I’ve seen the whole season already (the rare perks of being Italian) and I was extremely curious to see how US audiences would react to it. Italians are crazy for Silvio Orlando, an institution of Italian cinema who was born to play Voiello and really deserved a role like this after so many years of playing lovable neurotics. Americans might miss out on the best bits of his performance, where his ceremonious English gives way to his quickfire, Neapolitan dialect-infused Italian. He single-handedly reconciled me with Sorrentino, whose main problem, as far as I’m concerned, was casting Toni Servillo. Silvio Orlando is a massive improvement and Voiello is already a cult figure. Even SSC Napoli’s fans have fully embraced him as one of their own.
Watching The Young Pope I thought you’d go collectively insane. What I’ve read so far half-confirms my suspicions, but stick with it — it gets exponentially better as it goes along. One of the most satisfying shows of the year.