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TV series become DVDs face stiff competition in a market dominated by “Game of Thrones” and “House of Cards”.  But the ten episodes of this newcomer, for all its lavish production and superb acting, cannot compare with the others.  It is just as original as they are, but it  is, well, weird, to say the least.  Its story-line just doesn’t hack it.  When viewers have recovered from the oddity of a handsome 47-year-old American Pope, obsessed by his being abandoned by his hippie parents, who was raised in an orphanage by a nun now his personal assistant in the Vatican, both of whom smoke at least a pack a day, they may be ready for the story’s series-long question : “Does this Pope believe in God ?”, for the occasional miracles he works, and for the scenario’s unsubtle agenda to humanize the hierarchy and to question the Church’s doctrine on abortion and homosexuality.  The Cardinals are almost credible, but little else is in this papal fantasy too far-fetched to achieve its purpose.

RIDENDA      RELIGIO

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