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The Borgias: The Popes Get Nekkid!


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#1

notwisconsin

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Posted Jun 22, 2010 @ 4:54 PM

This is for Showtime's followup toThe Tudors., which is premiering in 2011. The title, which may or may not be changed, is due to the fact that there were TWO Borgia popes, and that Rodrigo, the most notorious pope in history (although he was far from the worst), was the nephew of one who went by the name of Calixtus III, who was best remembered for excommunicating Halley's comet. Something I don't think they'd mention in the TV series. They will probably mention that Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo) was one of the most honest Popes in history. He admitted to everything and was open and honest about it...Unlike most of his predecessors.

I figure now that the Tudors is over, we could start the pregame discussion.....
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#2

scarynikki12

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Posted Jun 22, 2010 @ 5:47 PM

I assume that Jeremy Irons will be playing Rodrigo?

Will Lucrezia be a major character? The stories about her alone would make for several seasons of fascinating tv.

Of course, given how Showtime didn't seem to think that the historical facts surrounding the Tudor era were interesting by themselves, I'm sure we'll see plenty of inaccuracies with this series.

Edited by scarynikki12, Jun 22, 2010 @ 5:49 PM.

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#3

LolaRuns

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Posted Jun 22, 2010 @ 6:36 PM

Is any other casting known besides Jeremy Irons?

I kinda hope that we also get some Medici and Sforza action.

I actually read a rather interesting book on Lucrezia years ago that postulates that a bunch of the more scandalous stories are actually made up. Though I guess if the Tudors is anything to go buy they'll probably revel in any scandalous bits they can find.
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#4

lovelyivy

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Posted Jun 22, 2010 @ 6:55 PM

I actually read a rather interesting book on Lucrezia years ago that postulates that a bunch of the more scandalous stories are actually made up. Though I guess if the Tudors is anything to go buy they'll probably revel in any scandalous bits they can find


But there is so MUCH scandal. Making more scandal up is just insane. Insane I tell yoU!
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#5

scarynikki12

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Posted Jun 22, 2010 @ 7:23 PM

I actually read a rather interesting book on Lucrezia years ago that postulates that a bunch of the more scandalous stories are actually made up.


Oh, I know, but IIRC, there are more stories about her than facts (and a number of those stories are incorrectly attributed to Catherine de Medici, but I digress), and when we have a case like that, I say have at it with the stories! Provided, of course, that the existing facts aren't ignored and the writers don't just make up stories on top of the ones that have been around for centuries (though they totally will).
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#6

watchteoftv

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Posted Jun 22, 2010 @ 7:27 PM

I hope they get someone really hot to play the really hot Casare (you think Henry Cavill is up for doing another period piece?), and I'm looking forward to seeing Machiavelli and Leonardo Di Vinci; I know they've both got to show up - and I want to see just how much 'history' they're gonna get right in this - there's just SO much scandal and myth swirling around these people, they don't even have to put made up people into this story, just use the real history, plus all the gossip from the Borgia's own day- and I'm sure everybody will look very lovely and sun-drenched while they're running around in the altogether...

And Jeremy Irons, speaking on my tv every week, is enough to get me completely drawn into this series.
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#7

vandynd

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Posted Jun 22, 2010 @ 7:40 PM

My husband's family is stupidly excited for this series. The family name is a derivative of Borgia and a family genealogy search confirmed the link. They've been telling the story for years that their ancestor killed a Pope - always said in a theatrical whisper given the family's strong Catholic faith. It's my sense that for many of the Borgias escapades, the truth is stranger than fiction.
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#8

scarynikki12

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Posted Jun 22, 2010 @ 8:30 PM

They've been telling the story for years that their ancestor killed a Pope - always said in a theatrical whisper given the family's strong Catholic faith


Hee! The mental image is delightful.

get someone really hot to play the really hot Casare (you think Henry Cavill is up for doing another period piece?)


YES!!! We need more naked Cavill.

ETA: We need to get Sarah Bolger in here somehow. Girlfriend would TEAR.IT.UP in whatever Borgia related way they wanted her for.

Edited by scarynikki12, Jun 22, 2010 @ 8:32 PM.

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#9

Scrb

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 2:25 AM

How is this a followup to the Tudors? There's a historical link?

Or just the next period piece on Showtime? Are the producers of the Tudors involved at all?

The historical inaccuracies in the Tudors may have more to do with the producers than Showtime, no?
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#10

LolaRuns

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 6:39 AM

I think they are trying to sell it as a spiritual sibling. Their website promo mostly has Jeremy Irons and stuff from the Tudors.
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#11

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 8:59 AM

I never posted much in The Tudors thread since I was mostly an inconsistent watcher during S2 and 3 but I'm looking forward to seeing how this show fares.

A bit of casting news for the role of the mother to the Borgia children.

The actors cast to play Juan Carlos Borgia and Lucrezia are apparently British so I am not familiar with them at all: David Oakes and Holliday Grainger. Couldn't find a pic of Ms Grainger but David Oakes here.

Colm Feore will play Rodrigo's political nemesis from what I understand.

Edited by rove3, Jun 23, 2010 @ 9:05 AM.

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#12

scarynikki12

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 12:39 PM

How is this a followup to the Tudors?


The Borgias were the 15th century and Henry VIII and his kingdom were early-mid 16th century, so they were only seperated by a few generations if we look at time. On the other hand, I don't know if the Borgias had any contact with Tudor England (would have been Henry VII if there was). In that case, it's a follow up only in the sense that it's: a) on Showtime, b) takes place not long before, c) has a cast of Brits, and d) is about an historically notorious family.

I'm actually hoping that this show is also successful and gets Showtime to go long term in their historical television. There are SO many families in history that would make for fantastic television.
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#13

alynch

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 1:13 PM

I kind of hated The Tudors, so the fact that this show is from the same guys give me pause. However, the fact that Neil Jordan is writing the episodes also makes me a bit optimistic.
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#14

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 1:20 PM

I'm actually hoping that this show is also successful and gets Showtime to go long term in their historical television. There are SO many families in history that would make for fantastic television.

I would LOVE that! I'd want them to go earlier, and do MY favorites, the Plantagenets; I know Henry was Plantagenet through his mother, but I want the real ones - and seriously, an actor and actress would have a field day playing Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine - she leaves the King of France for him, they love and hate with equal passion, not to mention Becket, and Rosamund, and the rebellions of his sons - and I'd LOVE to see what they'd do with Richard - it could be glorious...
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#15

scarynikki12

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 1:52 PM

I assume you mean Richard the Lionheart? That piece of batshit and Prince John would be lots of fun. As my Western Civ teacher once told our class, "King Richard was a total nutcase who bankrupted his country to finance the destruction of another civilization and his brother, who actually gave a damn about the kingdom and did whatever he could to keep it whole, is considered to be the evil one. I blame Disney." That was a fun day.

I also vote for the Medicis. They were one of the wealthiest families in Europe at around this same time. They started as bankers, and the Medici bank was one of, if not the, most successful institutions. This led to them being granted a duchy, then later a grand duchy, and eventually they had family members get elected Pope (three blood relations and one non-relation but pro-Medici). Catherine's one of the more notorious members (as I posted above, she was sometimes mistaken for Lucrezia in the various stories of misdeeds), but her uncles and cousins all make for good storytelling.

Speaking of Lucrezia, I've never seen anything the actress has done, but I'm hoping she's got the talent of Natalie Dormer or Sarah Bolger.
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#16

McKittenplan

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 2:05 PM

The actors cast to play Juan Carlos Borgia and Lucrezia are apparently British so I am not familiar with them at all: David Oakes and Holliday Grainger. Couldn't find a pic of Ms Grainger but David Oakes here.

There's a headshot of Grainger and her resume here. The only thing I've seen that she's been in was Waking the Dead and I don't actually remember her in it, so. In any case, Lucrezia is my favorite of the Borgias so I hope Grainger does a good job.
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#17

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 2:17 PM

I assume you mean Richard the Lionheart?

Yes, that's who I'm talking about - that boy had issues; but talking about an actor having a field day playing a character...

I also vote for the Medicis.

They would have been my first choice, between them and the Borgias - wouldn't it be grand if showtime does so well with these, HBO picks it up and does some other historical families, too? Then we could go from network to network, and get our fill of trashy history lessons!
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#18

scarynikki12

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 2:46 PM

Then we could go from network to network, and get our fill of trashy history lessons!


A lifetime quest that I deeply hope will one day be realized.
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#19

Princess Louie

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 3:57 PM

I want a series on Edward IV, whose daughter married Henry VII. He married Elizabeth Woodville and she bore him 10 (?) children. Two of her sons were imprisoned in the Tower by Richard III, who was Edward's brother. There were always rumors that Elizabeth and her family were witches.
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#20

ChanelCupcake

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 5:23 PM

Holliday Grainger looks miscast as Lucrezia, but maybe she will be as fierce as Natalie Dormer was as Anne Boleyn and completely enthrall us?

I wonder if they will feature Sancha of Aragon and who they will cast as her? She was married to one Borgia brother, but slept with the other two.

I would have loved a historical series on Edward IV/Richard III/Henry VII. You have so much from the War of the Roses, the lost Princes in the Tower, and the start of the Tudor monarchy. I think "The Tudors" should have started in Henry VII's reign actually.
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#21

scarynikki12

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 5:24 PM

I was just over at the History News Network site on an unrelated search and came across this:

Use of poison in history

Just in case the link doesn't work, here's a relevant section (though the whole article's fascinating):

The "golden age" of poisoning was the late 1400s with such famed practitioners as Pope Alexander VI and his illegitimate son, Cesare Borgia. Borgia's much maligned sister, Lucrecia, often spoken of as a poisoner, likely wasn't.

The Borgias' poison, which became known as the "liquor of succession," cleared bothersome cardinals and others of power out of the way with a certainty that lingers in the phrase "tasting the cup of the Borgias'" - i.e. death.


The liquor of succession! Tasting the cup of the Borgias! This shit writes itself.
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#22

jcoop13

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Posted Jun 23, 2010 @ 6:58 PM

I want a series on Edward IV, whose daughter married Henry VII. He married Elizabeth Woodville and she bore him 10 (?) children. Two of her sons were imprisoned in the Tower by Richard III, who was Edward's brother. There were always rumors that Elizabeth and her family were witches.


Princess Louie, I think a miniseries on Edward IV and his brother Richard III would be a great - there's enough sex, war, political intrigue, backstabbing, fratricide and possible witchcraft to last at least two seasons. The later Plantagenets were every bit as f***ked up as the early ones. It would be nice to have a miniseries that portrayed RIII as a real human being (I think he did murder his nephews, but only because he felt it was the only way he could preserve what he had) not the deformed Shakespearean caricature.

As for the Borgias, I expect the story to have prodigious amounts of explicit sex, nudity and violence, but I hope it doesn't have at storyline about the *rumoured* Lucrezia-Holy Father incest. The original 1981 British miniseries (which can be found on Youtube) did, and it was just icky to watch.

Edited by jcoop13, Jun 23, 2010 @ 7:07 PM.

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#23

TeresaDee

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Posted Jun 24, 2010 @ 7:17 AM

Any book ideas from the group? Snarking is so much more fun when you know the real history!
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#24

LolaRuns

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Posted Jun 24, 2010 @ 10:50 AM

I really hope they'll have Savonarola show up. I could see that be a really juicy role for an actor who loves to chew some scenery.

Edited by LolaRuns, Jun 24, 2010 @ 10:55 AM.

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#25

Tidal Creek

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Posted Jun 24, 2010 @ 12:35 PM

Any book ideas from the group? Snarking is so much more fun when you know the real history!



Not long ago I read "A World Lit Only By Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance," by William Manchester. I can't vouch for its historical accuracy, but it was a damn good read.
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#26

ChanelCupcake

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Posted Jun 24, 2010 @ 1:02 PM

"The Borgia Bride" by Jeanne Kalogridis is entertaining. It is seen through the eyes of Sancha of Aragon when she marries into the Borgia family.
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#27

TeresaDee

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Posted Jun 24, 2010 @ 4:18 PM

Thanks for the suggestions!
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#28

Meltbanana

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Posted Jun 24, 2010 @ 9:49 PM

Any book ideas from the group? Snarking is so much more fun when you know the real history!


One of my favorite books of all time is Prince of Foxes. It's out of print but some libraries might carry it. My high school English teacher lent me his copy and then my mom spent the rest of the school year and summer tracking down a copy of it for my birthday.

jcoop13 I hope they DO include that rumored tidbit, it is the most scandalous and disturbing part of the family history! For my high school history class I put on a one act play that I wrote with my classmates and we acted that bit out. I payed Lucrezia and I hid behind curtains and plotted murders and it was all very inappropriate for a 15 year old. God I loved my teachers for teaching me about the Borgias.

I will be inviting myself over to my Uncle's house to take advantage of their cable to watch this.
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#29

GinevradiBenci

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Posted Jul 6, 2010 @ 9:03 PM

Not long ago I read "A World Lit Only By Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance," by William Manchester. I can't vouch for its historical accuracy, but it was a damn good read.


Er, it indeed is a great read - Manchester doesn't pass up a papal orgy if he can help it - but don't count on it for anything like accuracy. It's not very good at all.

There are several interesting books about the Medici out there which would give you a good idea about the time period, but I can't think of a great one about the Borgias. If you're interested in Medici books let me know and I'll go check my bookshelves for specific titles.
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#30

jcoop13

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Posted Jul 7, 2010 @ 9:25 AM

There are several interesting books about the Medici out there which would give you a good idea about the time period, but I can't think of a great one about the Borgias.


There is a book called The Borgias and Their Enemies 1431-1519 by Christopher Hibbert. It's available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble Online. It gives a good description on the events that led to the family's rise to power, their role in early 16th century Italian politics, and their downfall. Another book which has a chapter on how Rodrigo's decadence and corruption as Pope helped the Protestant Reformation is Barbara Tuchman's The March of Folly.
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