America's Dirtiest TV Network Takes On Catholicism's Holiest Man

If I had to guess what network would do a miniseries about the pope, HBO would not be at the top of the list. Their lineup has included such gruesome and explicit shows as Game of ThronesGirls, and The Sopranos. Now, they're taking on the Holy Father.

The Young Pope is set to release in October, airing on the Sky Network in the UK, Italy, and Germany, as well as in the U.S. via HBO and in France via Canal+. The trailer is deliberately mysterious, showing the first American pope, the fictional character Lenny Belardo , smoking and praying in numerous fascinating positions: at the bottom of a swimming pool, in front of a row of trucks at night.

Belardo is played by Jude Law, who portrayed Dr. John Watson in Sherlock Homes (2009) and Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows (2011). His humorous and expressive Dr. Watson becomes an enigmatic pontiff raised by an American nun (played by Diane Keaton, famous for The Godfather trilogy [1972, 1974, 1990]) in Vatican City, who struggles with his faith.

Creator and director Paolo Sorrentino, who is famous for winning a foreign-language Oscar in 2014 for The Great Beauty, said the miniseries will focus on difficult faith issues. According to Deadline, Sorrentino said the TV series is about:

The clear signs of God's existence. The clear signs of God's absence. How faith can be searched for and lost. The greatness of holiness, so great as to be unbearable when you are fighting temptations and when all you can do is to yield to them. The inner struggle between the huge responsibility of the Head of the Catholic Church and the miseries of the simple man that fate (or the Holy Spirit) chose as Pontiff. Finally, how to handle and manipulate power in a state whose dogma and moral imperative is the renunciation of power and selfless love towards one's neighbor.

While these themes may sound like a modern perspective on faith, they have deep roots in Christian doctrine.

Next Page: Reasons to hope this miniseries will do Christianity -- and Catholicism -- justice.