Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A new pope rises on The New Pope

Illustration for article titled A new pope rises on iThe New Pope/i
Photo: Gianni Fiorito (HBO)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Monday, January 27. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

The New Pope (HBO, 9 p.m.): We spent much of last week’s New Pope being introduced to John Malkovich’s John Brannox, the charming and sophisticated English cardinal who the Vatican squad is attempting to recruit for the papal throne. On Brannox’s introduction, our own Eric Thurm writes:

There are a few other ways in which Sir John resembles Lenny Belardo: He is also depressive, aloof, and fragile. (Throughout the episode, he’s described as a piece of porcelain.) He has a strong adversarial rapport with Voiello. He is taken by Sofia. And he has a way with words—though Sir John doesn’t quite have the acidic tongue of early Lenny, he floats above everyone else, retreating to somewhere inside his own mind. Through long meditation and careful spiritual cultivation, Sir John Brannox has a strong relationship with God. He seems to experience a doubt much like Lenny’s, though his is largely directed inward, rather than an outward rage. And, like Lenny, he has movie star charisma—several of Sir John’s lines are a bit on the hammy side, but he sells them, because, well, he’s John Malkovich.

This week, Brannox is officially elected pope, takes the name John Paul III, and delivers his first public homily, preaching the importance of “family, truth, and love.”


Regular coverage

Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina (Netflix, binge recaps continue)

Wild card

The Bachelor (ABC, 8 p.m.): This week in manufactured pseudo-drama: the producers of The Bachelor send Victoria, who dated country singer Chase Rice, to a surprise Chase Rice concert, which feels… gross.

Web Producer, The A.V. Club

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