Borgias’ sets the standard for depravity
With their greed, brutality and lust — not
to mention their Italian Renaissance duds —
the Borgias family make the Sopranos family
look practically modest. Neil Jordan’s “The
Borgias” (Sunday, 9 p.m., Showtime), based on
the powerful 15th century family, wallows in
deliriously bad behavior in season two. Jeremy
Irons is the quintessence of depravity as patriarch
Rodrigo, who sees no reason to cut back on sex
and plunder just because he’s become Pope. Rodrigo
claims to have God on his side, making Him sound
like the world’s biggest shakedown artist.
In this week’s episode, Rodrigo beds an ally’s
wife, blackmails an army into giving all its
spoils to the church (i.e., him), and instructs
son Cesare (Francois Arnaud) on the finer points
In a meeting with Rodrigo, the king of France
can barely mask his disdain. He addresses him
as “holy father” but spits out the phrase like
Truly, “The Borgias” makes “holy” seem like
the world’s dirtiest word.
Thursday, 7 p.m. (NBC)
The community-college sitcom has been working
hard to justify its existence and this week,
it offers a sublimely silly parody of fellow
NBC series “Law & Order” and its spinoffs.
The setup: A yam has been pushed off a counter
in the science lab, ruining an experiment. Whodunit?
The merciless script torpedoes every “Law &
Order” cliché, from the investigation to the
interrogation to the coroner’s report. Meanwhile,
characters get cut off in mid-speech by that
oppressive BOINK-BOINK sound effect.
The satire is so devastating that I predict
a tense encounter should the “Community” and
“Law & Order” groups cross paths in the
NBC commissary. CV