Man oh man, the criticism out there on this TV series is so, so far off the mark! The Young Pope (2016) is a deeply thought-through meditation on the two perennially warring factions of the Catholic Church and, despite what it seems, it displays a solidly Catholic perspective. But to really get it, you’ll have to go farther back in the history and traditions of the Church than the Second Vatican Council—which, ironically, is exactly what Lenny Belardo, Pope Pius XIII (Jude Law; I’ll call him Lenny), would have wanted you to do. (The date of the series is 2016 because, though there’s a planned second season, it’s titled The New Pope, which fits the ending of this season perfectly and seems in all likelihood to follow a different story.)
In order to answer whether or not the first season of the Starz TV show American Gods (2017), adapted from Neil Gaiman’s novel, is worth watching, there is another question first and foremost to answer: Do you like the signature aesthetic of showrunner Bryan Fuller? He possesses the unique power to electrify your every single nerve ending, to push your mental state to the edge of sanity, to have your perception of beauty and reason questioned—this is Bryan Fuller, the developer, writer, and executive producer of the NBC TV show Hannibal (2013-15) as well as American Gods.