Most of you know by now that Showtime and Neil Jordan have made the decision to cancel The Borgias, making the season 3 finale also the series finale. There will be no season 4, although Tom Fontana has promised to finish the story in his own story of Borgia. Of course I’m going to be upset about this, much like other fans, but I don’t think I’m upset for the same reasons they are. See, for me, I’m more outraged by the fact that I have now been screwed out of any visual representation of Ferrante d’Este. From The Borgias because they’re not going to be covering Lucrezia’s third marriage, and from Borgia because they decided they were just going to make the two Alfonso’s the same person. This has been widely regarded as a bad decision.
No, what disappoints me more than the lack of Ferrante is Neil Jordan’s reasoning behind the cancellation. Or, at least, his official statement on the matter. You see, he claimed that the reason why he decided not to make a fourth season was because there was simply not enough material for him to make another ten episodes out of. Mr. Jordan, you do realize that there is a reason why so many books are written about Lucrezia’s third marriage, correct? There’s a plethora of sex, scandal and backstabbing, and I thought that was what this show was all about. And it’s not like Cesare spent the rest of his life sitting on his ass after Lucrezia moved to Ferrara. Granted, he did, actually do a lot of that after nearly dying and then later being imprisoned, but there’s still a lot of material from his military career to work around those issues. No, the plan and simple fact is that Neil Jordan did not think people would appreciate the show as much if it shifted focus away from the men folk to center around Lucrezia for the final season. Either because she was boring, or he doesn’t trust Holliday Grainger‘s acting abilities, but either way, it’s a poor assessment to be made.
Now, if I was running the show, here’s what I might possibly do with a Season 4. We could focus on Ferrante and Lucrezia’s BFFness, and parallel the increasing toxicity in their relationship as we plow forward to the plot to kill Alfonso with the decline of Cesare’s military career. Okay, so my Ferrante bias is showing on that one, but it would make for some interesting television. Or we could possibly deal with Lucrezia just trying to settle into court life at Ferrara while simultaneously trying to move on from Cesare. Watching Angela find happiness and just as abruptly have it taken away from her. Dang, I’m still focusing the final season on Lucrezia. So instead, we could always focus on the fall of Cesare’s military career. The capture of Urbino. The death of his father and the fall of his power. Negotiating with della Rovere, that long-term enemy, until they agree to work together. Finally being imprisoned in Spain, and perhaps, flickering over to Lucrezia who has found peace in her new life.
But you know what, it’s cool. There’s simply just not enough historical information to make another ten episodes. Because this show never embellishes anything. Why would we embellish history with a little bit of fiction to make a television show? That’s just ridiculous. Of course, that requires the writer having the skills to make the embellishments believable, and the imagination to conjure them.