Parents' Guide to

The Young Pope

By Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Pope has attitude in dramatic but not-that-fun series.

TV HBO Drama 2017
The Young Pope Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 18+

Just why?

The show is thought provoking, yes, but after the third episode it’s just weird. It’s shot beautifully but that does not make up for how long this storyline has dragged on with nothing new and no end in sight. The pope is at times a complex character but most of the time he is just unlikeable. Not to mention how much explicit sex is in this show. I mean, I guess I should have figured since it’s hbo but damn. It was a little intense but not too bad until a full on threesome randomly gets thrown in with no warning. It was like a full on porno? For what? Just don’t bother. I’ll save you some time, Jude law is a rude pope that hates everyone and there’s lots of body parts that you don’t really want to see without warning.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
age 18+

A great series about a "different" Pope but which contains a lot of explicit sex

BE WARNED: this film contains LOTS of explicit sexual content: *the Pope talking about masturbation *scenes of prolonged frontal female nudity *passionate kissing and fondling *one non-explicit passionate sex scene *the Pope touches the breast of a woman who was meant to seduce him (but she ends up being healed of her sterility) *VERY EXPLICIT THREESOME sex orgy including a young cardinal *suggested paedophilia incident between a bishop and a young man *flashbacks of skinny dipping with hippy parents *a beautiful woman strips naked and tries to seduce a priest *scene of seven naked women painted with the letters B A S T A R D on their chests Overall VERY SEXUAL themes; however the series is gripping and thought-provoking, especially in the depiction of the Pope who does not get tangled up in any of the filth happening around him, but rather denounces it and works to uphold moral virtue. Many very beautiful moments. Some people may eventually be bothered by the incessant smoking by several of the main characters, especially the Pope himself. Swearing is rare but there is the odd F-word shouted here and there. All in all a very well-filmed and exciting series, but definitely not for kids or teens.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (1 ):

If there was only one thing -- anything -- to like about Jude Law's character, Lenny Boello, this series would be a lot more fun to watch. But Lenny turned Pope Pius XIII is such an ego-drenched, dreadful person that even the scenes of him as a child don't give him enough of a human side to make him a care-worthy character. The pace of the nearly hour-long-per-episode series feels quite slow. There's only so many discussions about church politics and policies that can sound interesting, especially when the pope just wants to talk about who's going to serve him and how he can insult them.

The plus sides of The Young Pope are definitely the beautiful shots of Rome, St. Peter's Square, and the rest of Vatican and the supporting cast, including Diane Keaton as Sister Mary, a nun from Lenny's childhood. Sister Mary seems like she may be the only one who not only can handle but find something to love in Lenny.

TV Details

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