TV's most conniving, despicable family is back.
Here's a group that enjoys swindling others, exalts power over sincerity, kills off all enemies and engages in sex with anyone who comes along.
The Ewings of Dallas?
It's The Bogias --the series is back for its third season of 10 new episodes Sunday April 14 at 10 p.m..
Watch this true tale for any length of time and you'll understand why the Reformation happened in short order.
The second season ended with a mighty pop as prophet Savonarola (Steven Berkoff) thundered away about the lewd and lascivious behavior of the current claimant to the papal throne one Alexander VI (Jeremy Irons).
For his daring the prophet was forced to recant and then burned at the stake as a heretic.
Whatever he may have done even J.R.Ewing never went quite that far.
Then to best every one son Cesare Borgia (Quebec actor Francois Arnaud) told papa he indeed had ordered the murder of brother Juan (David Oakes).
And for the grand finale Alexander gets poisoned by his arch rival Della Rovere (Canadian actor Colm Feore).
This season begins with the anticipated death of Alexander VI.
But if that happened there would be no new season, right?
Arch manipulator and wayward daughter Lucrezia Borgia (Holliday Grainger) sports a brain on those pretty little shoulders. Turns out she has been perusing books on poisoningall along . Why? Guess!
And she immediately comes up with a solution: grind up charcoal and plop it down the sick man's throat and we'll all see what happens!
And so begins a third season. It may well be the last one. The series is primarily produced for U.S. cable weblet Showtime which really isn't into ornamental costume melodramas.
Ratings continued to decline in Season 2 and there's a weary feeling of sameness about all the plots and subterfuge.
Sex and venality are the real stars --no wonder devout Italian Catholics howled up a storm when the show recently debuted on Italian TV.
Poor Lucrezia --her fiancee is Duke Alfonso of Naples (Sebastian De Souza) and he tells her he prefers remaining a virgin until their wedding night.
What's a girlie like Lucrezia to do? Why storm into the willing arms of brother Cesare, of course!
Threatened with the rack and other mechanical torture devices Della Rovere uses every stratagem to fight back.
The series does stay true to the concept of creator Neil Jordan who contrasts the lushness of the papacy with the sincerity of Alexander who truly believes he is doing God's work. Period details are amazing and the first new hour has all the texture of a big budget movie --iut was shot in Budapest.
Considered a Canadian-Irish co-production the Canadian executive producer in charge of quality control is Sheila Hockin who oversees post-production.
But (he was pope a more 11 years) the big question is how much longer The Borgias will last --the reign of Alexander VI was short and he was succeeded by --Della Rovere in 1503.
Meaning there might be a sequel called The Della Roveres? Stay tuned.
THE THIRD SEASON OF THE BORGIAS PREMIERES ON BRAVO SUNDAY APRIL 14 AT 10
MY RATING: ***1/2.