Paolo Sorrentino is back, and this time on television. From the very first episode, it is evident that one couldn’t hope for a better debut on a new platform. The series’ quality is extremely high, especially on the technical side. The stunning and skilful cinematography we have learnt to associate to Sorrentino, together with some Fellinian dreamlike scenes, elevate the status of “The Young Pope” to that of a “cinematographic series”.
As we proceed through the episodes, the narrative does not follow the direction we expect, and the series’ tone becomes very different, but this is not a bad thing. Jude Law’s character is the classical anti-hero at first, but soon becomes a tyrant, making us lose any sympathy we felt for him. Nonetheless, the series remains watchable until the end, and although the quality of the first half of the series is much higher than the rest, it remains a very respectable achievement.
“The Young Pope” is definitely not your traditional TV show, and this is a good thing. Although it does present itself as a mainstream dystopian series, it is in fact much more than that. At times it still feels like a work in progress, but after all it’s Sorrentino’s television debut, and he probably needs more time to adapt his style to a format that is at once suitable for TV and faithful to his vision.