This weekend, I watched Medici: Masters of Florence on Netflix. It is a television drama series about the Medici dynasty starring Dustin Hoffman as Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici, Richard Madden as Cosimo de’ Medici, and Stuart Martin as Lorenzo de’ Medici (The Elder). Florence is one of my favorite cities in the world. The series is set in the 15th century Florence, the protagonist is Cosimo the Elder, who was elected head of the Florentine Republic in 1434. Cosimo has inherited the Banco Medici from his father Giovanni, who has been mysteriously poisoned. Through various flash backs (20 years ago), we are introduced to a Florence at the time of Giovanni and his relationship with his sons, Cosimo and Lorenzo.
Historical accuracy is not one of the strong points of the series. During an interview at the Roma Fest panel in 2015, Frank Spotnitz, co-creator of the series, stated, “the season will be more thriller than historical saga . . . we begin the show with a ‘what if’ because we don’t know how Giovanni de’ Medici died. One of the questions that haunts Cosimo, is whether his father was murdered.”
I very much enjoyed watching this series. The beauty of the scenery is magnificent, while the drama is quite compelling. I don’t think anyone would guess the culprit of the primary mystery of the season. I certainly didn’t. It came as quite a shock, and I hope that doesn’t give too much away. If you love Florence, the Renaissance, or historical drama, this is a show for you. I loved it and hope you will too. It really does have a great cast and Richard Madden does not meet the same horrible fate as he did in Game of Thrones. He’s a lot smarter in this series.