STARZ Free Preview Weekend Right Now To Promote The Dubious But Beautifully Shot “Da Vinci’s Demons” Seasons 1 & 2.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.Leonardo_da_Vinci_-_Saint_John_the_Baptist_C2RMF_retouched



by Anura Guruge

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Following Dan Brown’sCode“, which changed my life fundamentally, I became a Da Vinci freak for a couple of years. It was my obsession with trying to learn anything and everything about Leonardo that led me, via Raphael  but mainly Buonarroti Simoni to my current infatuation with popes. If you know your Italian Renaissance, you will, of course, appreciate, that that makes eminent sense.

Well that kind of explains why I didn’t record and watch the 1st season of “Da Vinci’s Demons” last year — though I was well aware of it. I try not to watch historical docu-dramas IF they relate to periods of history that I am familiar with. That is why I have never watched a full episode of “The Borgias” — though I will occasionally watch a few minutes every once in awhile to see how creative they get in showing the degenerateness of that period. Ditto with “Demons”. The title alone was a deterrent. Leonardo sure had issues but I wouldn’t portray them as ‘demons’. Between him and Buonarroti he was considerably more ‘normal’ — at least in my book.

Last week I noticed, even prior to the free, preview weekend, that Season 1 of “Demons” was available, in its entirety, on ENCORE. Since we had finally managed to get through the 34 hours of Sochi Winter Olympics I had recorded (though I kept the Closing Ceremonies because I thought they were brilliant), I finally had some free space on the DirecTV (slow as frozen molasses) Genie. So I, for the first time in my life, set up a ‘Record Series’! I watched one episode, “The Magician“, last week. Hhhhmmmm.

The basic storyline kind of sticks to the facts and I can live with it. Some of the details defy credulity. Even if Leonardo built a spectacular flying bird, powered by a rocket, he would NOT have had the means to get it to fly as precisely as a modern guided missile as was portrayed. That was absurd poetic license. Also the metal prototype that was shown to fly defied the laws of physics. It was too heavy to fly just by the mechanical flapping of its wings.

But the thing that bothered me the most was the portrayal of him as a craven, hetrosexual womanizer who continually had the hots for women. Can’t buy that. At best Leonardo was bisexual. He painted women, but he did so for the money. Trying to make him overtly hetro bothers me. That is why I stay clear of these ‘tabloid’ series. I like veracity in my history.

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