Sunday, 9 p.m., HBO


Newly named Pope Pius XIII, Lenny Belardo (Jude Law) grapples with the inner workings of the Vatican and comes into conflict with Cardinal Voiello (Silvio Orlando), who thought the 47-year-old would more biddable than another cardinal. Instead, Lenny has his own ideas and prefers seeking advice from Sister Mary (Diane Keaton), who raised him at the orphanage

What The Critics Say (Metascore 68)

  • The Young Pope is as compellingly watchable as anything else you’ll find on TV. Sorrentino intuitively understands that which makes Catholicism–with its crosscurrents of guilt and exuberant hope as well as the opulent pageantry of the Vatican–fascinating grist for storytelling. And he’s unafraid to go what seems at first too far in service of a story that finds the universal in one warped leader’s specificities. — Daniel D’Addario, Time
  • Like the Vatican itself, Pope is beautiful, lush and carefully, formally composed. It’s also oddly airless and cold, more a series of striking pictures than a living and breathing slice of life, one that leaves you with no way in and little reason to care. Style doesn’t just trump substance here; it’s the only substance The Young Pope has. And that seems wrong. — Robert Biancoa, USA Today
  • [Paulo Sorrentino] invents a coolly seductive physical world to match the oddness of his story. Even as The Young Pope slowly moves among its different tones–serious religious drama, soap opera, satire, dystopian nightmare–it remains consistent in one important quality: stark originality. — Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe