HBO’s The Young Pope is a venerable work of art worth its weight in poetic tears expelled by my own two ducts. This shit is good. It’s pause-when-your-roommate-coughs levels of good. It won’t be a fortnight before I quit my job to start selling WWTYPD T-shirts on the L train that read “WHO THE FUCK KNOWS?!?!?!” on the back, which I will do as soon as I look up how long a fortnight is. (Also that’s a good shirt idea; don’t steal that.)
Maybe you have yet to watch and are thinking, “What’s the big deal? Sounds boring!” To which I’d patronizingly reply: “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a histrionic pope, of a tender 47 and played by a strapping Jude Law, must be intolerably stupid.” (I’m sorry, that was an offensive hijacking of a Jane Austen aphorism about the importance of reading, but it holds in this case I feel like.)
The first time I watched the The Young Pope I myself was a woman of a tender 27, bleary-eyed and cynical about the condition of the world. I’m still that way — this was like two weeks ago — but I now refer to that dark time as BTYP. If you, too, want to leave your past behind with the false comfort of an acronym, I implore you to cancel your weekend plans and catch up. Episodes seven and eight air this Sunday and Monday, respectively. (Yes, it’s on twice a week, not that we deserve it.)
Ten reasons why:
Reason #1: Pope style
The Pope always looks amazing. His gowns/robes/not sure what you call them are whiter/fresher than the walls of your favorite minimalist blogger’s condo in 2013. His hats are inspirationally large and act as a physical barrier for the plebes who wish to get close to him.
Reason #2: Pretty nature
A lot of the show is shot in very sunny weather in a green and thriving garden, which, face it, your trash attitude, cold heart and tired eyes need rn.
Reason #3: Someone smeared the camera lens with vaseline
This is calming and good for your cholesterol.
Reason #4: The silence
It’s very quiet. Watching it is basically akin to meditating for the low price of an HBO sub/the lingering guilt you feel for still using your ex’s dad’s login.
Reason #5: The eerie parallels to you-know-who
It starts raining during his inaugural papal address…
Reason #6: Jude Law
Jude Law murders this role. I hope he wins 10,455 Emmys and Golden Globes and why not a VMA for it. Second only to him is his fake hair, which does an incredible job of acting like real hair.
Reason #7: It’s surreal
Aside from just generally being gorgeous to look at, the show is set in this sort of parallel universe that resembles ours but not entirely. The surreal edge to it makes it feel like an escape, which is vital. There’s also a kangaroo in it.
Reason #8: The slow and careful plot
Don’t complain about this. Just think of all your undiagnosed anxiety. You need this.
Reason #9: The soundtrack
When it’s not silent, The Young Pope sounds so good: a mix of electronic and classical music and a haunting original score. It’s the sound of you putting your Sunday Scaries in a blender and drinking them like a gym bro drinks his protein.
Reason #10: The young Pope
This best part of this show is that it’s about a Pope that is young. I don’t know if I mentioned that. Like he’s younger than most Popes. He smokes nonstop cigarettes inside the church, drinks Cherry Coke Zero, manipulates the shit out of everyone and is just a full-stop outrageous and unpredictable psychopath who you may or may not develop a conflicted crush on.
Pls watch. Thank you so much.
Photos courtesy of HBO.