The New Pope : Season 1 Episode 1 EXCLUSIVE
The New Pope is a drama television series created and directed by Paolo Sorrentino for Sky Atlantic, HBO and Canal+. It is a continuation of the 2016 series The Young Pope, originally announced as its second season. The nine-episode series stars Jude Law, reprising his role as Pope Pius XIII, and John Malkovich as Pope John Paul III, the titular new pope. It was co-produced by European production companies The Apartment, Wildside, Haut et Court TV and Mediapro.
The New Pope : Season 1 Episode 1
The series had its world premiere on 1 September 2019 at the 76th Venice International Film Festival, where episodes 2 and 7 were screened out of competition. It debuted on television on 10 January 2020 on Sky Atlantic in Italy, on 12 January on Sky Atlantic in the UK and Ireland and on 13 January on HBO and Canal+.
Cardinal Voiella, who never was a straight-up servant of God, gets the shock of his life when his plot to become the new pope doesn't work out quite as he expected on the The New Pope Season 1 Episode 1.
His reign, lasting the second half of the episode, would be an interesting character study in power and madness in itself, but Sorrentino has a different story to tell. After a meeting between the two Voiellos, they decide to take out Viglietti and elect Brannox at the new conclave. Bring in oyster-slurper Bauer and Pope Francis II loses his papal crown, right as Pope Pius XIII moves his finger.
War becomes a theme as we go deeper into the duplicitous political dealings behind the papacy. Alliances, scheming, blackmail, and backstabbing all transpire over the course of a mere hour. A new pope is named, rules for a short time with his radical God and Poverty policies, and then dies.
This leads us to the actual, titular New Pope, Sir John Brannox (John Malkovich). The episode is bookended with these big names, Jude Law and John Malkovich as the two leads of two connected limited series (not to be confused with The Two Popes on Netflix).
The nine-episode drama, produced by Sky Atlantic, HBO and Canal+, flows immaculately from The Young Pope and introduces, in episode 2, John Malkovich, as the British Pope John Paul III. Also returning are the seductive visuals and cultured lighting design.
The nine-episode original series from director Paolo Sorrentino is his second series set in the world of the modern papacy. The New Pope is written by Sorrentino with Umberto Contarello and Stefano Bises.
After nine months and several failed heart transplants, Pope Pius... More XIII remains comatose, but has developed a cult following and is revered as a saint by many. On the advice of Bauer, the Ambassador of the Holy See, Voiello decides a new pope must be elected to prevent Pius XIII from becoming an idol.
Voiello, Assente, Gutiérrez, Aguirre and Sofia travel to England to... More meet with Brannox and convince him to accept the role of pope before the papal conclave votes. A member of British aristocracy and admirer of John Henry Newman, Brannox is renowned.
Brannox discusses the possibility of being pope with Sofia and... More Gutiérrez. He later speaks to his parents, noting how ironic it is that their preferred long-gone son Adam could not become a prominent ecclesiastic figure, while he, the disgraced son, is now offered the highest position in the Church.
Sharon Stone meets with John Paul III and proposes gay... More marriage for Catholics and that the Vatican should better support modern artists. There is a terrorist attack in Lourdes, France. Sofia receives the pope's private number.
Sofia meets Leopold Essence, who tells her to follow the... More love to find failure. Esther returns to Attanasio and makes a deal with his mother to see other boys in need of sexual attention. Sofia goes to Voiello after learning that her husband, Spalletta and Guicciardini have sex with an underage escort girl together; Voiello gives this news to the pope.
I reproduce below an adaptation of the notes I took after each episode of The New Pope, which were then posted in a private Facebook group of like-minded Catholics dedicated to the series. Rather than give a full summary evaluation of The New Pope, I thought readers would find this more process-based approach to be interesting, as it shows how my reactions changed over time. That said, I may post something a bit more all-encompassing later. A word of warning: what follows is spoiler-heavy.
For its second season, The Young Pope has become The New Pope, with John Malkovich's John Brannox becoming Pope John Paul III after Pope Pius XII, aka Lenny Belardo (Jude Law) went into a coma in the season finale.
Mostly, though, the attack comes after he looks into the Venice crowd as sees two displeased-looking hippies who may or may not be his biological parents. Earlier in the season, we learned that Lenny's parents left him at an orphanage at a young age after moving from America to Venice. However, it is never said whether they are his parents that he is seeing, just two people that remind him of his mom and dad, or if they are a vision that Lenny is having due to his cardiac arrest.
Viewers of The New Pope wondering what happened to Lenny's mentor Sister Mary (played in The Young Pope by Diane Keaton), the woman who raised him in an orphanage who he brought with him to The Vatican, this is also explained in the finale of the first season. In that episode, Pius sent her to Africa.