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The Borgias: Season 1 (2011)

David Oakes , Luke Pasqualino  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (362 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Oakes, Luke Pasqualino, Ronan Vibert, Jeremy Irons
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Showtime
  • DVD Release Date: December 27, 2011
  • Run Time: 467 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (362 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QOB8O8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,170 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Borgias: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

Via E-Bridge:
- House of Lies Pilot Episode
- Episode One of Dexter: Season 6
- Episodes One and Two of Episodes

Editorial Reviews

The Borgias is a complex, unvarnished portrait of one of history’s most intriguing families. Oscar®-winner Jeremy Irons stars as Rodrigo Borgia, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of the Borgia family who ascends to the highest circles of power within Renaissance-era Italy. The series begins as Rodrigo (Irons), becomes Pope Alexander VI, propelling him, his two Machiavellian sons Cesare and Juan, and his scandalously beautiful daughter, Lucrezia, to become the most powerful and influential family of the Italian Renaissance.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
424 of 434 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Talk about niche programming. When the successful Showtime series "The Tudors" came to a conclusion last year (after all, Henry VIII could only have so many lives and wives), the network didn't miss a beat in creating a program that would appeal to a similar demographic. "The Borgias" tackles an equally well known historical personage and gives the notorious Pope and his clan a sumptuous dramatization. Helmed by Neil Jordan, a writer/director whose "The Crying Game" won him a screenplay Oscar, the show further stacked the deck with the brilliant casting coup of Jeremy Irons in the lead role. The show highlights the entire family, not just patriarch Rodrigo Borgia, and showcases the seamy underbelly of corruption, manipulation, and brutality that have made the name synonymous with criminal enterprise. In fact, the family's reputation for ruthlessness inspired Mario Puzo's to mold the characters featured in "The Godfather" after the real life Borgias.

With the first season of the show only running nine episodes, however, the full scope of the Borgia legacy is merely introduced. The premiere starts with the death of the reigning Pope, which leaves a vacancy that ambitious Cardinal Rodrigo (Irons) intends to claim at any price. Through back room deals and other nefarious deeds, Rodrigo ascends to power while making an enemy of Cardinal Della Rovere (a solid Colm Feore)--an act that will have long range repercussions as the exiled Cardinal aligns with outside forces to unseat the Pope. Appointing son Cesare (Francois Arnaud) as a Cardinal, son Juan (David Oakes) to military leadership, and arranging an advantageous marriage for daughter Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger)--the Pope is establishing a well protected position.
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146 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Borgias: In the Beginning June 6, 2011
Format:DVD
In 1492 while Columbus was sailing the ocean blue to discover the Americas things weren't so tidy in Rome. It was a time when the papacy was in disrepair with popes having wives and mistresses and all manner of scandal (sound oddly familiar...) and from this period in history highly regarded writer Neil Jordan has pasted together enough information about the infamous Borgias - 'the first crime family' according to the PR - to create what resulted in a fascinating account of world history, a fitting series whose first season of 9 episodes are tied together in this package of DVDs.

For starters, the opening title sequences are masterworks of graphics and art history albeit splatter or washed in blood. The series opens with the nefarious Spanish family taking over the important Roman power vested in the papacy: Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons in a splendid tour de force of acting), becomes Pope Alexander VI when Pope Innocent VIII dies. As Pope, the elder Borgia gains election of his son Cesare (François Arnaud, a stunningly gifted young and handsome actor in one of his very first roles) to the College of Cardinals while his other son, the libidinous Juan (David Oakes) is made head of the military: these sons and the daughter Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) are the children by the pope's 'wife' Vanozza Cattaneo (Joanne Whaley), though the pope is now in the throes of a sordid relationship with Giulia Farnese (Lotte Verbeek). One cardinal - Giuliano Della Rovere (Colm Feore) - is out to depose the unctuous Borgia reign and works with outside forces to overthrow Pope Alexander VI and makes alliances with King Charles VIII of France (Michel Muller).
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100 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Acting & Cinematography; Solid Writing September 3, 2011
By Theo
Format:DVD
There is a great deal to admire in this series. Visually it is superb. The costuming and sets manage simultaneously to be both beautiful and realistic to the period; or at least, they seem so to my untutored eye. The actors uniformly do an extraordinarily good job. So much so that it is difficult to know whom to focus upon in this review, because whatever choices I make I will be omitting mention of some truly outstanding performances.

However, I am going to begin in the obvious place: with Jeremy Irons' interpretation of Rodrigo Borgia. I do so if only because so much hinges on this pivotal character. The Telegraph critic Rachel Ray criticised this series on the grounds that it "lacks the amoral aura of a psychopathic family", and specifically criticised Irons' own performance as "disappointingly undiabolical". On a strictly literal level Ray's perception of this series is entirely accurate. However, I would argue that it also entirely misses the point.

The Rodrigo Borgia we find in this show was never intended as an inhuman monster who would not have been out of place cackling maniacally atop Snake Mountain. Rather, what we gaze upon here is far closer to the true face of evil as it most often exists in the real world: ordinary, resigned in the face of the dictates of Realpolitik, and when confronted with the moral reality of where such dictates lead, by turns a true believer, actively self deluding, and at times even self doubting. Not unlike a concentration camp guard who can go home at night and be a loving father to his children. I am very much reminded here of political theorist Hannah Arendt's famous phrase "the banality of evil".
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English subtitles
Started watching this tonight, there were no subtitles! I am bitterly disappointed, only caught about 1/4th of the dialogue. The menu claims there is a CC option, no idea how to work such a thing, not sure why they couldn't just include subtitles like any other dvd series...
Aug 9, 2012 by Donald Brenner |  See all 10 posts
Blu Ray?
I think Blu-ray, in general, is not worth the extra cost as standard DVDs are very sharp themselves -- and they cost less!
Sep 15, 2013 by Jack Spratt |  See all 2 posts
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