Without much fanfare—at least that I noticed—an 8-episode series started on NetFlix in December 2016. Medici: Masters of Florence, starring Game of Thrones alumni Richard Madden, is a historical period drama. It follows the beginnings of the Medici influence over Florence and their role in bringing the art and culture of the Renaissance to Italy.
The first season covers the young adult life of Cosimo de’ Medici. The show does take some liberties with historical accuracy, but unless you are a medieval Italian scholar, it shouldn’t be too distracting. A fast pace and excitement blend with political intrigue to create an amazing story.
The second season introduces viewers to Cosimo’s grandson Lorenzo—who became known to history as Lorenzo the Magnificent. It covers the events surrounding the Pazzi conspiracy of 1478. British actor Sean Bean—also of Game of Thrones—plays Jacopo Pazzi. And if you know anything about roles typically played by this actor, he doesn’t disappoint.
The third season picks up in the aftermath of the Pazzi conspiracy and how Lorenzo wrestles with sponsoring a flourishing art and educational environment while fighting in political battles. He faces off against the armies of the Papal states and other rivals. He faces down excommunication and the loss of loved ones.
If you haven’t had a chance to see this series, I cannot recommend it enough. I try to limit my screen time to one episode a night, but I could easily have watched all 24 episodes in one setting.