The Young Pope

The Young Pope is stir­ring trou­ble, but that doesn’t mean we can’t for­give him.

TV Plus (South Africa) - - IN THIS ISSUE -

In­ter­net streaming service Show­max is bless­ing view­ers with the un­miss­able 10- episode first sea­son of drama se­ries The Young Pope (2016- cur­rent). So what makes it a must-see, re­gard­less of your faith? Well, there’s the ridicu­lously awe­some and ac­cu­rate cos­tumes and sets that put fans in the mid­dle of the Vat­i­can City. Plus, there are twists, turns and back­stab­bing around ev­ery cor­ner for drama fans. But what’s go­ing to grab view­ers’ at­ten­tion most is main man Pope Pius XIII, played by the dev­il­ishly fab­u­lous Jude Law. Born Lenny Be­lardo and for­mer Arch­bishop Of New York, Pope Pius is thrust into the lime­light as leader of the Catholic world. But that comes with stress and pres­sure, so we’re okay with The Young Pope com­mit­ting a mi­nor “sin” or two. How do you ar­gue with a “spir­i­tu­ally divine leader” who says that “ev­ery rule has ex­cep­tions”? We learnt a few things…

1Though shalt be al­lowed a slight ego Pius is one of the most fa­mous peo­ple on Earth, so surely he’s al­lowed a bit of a su­pe­ri­or­ity com­plex? It’s not like he’s set­ting body­guards on un­sus- pect­ing fol­low­ers who just want to touch him. Us­ing his po­si­tion as God’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive on Earth means that it’s okay to press that nifty lit­tle buzzer un­der his desk to sum­mon a min­ion with a half-baked ex­cuse about “nap time” or “time to take your af­ter­noon vi­ta­mins” to end a par­tic­u­larly bor­ing meet­ing early…

2Though shalt be al­lowed to throw the cat among the pi­geons The Catholic church is steeped in tra­di­tion. But that’s an­cient his­tory for Pope Pius. He has new ideas, new thoughts and a new way of do­ing things. Does that up­set his car­di­nals, bish­ops and the Vat­i­can pub­li­cist? Of course! Does he care? No way! In fact, he’s not even both­ered about the chef who’s been brought in to pre­pare his meals. In­stead, Pope Pius has a can of Cherry Coke and a smoke for break­fast and no one can say oth­er­wise.

3Though shalt be al­lowed a vice or two The Young Pope needs to re­lieve the stress of run­ning one of the world’s most im­por­tant faiths. For Lenny, that’s two things: play­ing tennis and smok­ing. Sure, the lat­ter isn’t the health­i­est op­tion, but hey – he wasn’t al­ways a man of the cloth and once your body is used to nico­tine, it’s dif­fi­cult to give up. At least he’s coun­ter­bal­anc­ing it by get­ting some car­dio train­ing on the tennis court, even if he’s still wear­ing his vest­ments and a wide-brimmed hat that make run­ning around like Roger Fed­erer al­most im­pos­si­ble.

4Though shalt be al­lowed to wield thy power with­out prej­u­dice He’s the pope… and that means Pius has a lot of power. And it’s not like he asked for the job – he was handed his seat by the pa­pal con­clave, a gath­er­ing of pow­er­ful car­di­nals who vote for their new leader. Would it not be wrong to do the job you’ve been charged with and lead by ex­am­ple? So when Pope Pius chooses to send trou­ble­some church el­ders to re­mote des­ti­na­tions, like, oh say, Alaska, no one should ar­gue and they should do as they’re told. They’ll even be given gloves, a warm over­coat and a first­class plane ticket…

5Though shalt be al­lowed a lit­tle white lie ev­ery now and then When he takes of­fice, pre­cious few in the Vat­i­can are aware of his past. And we’re not talk­ing about an ar­rest or some­thing small. Pope Pius re­ally is spir­i­tu­ally divine and in his youth, he lit­er­ally saved lives just by touch­ing peo­ple. That’s been kept hush-hush by his most trusted ally in the church, his “adop­tive” mother-fig­ure Sis­ter Mary (Diane Keaton), who also hap­pens to be his new pri­vate sec­re­tary.

Pope Pius has a cou­ple of vices to help de­stress.

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