Sunday night brings us a period drama about power, corruption and family in Showtime’s The Borgias while AMC’s The Killing is a contemporary story about the murder of a young girl and the aftermath with her parents, the community and the detectives charged with solving this heinous crime.
As a huge fan of Showtime’s The Tudors I wasn’t as pulled into the two-hour premiere of The Borgia’s and found it moved very slow. Drawn to the reign of Henry the VIII already, The Tudors series captivated me with its intricate stories and pace and a well-rounded portrait of Henry and his huge appetite for life and sex. Still, the Borgias as all the press materials point out, as the inspiration for Mario Puzo’s The Godfather and the subsequent films and there’s plenty of action in the premiere episodes. Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons) becomes Pope Alexander VI through less than pure methods and we’re introduced to his family and the Vanozza (Joanne Whalley) his long-time mistress and the mother of his three children, Cesare (Francois Arnaud), Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) and Juan (David Oakes). The costumes are amazing and there’s plenty of pomp and circumstance but watching the foreplay between the Pope and his new mistress Lotte Verbeek (Giulia Farnese) during her confession just didn’t turn me on in any way at all. Here it’s sword fights and poison that are the weapons of treachery but no real sense of who Rodrigo really is…maybe that will come in the future. I’ve always bought into The Catholic church as a business and a profitable one so the inner manipulations and fetishes of The Cardinals in the Vatican is believable.
I love Irons and the Academy Award winning Neil Jordan wrote all nine episodes and directed the first two, but here’s hoping future episodes do a better job of bringing the viewer into more of the inner workings of these characters rather than just the set dressing of this Renaissance-era . Premieres at 9 p.m.ET/PT.
I much prefer AMC’s The Killing, which was gripping from the first few minutes and for those of us who love the crime/mystery genre this is must-see viewing. Based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen, the 13-part series is set in Seattle and begins with Sara Linden (Mireille Enos), the lead homicide detective finding the missing and murdered Rosie Larsen. She and her new partner Stephen Holder (Snabba Cash) work the crime while Larsen’s parents Mitch and Sam, played wonderfully by Michelle Forbes (True Blood) and Brent Sexton (In the Valley of Elah), deal with the loss. The local politician, Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell), who’s connected to the case, is considered a suspect.
Enos, who played the twins Jodean and Kathy Marquart on Big Love, is great in the role of the quiet, introspective, no-nonsense detective . She’s all about getting the job done but can come off cold.
“Sara spends so much time in her own mind, seeing things that other people don’t see. Where her partner processes things by talking and thinking aloud she’s quite the opposite and that makes it a beautiful relationship,” said Enos.
Shooting in Vancouver, Enos, who is a new mother of a daughter, Vesper, found it hard to play some of the scenes of the murder of a young girl, especially some with Forbes. “Anyone that spends that much time around death would have to come out the other side emotionally wrecked or a bit shut down.”
Enos can’t say enough about Veena Sud (Cold Case), the showrunner of the series I just read the latest episode and I email her and her team of writers because I feel so honored by the writing,” she said.
The series has a lot of dark, gloomy skies, which is definitely like Seattle, and it sets a mood and tone to the piece that might be a bit cerebral to some, but I highly recommend tuning in at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The Killing is produced by Fox Television Studios.