Medicis-As-Mafia Schtick

A new PBS movie about the Medicis plays out like a cheap mafia yarn. “This is reenactment history, with a soundtrack of ominous and sinister music, and a voice-over (by Massimo Marinoni) that tells, in rasping and tremulous tones, a story of epic clashes of personality and temperament. Hyperbole wins the day. Everything is always a first, or unprecedented, or without equal. The Medici, who were very much of the Renaissance, are essentially given credit for the Renaissance. The actual stuff of history, the complex wars that kept the military forces of France, Spain, the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire in endless, internecine conflict, are compressed into unintelligibility.”