'The Young Pope'
HBO, Jan. 15
From Twitter jokes to hot new must-watch – HBO’s much-buzzed-about drama has Jude Law as a rigidly conservative American cardinal whose understanding of Vatican politics helps him rise quickly to the office of pontiff. Italian creator/director Paulo Sorrentino (who won an Oscar for his 2013 film The Great Beauty) strikes a balance between political commentary and wild pageantry, making a visually splendid, often outright bizarre portrait of one powerful man’s whims and vindictiveness. Parallels to any current world leaders are, of course, completely intended. NM