methodists

I’ve been gleefully anticipating the new Showtime series ‘The Borgias.’ It looked great anyway, but I was hoping to replace another favorite show, ‘The Tudors,’ which delved into the reign of King Henry VIII, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

The BorgiasThe Borgias‘ premiered Sunday and did not disappoint. It’s a fascinating look at the Borgia family during the late 1400s, during which time Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons) became Pope.

Showtime’s tagline for the series is “the original crime family,” and wow, are they ever right! I know I lead a sheltered Midwestern existence, but it’s just amazing to me that a family associated with the Pope and the Vatican and Catholicism is so littered with filth — adultery, theft, rape, bribery, incest, and murder, to name a few. Talk about covering all the bases of the Ten Commandments.

I grew up — and still am — a Methodist, and my idea of church is all about forgiveness, grace, sharing, love and, of course, lots of potluck dinners in the church basement. The Borgias’ idea of church couldn’t be further removed if they lived in another solar system.

Let’s take a closer look at what would happen if The Borgias sat down for a potluck dinner with a bunch of Methodists. The conversation might include…

1. Poison. More specifically, arsenic. Yes, there was a time when lead arsenate was sprayed in our cherry orchards as an insecticide (hey, don’t look at me – I wasn’t even alive then). But adding it to someone’s chicken casserole for the distinct purpose of killing them? That would never occur to a Methodist.

2. Incest. Methodists would never even say the word, much less participate in the act. Well, not that I know of anyway. If it happens, no one’s talking about it. But based on the relationship between Cesare Borgia (Francois Arnaud) and his sister Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger), there’s definitely going to be some incest in their future. Not only would my brothers and I never get that close physically, just the idea of it’s nauseating.

The Borgias, Cesare and Lucrezia
Cesare and Lucrezia seem awfully close for brother and sister…

3. Adultery. Look, I know pastors are capable of sinning just like the rest of us. We’re all human, after all. But Pope Alexander is the Pope, for God’s sake. He’s not supposed to be shunning his wife in the name of chastity and then immediately hooking up with some young tart in the dead of night — through a passageway connecting their residences, no less. And his reasoning to his wife that he was “comforting” the poor woman? Not good, dude. Just … not…

But, of course, all of this makes me want to watch ‘The Borgias’ more than ever, because it’s so unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. So have at it, ye Catholic sinners. It’ll come back to bite you in the you-know-what later. In the meantime, entertain us.

Are you watching ‘The Borgias’? Liking it so far?

Images: Showtime


  1. Casey Avatar

    Hmmmm… I was a little bored with the first episode, but on your glowing impression, I’ll give it a second try!

  2. Sheryl Avatar

    Recorded the show with great anticipation, but haven’t gotten the time to watch it yet. It is so full of all the good bad stuff, I must entertain myself with it soon.

  3. Jennifer Margulis Avatar

    I love Jeremy Irons. Sounds like fun!

  4. Alexandra Avatar

    Your post really made me smile. I missed the first episode. Can I start with the second?

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