We’ve got a Primer on The Young Pope for You


The Young Pope is coming soon, and we’re confident that it’s going to be a shock to the system. Get ready with this handy primer.

We’re inching closer and closer to the premiere of Paolo Sorrentino’s The Young Pope, but the wait isn’t getting any easier. In fact, just the opposite is happening. It’s not to often that North America is the last to see get a series like this. It’s possible that, up until now, what The Young Pope is really about has gotten away from you. We understand. That’s why we are here to guide you through one of our most anticipated shows of the season.

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First and foremost, The Young Pope is about a man named Lenny Belardo, played by Jude Law. A depressive man with an ego and persecution complex, he is also an American Archbishop from New York. He, astoundingly, becomes Pope Pius XIII. He believes that the Vatican should be feared and powerful like it once was. The New York Times is calling The Young Pope “beautiful and ridiculous,” which his perfectly in line with expectations. There is some camp here, folks.

Lenny was raised by Sister Mary, played by Diane Keaton. Sister Mary becomes the Pope’s personal secretary, though the trailers have shown us that there is some tension now between the two of them. For what it’s worth, Sister Mary is convinced that Lenny is blessed in some way. Hence, you know, the ego. As Pope, Lenny will face serious opposition from Cardinal Michale Spencer, played by James Cromwell. Cardinal Spencer was Lenny’s mentor once upon a time, but now feels that he is a threat. That’s fair, because he totally is.

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Because something like House of Cards exists, we can’t say that we haven’t seen anything like this before. Still, it’s enough of a different experience to stand well on its own and against comparison. If fighting over religious power sounds like your thing, we’ll be recapping all 10 episodes of The Young Pope’s first season, which starts on January 15th.