Da Vinci's Demons: Season 1 [Blu-ray]
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Not as grim as "Game of Thrones": it actually reminds me of "Shakespeare in love" sometimes, but in a good way.
Don't expect "History Channel's" accuracy - this is entertainment around Da Vinci's life and achievements. No more, no less.
Still, I just can't stress how deep and clever this series manages to be.
Expect nudity, erotic moments, gay relationships and violence - a formula Starz is very familiar with (at least) since Spartacus.
Word of warning: I recommended this to a coworker who also likes GoT and TrueBlood and he (and his wife) were really turned off by the homosexual plot lines. For others it may be a selling point. For historians it simply happened.
Hopefully the set will include a making of 30 min that aired on British TV, it adds some background and perspective (two things da Vinci would have appreciated). One thing David Goyer noted was an intetional choice to cast British actors who American's may not be as familiar with.
After a rather hilarious opening with the fully nude Hugh Bonneville and his male consort preparing to face a new day worried about bowels and other matters - a brief setting as Bonnevile is instantly murdered - we move into Renaissance Florence where the 25 year old artist/engineer/wizard genius Leonardo Da Vinci (Tom Riley) is working on yet another amazing use of flight with his friends Nico (Eros Vlahos) and Zoroaster (Gregg Chillin) and the amiable Verrocchio (Alan Corduner). The young Da Vinci is a lover (with the Medici mistress Lucrezia played by Laura Haddock) because of his talents at portraiture and cunning, an idealist who believes anything is possible if you just think of it. He mixes with the court of the Medicis (Elliot Cowan is Lorenzo) and struggles with his sense of dark demons brought into focus by his visit with Al-Rahim (Alexander Siddig), and is always cognizant of the fact that he is tortured by `a gift of superhuman genius, a heretic intent on exposing the lies of religion, an insurgent seeking to subvert an elitist society, a bastard son who yearns for legitimacy with his father. He finds himself in the midst of a storm that has been brewing for centuries - a conflict between truth and lies, religion and reason, past and future.Read more ›
- Premise: Da Vinci is one of history's most interesting characters... and frankly it's a brave choice. The basic idea is that the Da Vinci we all know from history is indeed an artist/inventor/genius, but also deeply involved in the political intrigue of the day. Given how little is known about his early day-to-day life, it makes sense that they've expanded his role a bit to incorporate him into known political happenings of late 15-century Florence. It's an interesting period most people aren't very familiar with, so I'm all about it.
- Over-Arching Plot: Why not just say "plot"? Because sadly plot will be featured in "The Bad" section below. However, the overall plot, the story of what drives Leonardo, I find somewhat compelling. Leonardo is essentially looking for his long-lost mother, who he can't remember at all. This search leads him in some super-natural directions and his quest for his mother becomes intertwined with a quest for the "book of leaves"... which I assume will be explained later. This is all fantasy of course, but I like it. No problems at all here.
- Production: I'm kind of lumping a lot of smaller things in here. I think the acting was just fine and the casting was well done. I even like the opening music, which occasionally forces its way into the episode. When trying to illustrate moments of genius they basically start drawing things on the screen in the style of Leonardo's famous etchings. This is a little weird, but certainly unique and it grew on me.
- Plot: I'm referring more to the episode-by-episode plot.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This show keeps you guessing and constantly smiling. It's comical as can be and gives such a new light to historical figuresPublished 8 hours ago by Brenden
Great Session will be watching all the rest of the sessions!Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
i like the camera lighting, stages, face and eye shots. This season was great. i don't like season 2. i stopped watching after the first few episodes. might try season 3. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Jason D Bulsa at do.psychology.blogspot
I do not usually review movies , books, or anything at all. However, I loved this series. I understand that after 3 seasons it was cancelled....very well. Read morePublished 18 days ago by melanie r waldman
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