Monday, November 11, 2013

The Borgia Apocalypse, or rather, how Neil Jordan tried to destroy a fandom

I've read a few scripts in my life for drama club (back when I was a wee little teen) to helping edits of a film friend. Hell, I even wrote a few back in High School for our class skits at the end of the year (which we won). They're simple and pretty much to the point, at least in my opinion.

The Borgias, if you haven't caught on yet, was a TV show I absolutely loved. Every week that it was in season I'd eagerly await the new episode and devour it as if it was the only sustenance I had in seven days. Much like with The White Queen and The Tudors, historical shows often catch my interest and then I become obsessed with the subject manner. I read all the books I can about that particular time and the famous people involved in it (See: The Family and coming soon, Blood and Beauty). 

The TV show was based on Mario Puzo's book, The Family, and centers around Lucrezia, Rodrigo, and Cesare Borgia. In The Family Puzo takes the rumored romance of siblings Lucrezia and Cesare and runs with it and seeing that this show was based on the book, I expected that to happen. Neil Jordan, the director of the TV show, right away expressed his distaste for the union of the sibling characters but, it seems, the fans and Showtime had a different idea. 

The actors who played these siblings had great chemistry and eventually, to the joy of the fans (myself included), the siblings made their sinful love for one another an open and consummated thing. I know, anyone who is reading this and hasn't seen the show is totally disgusted. But you need to see the show to understand, I swear. If you've seen it and you still find it gross then you're welcome to your opinion.

Anyway, historically there was a rumor of the siblings being romantically involved but there is no hard evidence stating as much. What probably happened was that people who hated the family began to circulate the rumor and it's stuck with the family history through all of these hundred years. 

Back to the TV show. The relationship was official and the fans rejoiced! Then it was announced that the show would be ending after three seasons rather than continuing with a final fourth season. The fans mourned. Myself included. But hold on, don't worry, Neil Jordan to the rescue! He submitted the final screenplay for the movie that was also axed for all of us to comfort ourselves with!

I bought it. I bought that thing so fast that my bank account didn't know what happened to it. Hindsight, I should've just waited for an illegal download of it, it wasn't worth my money. 

I read the screenplay in a matter of hours (and by hours, I'm pretty sure it was only two) and had fully expected that when I settled down to read the screenplay I would've come away from it feeling satisfied. Like getting a final hug from something before it goes. Like I could have properly said my goodbyes to my beloved Cesare and Lucrezia.

Nope. Wrong.

The only thing this screenplay did was make me remove my hatred for Showtime (I blamed them for canceling the show) and instead thank them. I think they were trying to save the fandom from what dastardly things Neil Jordan had planned. It seemed that a lot of other people agreed with me and the fandom, from my point of view, was in an uproar.

This is a little learning exercise for me as I realized that something can go very wrong, very fast when it comes to writing. I had expected a lot out of the screenplay but ended up wanting to throw my beloved Kindle across the room. Reading a conclusion to something, or maybe a sequel, in no way means you will be satisfied or find closure--at least not in the way you expected. I found myself relieved that this had not been produced and much more preferring my own daydreams of how the show ended rather than ever considering what Neil Jordan wrote as possibility.

If you enjoyed the tv show, if you had any ounce of caring for Lucrezia and Cesare, don't read this.

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