As per Netflix, the plot of their original series “Medici: Masters of Florence” is as follows: After his father’s murder, banking heir Cosimo Medici battles opponents of his artistic, economic and political visions for 15th-century Florence. Starring: Richard Madden, Dustin Hoffman, Stuart Martin.
They had me at “starring Richard Madden” (hello, Robb Stark!), but the fact that it’s based in 15th century Florence… Well, I’m a sucker for historical movies and shows almost as much as I am for Madden’s face, so I immediately downloaded the series onto my phone to watch on my breaks at work. I had faith in this show, especially after I saw what an amazing job Netflix did with “The Crown”. Unfortunately, though Madden delivered in terms of physical appearance (you can’t really mess that up), the show overall was not as good as it could have been.
First and foremost, the theme song threw me off because it doesn’t seem fitting for the time period and also was kind of superfluously annoying. Secondly, I’m not sure how an American-accented Giovanni de’ Medici has a British-accented (played by a Scottish actor) son who, with his British-accented wife, produce an Italian-accented offspring. It definitely gives off the idea that not too much thought was put into casting; I’m used to most historical films being portrayed by British actors and actresses, regardless of the country they are supposedly set in, so either commit to an all-British lead family, or make a full effort to cast the whole family as Italian. Not to mention that the actors playing Cosimo and Contessina were born in 1986 and 1984 respectively, while the actor playing their son Piero is born in 1987. Upon first seeing the three of them on camera, I thought Piero was Contessina’s not-so-secret lover, seeing as they all appear to be around the exact same age.
Though I’m not particularly well read in the history of the Medici family and can’t properly comment on the historical accuracy of the plotline, I can say that what I have read in regards to 15th century Florence is very dramatic and thus, it makes sense why this series has a rather “soap opera” kind of vibe to it. I can also note that I thought the costumes were quite good.
Overall, though it certainly was not the best historical show or movie I’ve watched, and the acting wasn’t as great as it could have been, I didn’t dislike the first season, and will most likely watch coming seasons as they are released onto Netflix.
Have you seen “Medici: Masters of Florence”? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments!