A new series, acquired by Netflix and popular in Italy, is now streaming – Medici: Masters of Florence. If you’re a history buff, you might enjoy this new binge-watching opportunity regarding the Medici family who were bankers in the 15th century in the Republic of Florence. For more historical information, run over to Wikipedia and READ HERE.
The story stars Richard Madden, Stuart Martin, and Dustin Hoffman, among others. It begins with the death of Giovanni, who is the founder of the Medici family empire. His son, Cosimo de’ Medici takes over the family business and learns that his father had been murdered. The intrigue begins.
Be prepared to flop back and forth between a twenty-year period when Giovanni is alive and teaching his sons, as well as manipulating their lives to do his will. Sometimes it’s difficult to discover if you’re twenty years in the past or twenty years in the future, except for the difference in the hairstyles of the two sons.
Controlling, conniving, and underhandedly through bribery, the elder Giovanni influences the choice of the next pope. Its reward is to be the Vatican’s banker, which leads to prestige and additional wealth. In addition, he arranges a marriage for Cosimo (after sending away the woman he loves), and forbids his son to follow his true interest in life of art and architecture. The family business comes first.
I didn’t exactly find it the best of series for a few reasons:
- Miscasting – Dustin Hoffman is a poor choice to play the matriarch of the family – Giovanni. His acting is not up to par, and he just doesn’t fit the historical character’s role.
- Sound quality is absolutely terrible. Constantly, I had to crank up the volume to hear what they were saying, which I found annoying. This is an Italian production acquired exclusively by Netflix (though not by Netflix), so I’m not sure if that is the reason.
- The semi-interesting historical story line.
- The ancient city of Florence and its architecture.
- The costumes.
- History lessons on screen, such as the Black Death pandemic that was estimated to have killed 30-60% of Europe’s population.
- The surprising plot twist at the end of Season 1.
Nevertheless, check it out for a new period drama feast but beware it may not be your best meal.