Like most of you heathens, I know less than nothing about the Catholic Church. Aside from what Spotlight taught me about how the Vatican turned a blind-eye towards priests diddling little boys, my knowledge of the Papacy is rather limited. Then again, I don’t think you came here expecting to be taught how the enormous machine of the Church works, so forgive my misguided opinions. Or not, I really don’t give a fuck…and with that we’re off!
The Dopest Pope
This was a show I honestly didn’t have any inkling of what it would be about, aside from, you know, it being about a Pope. I was under the impression this was something like Tudors, where it was loosely based off of a historical figure and showed all the insane shit said historical figure got away with. I mean, honestly, why else would HBO make a show about the Pope to include next to a show like Westworld, a show that breaks every one of the 10 Commandments? If anything, HBO has realized that sex, drugs, and violence are what audiences love. Now, if this were the Middle Ages, when Popes had power over the majority of Europe, I’d say that makes for some compelling entertainment. But a modern day, real life account of a Pope, what interesting shit could have possibly spurred from this guys life? Let me be the first to tell you, this is not a show based off of historical figures. Pope Pius XIII/Lenny Belardo, wasn’t real. Second of all, Pope Pius XIII doesn’t look like he’ll be keeping the old ways of the Church, i.e., his interpretation of the Bible is loose at best. Already, this show reeks of political manipulation, corruption, and plenty of sin. And I think it may have just caught my attention.
So basically, this guy Lenny Belardo (Jude Law) is somehow the next Pope (Pius XIII) of the Catholic Church. He’s American, which definitely stood out, but at the time, I wasn’t really sure why. But I guess being an American Pope is a pretty big deal(?). The last time I saw Jude Law in anything, like at all, might have been The Holiday (fuck off, it’s a great movie). Never been a big fan of him or his acting but neither was I of Matty McConaughey before True Detectives, so I’m keeping an open mind. That being said, Jude Law steals the fucking show on this one. He really nails the whole power hungry “keep the crown by any means” role perfectly, yet not in a “you’re a prick” way. His dream speech was chilling and coulda converted an orgy full of hedonistic Satanists to become celibate. Actually, not really, considering it praised jerking off and boning outside of marriage, but we’re not splitting hairs here. But really, I could see him cuck Cardinal Voiello (Silvio Orlando) all day long. Guy was born for this role.
12 Angry Old (W0)Men
I’m sure we’ll see Lenny’s journey into how he became Pope Pius XIII, but for now he’s just the Pope. And not too many people like it. Maybe it’s because he’s the Young(est) Pope, maybe he’s got a big dick, who knows. It’s the Vatican, the religious equivalency to The Real World, and Cardinal Voiello is Johnny Bananas. And why wouldn’t he? A dude with a mole that slaps you across the jaw every time you look at it and who probably cranks one out when he walks by a wicked old figurine is bound to hate on our boy. Still, he’s been around the Vatican for awhile and is used to shoving his arm up the Pope’s ass so he may be a bit salty about Lenny’s approach.
Monsignor Gutierrez (Javier Camara) may be my sneaky favorite character. He’s got a real Varys/Littlefinger vibe to him. Someone who knows the ins and outs of everything going on at the Vatican is a very valuable friend to have, and I’m sure Lenny will make use of him quite a bit. But as with any character like Gutierrez, you have to wonder if his allegiance really lies with Lenny. Or is he trying to weasel his way into Lenny’s trust, just to inform on him for someone like Voiello? Curious…
Can’t forget about good ole’ Sister Mary (Diane Keaton) here. I’m really at a loss on her. She seems like a genuine follower of the Church, very devote and faithful to serving the Pope. But I can’t tell if shes faithful to serving the Pope or serving Lenny. She seems a little jaded by being in the Vatican and is all about doing what’s right for the Church, but her and Lenny seem to have a very long and littered past together. I can’t tell if she’s playing the long con and who she’s playing it on, but keep your eye on Sister Mary.
Quiet as a Church Mouse
For as great as Jude Law is and the characters that he is surrounded by, I can’t help but mention there are some very boring moments. Sure, there needs to be some plot building and character development, but do we really need to see the Pope drag his dick across Cardinal Voiello’s face for like 15 minutes? We get it, Lenny’s a douchebag and is trying to mark his territory like a fuckin panda; spraying piss like a goddamn fire hydrant over everything and anything. I don’t need to neither do I want to see someone get cucked for a quarter of the show. It gets old.
Also, like I said before, I know nothing about the Catholic Church. Trying to figure out if this show is just ludicrous and knows it has been a struggle. From drinking Cherry Coke Zero for breakfast, to the insane hats he wears, Lenny has just been way over the top. And don’t get me wrong, those hats are straight fire. But those hats are not what make a good show. If that’s what this show is going for, you nailed it. If you’re trying to make something completely serious, I think you may have taken one step too far in the wrong direction.
Some tidbits for the road
I’m not a religious person by any means, like, at all. But those hats Lenny was rockin’ were phenomenal. The little sunhat he was struttin around in the garden with made Vince McMahon look like a peasant. That’s without mentioning his guard’s outfits! Striped pantaloon jumpsuits with orange, purple, and red?! Fuck yes. They may be enough to convert me to a God fearing man….and the thought faded as soon as it came.
Now I’m not sure what the fuck the opening scene of this episode was meant for, but it was flat out weird. There has to be some kinda symbolism that I’m not seeing, but the Pope emerging from a pile of dead babies right in front of the Vatican was baffling. No clue what that is or what it’s supposed to mean but just bonkers. Great way to grab my attention there HBO. Well done.
TDR’s 5 Vegas Picks
Lenny and Sister Mary boned:80/20
Gutierrez is secretly working for Voiello:60/40
Voiello’s assistant is gay:60/40
Voiello jerks it to the Venus of Willendorf:100/0
I’m buying a Pontifical Swiss Guard outfit:100/0
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