As the weather has not been very good recently, I've decided to review a whole set of DVDs to keep everyone entertained in this bitterly cold weather. Today it's The Borgias Season 2, and wow, I cannot sing the praises of this series enough. All the boring exposition and setting up of characters, which weighed down the first series, is now gone and it's all about the drama.
All the actors have also got into their characters and it shows on the screen. Francois Arnaud has become a far more confident Cesare, growing into the character of legend that many of us know from reading The Prince. Holliday Grainger is great as Lucrezia, partly because she just looks amazing in the costumes and thus is lovely to behold on the screen. The character is also developing into a more manipulative schemer - so far more fun as a result!
Jeremy Irons once again cuts a fine figure as Rodrigo (the Pope) manipulating his family on the one hand and raging against them for not getting along on the other. Joanne Whalley is the great peacemaker trying to control the needs of her children and Rodrigo. There is also David Oakes as Juan, the wayward Borgia son, who spins further and further down into a spiral of drink, war wounds and cowardice.
The main enemy is a tyrannically preacher from Florence, who the Borgias, specifically Cesare, has to take down; there is a wonderful sequence in the series when he is facing off against the preacher dressed in his cardinal robes, his face wreathed in flame. He looks like the devil himself.