The Young Pope

A review

I hadn’t an idea of what to expect when I first turned it on. I was expecting young to mean evil, and the Pope to be as ruthless as many of the other protagonist anti-heros we’ve seen in modern television. I’m expecting Tony Soprano, Frank Underwood.

This Young Pope, Lenny, is more complicated than the aforementioned, if you can imagine.

The first 3–4 episodes barely kept my attention and I almost gave up on it. Thank the Holy Lord I didn’t. All I remember is finding myself deeply entrenched within the story line by the fourth episode wondering to myself how did this happen? How did they suck me in? How did they do it while being completely different from what I thought it would be.

I wanted to avoid spoilers but because no one’s reads this anyway, I don’t give a fuck.

Somehow they managed to make Lenny actually a righteous man that may or may not even believe in God. I’m just now realizing how complex this theme is for the audience; as if the dichotmry between the papacy and youthful exuberance isn’t enough. We see him actually respecting the tenets of Catholicism while doubting it’s reason for existing. Still you get the sense that he does what he believes to be right.

This arises the question that’s plagued my curiosity for years. If you’re only doing something to get heaven; will that get you there? Doesn’t this contradict it’s own logic?

As a child I would always argue this point with the ministers; do I need to live righteously or do I need to believe in stories? Believing in fairy tales is much harder than to treating others as I wished to be.

They would tell me I need to believe.

My rebuttal of course is that virtuosity is the true meaning of the scriptures(well that and sacred geometry but that’s another article for another time).

These are just some of the complex themes and idealologies explored within the script. I’d give more examples but perhaps that tangent has provided enough plot giveaways.

The music is sensational. I can’t recall music being placed so immersive, so diverse, so rich in anything within television or cinema as of late. The music plays such a pivotal role, the show would undoubtedly suffer dramatically without it and that’s a good thing!

So if you haven’t seen it, you don’t know what to expect. There’s not much like it on TV. I first have to credit the Soprano’s with catapulting complexity and opposing dimensions of good and evil within the fabric of their main character. This is the reason so many other shows, like Breaking Bad have done the same. Lenny definitely takes his cue from all over the above, however there’s still something refreshing that sets The Young Pope apart. What exactly is this difference?

I’ll let you decide.

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