We wanted to be able to take The Young Pope seriously. We really did. We wanted to be wrong about how silly the concept of a hot young pope really is. —
And then we watched the first episode, and we quickly found it would be utterly impossible. HBO’s newest offering—a drama starring Jude Law as a cool, young, smokin’, sexin’ pope—is going to continue to be our favorite TV show that sounds like, looks like, and probably is a show invented by 30 Rock, even if the Catholic Jack Donaghy probably might have publicly balked at the suggestion.
The first two minutes of The Young Pope features the young pope himself crawling out of a pile of babies. Then, an iPhone ringtone sounds, and then Jude Law takes a shower and puts on a robe, and then Jude Law ditches his robe and shows us his ass. These are all true, wonderful facts about beginning of The Young Pope, and it only gets better from there.
It also just gets weirder, though of course we learn that that opening—and the “we have forgotten to masturbate” speech that followed—was just a dream. The young pope’s favorite breakfast is a Cherry Coke Zero, and he says things like “There’s a new pope now,” as he lights up a cigarette. His name is Lenny. He hates tourists. His mind is a gap. He doesn’t care if the nun (Diane Keaton) who took care of him as a young orphan has no experience in the papacy—she’s gonna be his special assistant anyway!
Basically, he’s the inexperienced new guy who’s here to buck all the traditions in a place where “it’s as if time were dead.”
Whether that tradition-bucking is a good or bad thing is currently very hard to tell, but we have to admit, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to watch the cardinals shudder every time Jude Law proves he’s the baddest pope in town. In fact, this entire show is a hell of a lot of fun, in the silliest, gif-iest way possible.
The Young Pope is a television treasure, perfectly primed to bring the internet together in a joyful way that hasn’t been seen in many months, and we must protect it at all costs.
The Young Pope airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.