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Hiatus in Temperus

Mysidian Moments Photojournal

Greetings friends and followers!

Well, some good news and some bad; first, the bad. Life (personal and professional) have decided to get a little more tumultuous than I would like, which is going to put a crimp in getting the weekly postings up. Hopefully, it will only be a few week interruption, but I did want to at least give a heads up.

But, the good news should make up for the temporary silence on the blog front:
* First and foremost, the primary Mysidian Moments website is getting a major renovation. Its been in the works for a while now, but the trigger has been pulled, as it were. Once the bugs are worked out and I’m happy with the look and feel, it’ll go live.
* Next, I’ve been looking at how to sell prints and canvases of my photographs online, so the website will be incorporating a…

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Japanese Maple

Your death, near now, is of an easy sort.

So slow a fading out brings no real pain.

Breath growing short

Is just uncomfortable. You feel the drain

Of energy, but thought and sight remain:

 
Enhanced, in fact. When did you ever see

So much sweet beauty as when fine rain falls

On that small tree

And saturates your brick back garden walls,

So many Amber Rooms and mirror halls?

 
Ever more lavish as the dusk descends

This glistening illuminates the air.

It never ends.

Whenever the rain comes it will be there,

Beyond my time, but now I take my share.

 
My daughter’s choice, the maple tree is new.

Come autumn and its leaves will turn to flame.

What I must do

Is live to see that. That will end the game

For me, though life continues all the same:

 
Filling the double doors to bathe my eyes,

A final flood of colors will live on

As my mind dies,

Burned by my vision of a world that shone

So brightly at the last, and then was gone.

 

by Clive James 

 

This poem, originally posted in the New Yorker, was a poem of farewell from their poet laurette who was facing his end.  A truly touching work of art…

On Saturday evening, Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar premiered outside the San Diego Comic-Con.  This fan film was founded via Kickstarter and is a prequel (of sorts) to the primary project, Star Trek: Axanar.

Prelude to Axanar

The story involves a History Channel-like show that is giving the set-up to the famed Battle of Axanar.  During the first major war the United Federation of Planets fought, they were losing.  The Klingon Empire, both threatened and unimpressed with the Federation, had decided to launch an invasion.  After more than a year of success, the Federation, reeling from continued losses, changed tact.  Aside from shake-ups in the command structure, more daring strategies were combined with an arms races with between the galactic powers.  Due to Admiral Samuel TravisKlingon’s arrogance, their gains were reversed- though they were not beaten nor dissuaded.  The film ends with the premise of forcing a battle that would end the war, one way or the other.

 

The cast for Prelude is small- only a handful of characters were relaying their stories to the historical production. However, the pedigree of these actors, especially for what is essentially a fan-film, is quite stellar. The cast includes: Tony Todd (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Candyman) as Marcus Ramirez, Kate Vernon (Battlestar Galactica, Falcon Crest) as Sonya Alexander, Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica, The Streets of San Francisco) as General Kharn, J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Zorro) as Samuel Travis, Gary Graham (Star Trek: Enterprise, Alien Nation) Kharnreprising his role from Enterprise as Ambassador Soval & Alec Peters as Garth of Izar.  The experience of the casting shows through as well- this feels much closer to an independent film, or even a smaller studio production, than a fan film- though to be fair, the crew made a lot of this happen as well.

 

Of special notes are the special effects- vignettes of starships, both traveling and fighting, shown during the interviews to punctuate what the characters are relating.  The quality of the CGI and the overall feel of the space shots reminds Trek fans of the motion pictures, (not the new JJ Abrams one, but the Prime Timeline movies).  However, the fights felt a bit sedated- though this review believes that is due to only showing the exteriors of the fights, without inside the ship shots to show how Cygnus IIIthe crew was reacting.  It is presumed this missing element will be shown in the movie proper- but for a history show, (fictional or otherwise), it worked.

 

Other elements of the background worked as well.  The script, while fairly bare bones, portrayed each character as a distinct personality; Captain Alexander is not interchangeable with Captain Travis, nor were Kharn and Rameriz mirror images.  Further, the framing device of the history show felt mostly right- if I were to nitpick, the footage was a little too clean for material captured during a battle, even in the 22nd Century.  The music was also understated, lending to an educational feel.  Lastly, the lighting for the two interview rooms gave them a distinctly different feel, suiting the different affiliations and their settings quite well.

 

This reviewer does hope that the Axanar movie proper will address how the Federation could be beaten back so easily by the Klingons after a founding member, Earth, succeeded alone against another galactic power in the Earth-Romulan Wars.  There seem to be four possibilities: 1) the ERW exhausted Earth and the Federation spent significant resources rebuilding the Terran infrastructure, Ares Constructionleaving the Federation weakened; 2) the ERW was fought in a vastly significant way tactically, with Starfleet busy fighting the last war while the Klingons were not; 3) the Klingon Empire is simply vastly superior militarily to the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire, or 4) the ERW was a border war, and this was the first all-out interstellar war Earth and the Federation fought, whereas the Klingons fought them frequently.  Without addressing this, (especially in the context of a historical look back), it will seem odd that the Four-Year War went so badly for the Federation, after a founding member held off another Star Empire independently.

 

(One minor detail that breaks from the Prime Timeline canon is the importance of Axanar: the movie concludes with Garth’s plan, using Axanar as bait.  Part of the reason for this is the temptation of destroying the Federation’s newest ships, the Consitution-class starships, in construction over Axanar.  Most notably, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) was shown among them- however, canonically, the Enterprise was constructed over Earth in the San Francisco Yards.  But, if tiny details like this are your main problem, that’s pretty good.  (And quite frankly, show a level of care and concern far above the recent Star Trek reboot movies.))

 

Lastly, there are some Easter Eggs included.  I will leave them for you to find, save for this one: eagle-eyed Battlestar Galactica fans, was the first Federation ship shown and destroyed- the USS Triton, NCC-1439; (the Battlestar Triton, destroyed in the Colonial Holocaust, was designated BSG-39).

 

Overall, Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar is an impressive short film.  Despite being an entirely independent project, it feels like it would easily have come out of the Paramount lot.  And even though the entire film is essentially a framing device for the Axanar movie proper, it does its jobs and whets the appetite for more.

 

 

If you’re looking for the TL:DR version, if you are a Star Trek fan or enjoy good science fiction, definitely give Prelude to Axanar a watch once it become available to the general public at the end of July- you won’t regret it.

 

The Kickstarter for the main project, Star Trek: Axanar, went online this weekend and is, at this moment, over 90% funded.  Given what they did for Prelude, I see the funding being reached- and the final product should be glorious…  You can check it out Kickstarter- Star Trek: Axanar.  In the meantime, while waiting for Prelude to Axanar to release, here is the preview.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star Trek- Prelude to Axanar on IMDb

 

Here is a recap of the alternatives to said to help your writing have more sizzle…

 

Synonyms For Said – Reporting

 

added
advised
called
complained
congratulated
continued
stated
announced
asserted
commented
declared
informed
lied
observed
offered
mentioned
protested
quoted
recalled
related
reminded
remarked
remembered
repeated
replied
reported
reassured
revealed
taunted
teased
tempted
to enhance an argument
to warn, to offer help
to capture attention by increased volume
to express dislike or disagreement
to give wishes; to acknowledge an action or deed
to further or add to an earlier point
to say or paraphrase from official documents
to declare formally and or publicly
to state positively but having no proof
to explain, interpret, or criticize – to make a remark
to make known clearly and openly
to give information, to make known; declare
to not speak truthfully
to mention casually
to suggest; to state
to state briefly; to bring up in conversation
to formally or openly disagree
to repeat words of others; to cite a source
to remember or bring up
to make connection; to say allegorically
to remember; to mention so as not to forget
to make a brief, casual statement of an opinion
to recall
to say again; to restate
to answer; to say in response
to give a formal statement; to give an account of
to give additional comfort, support, or evidence
to make known; to publish
to cruelly tease in a mocking or insulting manner
to annoy or pester; vex
to cause to consider (usually) something bad

Synonyms For Said – Explaining

 

addressed
answered
asserted
assured
broke in
cautioned
claimed
concluded
confided
described
explained
finished
quipped
implied
noted
promised
puzzled
reckoned
rejoined
replied
responded
retorted
returned
speculated
surmised
to speak directly to sme, respond or answer
to respond to a question
to add or offer additional information
to soothe, comfort, calm
to interrupt, supplying additional information
to warn or advise; strongly suggest
to assert or maintain; to state as fact
to finish or draw to a close; to understand
to let in on a secret; to disclose
to give additional information
to make or offer an explanation
to conclude or complete
to say ironically or unemotionally
to suggest, hint, or say without saying
to make mention; to acknowledge
to give word or make a vow
to say with doubt or ambiguity
to add or submit; to figure or believe
to answer an objection
to answer a question or comment
to reply or answer a question or comment
to reply to criticism in a sharp, witty way
to answer an objection; to reply to a criticism or charge
to guess using information available
to conclude or deduce

Synonyms For Said – Arguing

 

accused
agreed
argued
commanded
contended
convinced
countered
chided
disagreed
emphasized
exclaimed
interjected
interrupted
maintained
objected
pleaded
proclaimed
proposed
reasoned
sassed
screamed
threatened
warned
yelled
to charge, slander
to concur, to be in harmony
defend position, disagree or dispute
lead; overwhelm opposition
to argue, dispute, disagree
persuaded; remove all doubt, win over
to dispute, question
to scold mildly; to goad into action
to be at odds; to not agree
to stress
to speak suddenly, loudly with surprise
to add or assert; to interrupt
to cut off or disrupt; to interject out of turn
to assert, to support by argument, to affirm
to disagree; be in oppostion to
to implore or beg; to speak desperately
to announce officially; support publicly
to set forth a design or plan
to state calmly and with logic
to speak back to authority figure; rebel
to use high pitch loud voice
to say in menacing manner
to make aware in advance of harm, danger, or evil
to shout or use loud voice; scream

 

Synonyms For Said – Suggesting

 

chimed in
coaxed
dared
hinted
implied
insinuated
intimated
pondered
suggested
urged
to add (usually) unwanted advice
to convince against someone’s will; change mind
challenge, question
implies suggestion
similar to suggest – indicates a definite idea
to convey sth unpleasant in a sly, sneaky way
to say without saying, stresses delicacy of situation
to consider; to weigh all options
to propose as a possibility, to imply
To entreat earnestly and often repeatedly; exhort

 

Synonyms For Said – Questioning

 

asked
begged
blurted
bugged
demanded
guessed
hypothesized
implored
inquired
insisted
pleaded
questioned
requested
wondered
worried
to question or solicit
to ask in a humble manner earnestly
to interrupt or interject, to ask all together
to ask repetitively; difficult or unwanted questions
to ask for urgently and boldly
to infer; to ask without evidence
to guess, infer
to ask with fervor, implying desperation or distress
to ask, seek information
to demand strongly, to declare firmly
to answer a legal charge, to lovingly implore
to ask, doubt, or dispute
to ask (sometimes) formally
to say with puzzlement or doubt
to cause to feel anxious, distressed, or troubled

 

Said Synonyms – Acknowledging

 

acknowledged
admitted
affirmed
alleged
approved
avowed
boasted
bragged
conceded
confessed
corrected
denied
disclosed
divulged
fretted
greeted
imitated
jested
marveled
nodded
praised
revealed
uttered
volunteered
reluctant disclosure of something perhaps a secret
reluctance to disclose or concede facts
implies deep conviction, little chance of contradiction
to assert or declare, especially without proof
to consent or agree
boldly declaring, often in the face of opposition
to take pride in, brag or overstate
to boast or overstate; be prideful
similar to acknowledge and admit
an admission of a weakness, failure, omission, or guilt
to instruct more correctly; remove misconception
not accepted; unused, refused
to reveal something previously concealed
to reveal sth that should have remained secret
to needlessly worry about small details
to acknowledge presence; salute, salutation
to copy, mimic or simulate
to make fun of, tease
to speak with wonderment or amazement
to move head up and down in agreement
to speak of with honor; to speak highly of someone
to make known that which had been secret or hidden
to articulate; pronounce or speak
to give or offer to give voluntarily

 

Synonyms For Said – Tone

 

barked
bawled
beamed
bellowed
bleated
boomed
cackled
chattered
cheered
choked
clucked
cried
croaked
crowed
declaimed
drawled
groaned
grumbled
grunted
jeered
joked
laughed
mimicked
mumbled
murmured
muttered
nagged
ordered
ranted
roared
scolded
shouted
shrieked
smiled
smirked
snapped
snarled
sneered
squeaked
wailed
whispered
to speak sharply or loudly; shout
to cry loudly
to glow, shine, radiate
to roar, to cry out in anger or fear
to repeat same sound (cry) again and again
to speak with loud, deep, voice; a thunderous sound
to laugh cynically – implies sinister intent; sneer
to speak noisily about something unimportant; small talk
to yell loudly; to give a shout
to speak with great difficulty due to emotion
noise made using tongue against bottom of mouth
to call for help, to shout, to weep, to sob
to make a sound like a frog; hoarse voice
to speak in a self satisfied way; to boast
to speak in a pompous way
to speak in a way that prolongs the vowels
to make noise in chest or throat
to speak under one’s breath; to show disapproval
to make unintelligible low sounds
to speak or shout derisively; to mock
to make a joke or speak in funny manner
to say in fun, joking manner
to say by copying another; to make fun of by imitating
to utter inarticulate or almost inaudible sounds
to speak in a low, indistinct voice
to speak in a low, indistinct voice; inarticulate
to badger; to continually remind
to speak demandingly, with authority
to make short, angry monologue or speech
to utter a loud, deep sound; animalistic
to find fault; speak angrily
to make a loud cry or call
to make a loud, piercing cry or sound
to say good naturedly, kindly; in a kind manner
to say with contempt
to say suddenly and angrily
to say with a hateful rage
to say in scornful manner
to say with tiny high pitched voice
to express grief or pain through long, loud cries
to speak softly to avoid being overheard

 

Synonyms For Said – Sounds & Misc.

 

babbled
bubbled
chatted
chortled
chorused
chuckled
coughed
decided
echoed
gasped
giggled
growled
gulped
gurgled
hissed
hollered
lisped
panted
piped
quavered
shrilled
sighed
snickered
sniffed
snorted
sobbed
sputtered
stammered
stuttered
vowed
wept
whimpered
whine
to speak incoherently; gibberish, like baby talk
to speak lively and expressively; with joy
to speak informally as to a friend
to chuckle gleefully; short laugh of joy
to speak simultaneously, together
short, soft laugh; usually to one’s self
short, strong expulsion of air from lungs
finished, set
repeated sound
heavy breath after scare or physical exertion
short, high-pitched laugh from fear or nervousness
rough, threatening manner
to speak taking in large amounts of air as if drinking
to speak with fluid in the throat
to speak in evil threatening manner
to shout usually to someone at a distance
to speak unclearly substituting sounds especially ‘th’
to speak as if out of breath
to speak suddenly and loudly
to speak emotionally with faltering voice
high pitched shriek
to speak with difficulty as if bored
to say derisively with a laugh
to say as if about to cry
to say with contempt and a short burst of breath
to cry uncontrollably
to speak with difficulty perhaps from impediment
repeating words and sounds while missing others
to repeat certain sounds multiple times
to promise solemnly; pledge
to cry softly, quietly
to cry or sob with soft intermittent sounds; whine
to complain or protest in a childish fashion

 

When we last left the Eureka cast, it was a on a high note turned sour.  The Astreaus mission to Titan is ready finalizing for its exploratory mission, goodbyes are being said, but overall, a definite sense of accomplishment and anticipation.  Of course, this means something goes wrong- after all the crew is aboard in their protective chambers, the ship launches uncontrollably with Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) unintentionally aboard.  And that’s where we left off…

Here there be spoilers…

 

Episode 1, Lost- We start off with the Astreaus, and find out what happened.  In fact, it is a solid, surprisingly action-packed beginning to the final season- definitely a welcome surprise- since we left of a cliffhanger and aren’t normally treated to strong action sequences. The crew crash lands- wait a minute, on Earth?- and almost four years have passed.  This comes as quite a shock to the crew, but we see it most clearly with Allison and Zane (Niall Matter), who find out their significant others, Sheriff Jack Carter, (Colin Ferguson) and Deputy Lupo (Erica Cerra), have moved on and gotten together with each other.  Further complicating matters, there has been a change in how things are run in Eureka- it’s very Stepford Wives, except instead of robot replacements, Android Deputy Andy (Kavan Smith) and his A.I. brethren control the people of Eureka using a device from the show’s history.

Aside from the changes in the town, a few things seem wrong.  One of the most prominent elements is how tightly “happy thoughts” are enforced in the town.  When Zane and Lupo have an argument outside of Café Diem, one of the Martha flying drones incapacitates Zane.  In fact, this incident leads to Carter, Allison and everyone deciding it times to take the town back.  After noting the change of Dr. Parrish’s (Wil Wheaton) personality, they know which invention needs to be used.  The ensemble cast gets a good chance to showcase individual members, without it feeling “by the numbers”. Once the Andy problem is resolved, the crew of the Astreaus begin to integrate into the freed town once more.

 

Episode 2, The Real Thing- This episode begins with the return of Beverly Barlowe (Debrah Farentino) in a lab, surrounded by the Astreaus crew.  Each crew member is hooked up, and we learn they are not four years in the future, but tied into a virtual reality simulator.  This is what was teased at when Zane was unconscious, (if you paid close attention and remembered it for a week), but does come out of left field.  We learn that all 21 members of the crew survived and are being used to develop new technologies for the Consortium.  And, we learn that the time skip inside the VR lets helps to form new memories in the crew, as well as explain any anomalies in the program.  Honestly, this reviewer found the lack of transition from Futurama Eureka to in a VR simulation a bit jarring.  A few seconds from the POV of an unconscious character in one episode, to full reveal in the intro of the next? Aside from this point, the surprises play out quite well.

Which brings us back to Eureka.  In the month that the crew and the Astreaus has been missing, Jack, Kevin (Trevor Jackson) and Henry (Joe Morton) have been working furiously trying to find the ship.  Of course, they have been looking to the stars- the mission was to Titan, after all.  Once Senator Wen (Ming-Na) officially calls off the search, Kevin resorts to his old tricks of borrowing from Eureka’s scientists to assist his search.  In fact, Henry confirms that he has designed a device that can track the Astreaus- so Jack and Carter send out a call for the parts they need.  The residents of the town respond with everything they can, just short one crucial piece.  With Andy and the returned Lupo’s help, they are able to secure it from a nearby military outpost.

In V-Eureka, the stress on the system causes an iguana experiment from the mission to become a dragon.  Fargo and Holly disagree on if it can be real, because dragons are mythical.  In fact, no one really can believe it, even after a few minor injuries and capturing said dragon.   Holly’s scratches, however, prove to be the solution to a problem with the VR matrix.

Back in the real world, the tracking device is activated.  Eureka’s best rolls out to rescue the crew, but they only find the ship and the room with the unimportant equipment from the simulation.  This gives Jack a hunch, and which he uses to find out that Eureka had a mole- one who tipped off the kidnappers.  The back and forth between Virtual Eureka and Real Eureka worked well in this episode, and served to play off each environment.  That said, the death of the character feels like it was more for shock value- one might say Whedon-esque- especially given the resources available and the benefits of keeping him/her alive.

The first season of “Falling Skies” introduced us to the world six months after an alien invasion.  Skitters roam the land with Mech (robots) and Beamers (airships), slaughtering adults while capturing and harnessing children.  90% of humanity has been wiped out, with all major governments and cities devastated or destroyed.  Surviving Americans had organized into groups of fighters and civilians based on their location- the focus of “Falling Skies” is the 2d Massachusetts Regiment.  (You can read more about the <a href=>first season here</a>.)  The finale had the second in command, Tom Mason, played by Noah Wyle (“ER”, “Pirates of Silicon Valley”), walking onto an alien ship with a Slender, the alien overseers, after a successful attack on the Boston mothership.

Season two begins three months later, with the 2d Mass leading a Skitter and Mech unit into an ambush.  During the skirmish, Tom reappears only to be accidentally shot by Ben, (Connor Jessup (“The Saddle Club”, “King”)), his formerly harnessed son.  The first episode, “Worlds Apart”, is divided between Tom’s flashbacks in surgery and the group preparing to leave their temporary shelter which is in danger of being overrun.  The second premiere episode, “Shall We Gather at the River”, has a wounded and possibly compromised Tom coming to grips with the changes in the survivors, especially his three sons, as the 2d Mass tries to escape across the last bridge across the Housatonic River.  We conclude with a successful retreat as Red-Eye, a Skitter who has been prominent in both episodes, observing them move out.

The first season felt leaden, with interpersonal morass and without any of the action one would expect of a science fiction military drama.  Season two changes this with a heavy dose of action, more natural dialogue and an enhancement of the special effects.  The invaders feel like a threat, both individually and as a whole.  The 2d Mass looks more ragged and on edge, having lost their home base and taken has been casualties.  We see new members of the group and hear about the Battle of Fitchburg, which was a pyrrhic victory at best.  The group has also been much more aggressive, attacking and setting frequent ambushes- despite having lost their Applied Phlebotinum.  All of this leads to a much crisper drama with characters you vest in and a show you want to watch.

A significant slice of the show’s improvement can be attributed to the new blood, much of it having a Battlestar Galactica pedigree.  Remi Aubuchon, (“Caprica”, “24”) took over as showrunner for the season.  The writing duo of Bradley Thompson and David Weddle, (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, “Battlestar Galactica”), also joined the show, penning the second episode.  A great example of their snappier writing in the movement across the bridge long shot, which introduced Crazy Lee, played by Luciana Carro (“The L Word”, “Battlestar Galactica”).  The first season veterans stepped up as well- David Weddle stated, “You can thank (Steven) Spielberg (“Saving Private Ryan”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”) for the special effects.  He said, ‘I want them better- especially the aliens.’”  The thanks would be well deserved as the Skitters look more realistic, the Mech more formidable, the Slenders much more menacing, and the series overall feels significantly grittier- all of which are welcome changes.

If the first two episodes are representative of what is in store with season two, “Falling Skies” will be a great addition to the science fiction canon.  Both episodes grew the characters while delivering impressive action- a delightful blend I am looking forward to seeing more of.

 

TL;DR?

The Season two opener of Falling Skies has a much stronger punch than season one combined…

It was a good birthday…

Mysidian Moments Photojournal

LACMA Selfie LACMA Selfie

On 22 January 2014, museum visitors, curators, managers and mascots from all over the world will be taking part in #MuseumSelfie day – a Twitter project aimed at raising awareness of the great collections being housed by national and regional museums across the globe. This photo was my submission to the event, taken in from of LACMA’s Urban Lights installation.

I thought it was appropriate to share today.

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Just in case you wanted to have a rematch in order…

Geekritique

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Jeremy Irons, (“Reversal of Fortune”, “The Lion King”), stars as Rodrigo Borgia Pope Alexander Sextus in Showtime’s medieval drama, “The Borgias”.  The second season was concluded with the most recent episode, “The Confession.”  The season has covered several events of the historical Borgia account, from the invasion of King Charles VIII of France, played by Michel Muller, (“Hénaut Président”, “The High Life”), to the heresy of Girolamao Savanarola, performed by Steven Berkoff (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “Forest of the Gods”).  Even with the multiple storylines weaving forward, the season was able to focus strongly on the Borgia family and secondary characters, bringing them fully to life.

The finale was started in the last episode’s final moment- as Cesare, portrayed by François Arnaud (“Yamaska”, “I Killed My Mother”), ended his fraternal rivalry permanently.  This carried into the main story- what happened to Alexander’s favorite son, Juan Borgia, played by David Oakes (“Pillars of the Earth”, “Trinity”), and who did it to him.  Seeing Iron’s breaking from the loss to realizing who had done it was exceptionally moving.  It was felt strongly in his counter-confession, explaining that favors he bestowed on Juan came so easily because Cesare was so like him.  Then, to follow it with the laying to rest of his son; the scene- the music, the appearance, the contrast to the simultaneous events- is enough to move most anyone to tears.

The Borgias S02E09While “The Borgias” is a historical drama, it takes great liberties with the histories.  The basis of the story, the mafia-esque nature of Pope Alexander Sextus, is taken from the viewpoints of his political rivals.  While the rampant nepotism was the norm of the time, charges such as simony are largely undocumented.   In contrast, Popes Urban VIII and Sixtux V declared him an outstanding pope.  Truthfully, we can see reflections of this exultation or demonization of individuals in modern politics.  Further, the creative liberties extend beyond the papal portrayal- time and events are modified.  The Savonarola reformation and Roman response took place years after Juan’s death, meaning it could not be a factor in Cesare’s actions or forgiveness.  Accuracies notwithstanding, “The Borgias”’s take on the Vatican’s drama of the late 15th century is masterfully done and wonderfully entertaining.

The second season of “The Borgias” comes to a close with a cliffhanger- the plot finally reaches fruition.  The fraternal rivalry has ended, though a paternal schism may have appeared.  Through it all, the majesty and dark recesses of medieval Rome come across vividly.  It is a Rome of depth that is rarely seen from a time that the Eternal City is rarely shown.  All in all, “The Borgias” is a beautifully done, both visually and audibly- which only serves to enhance the great storyline the fleshed out characters travel.  If you crave outstanding drama, you will not be disappointed.