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[REVIEW] “Medici: Masters of Florence” season 1 Frank Spotnitz and Nicholas Meyer

Dernière mise à jour : mars 28th, 2017 at 02:31

Our review on the season 1 of Medici: Masters of Florence by Frank Spotnitz and Nicholas Meyer with Dustin Hoffman and Richard Madden, first ambitious of series of SFR Play platform  (formerly Zive) and broadcasted on French channel Numéro 23 too.


And if the Patriarch Giovanni de’ Medici (Dustin Hoffman), banker of the Popes, had been murdered? Cosimo de’ Medici (Richard Madden), a frustrated artist who succeeded his father at the head of the family Bank, will have to act against his nature to preserve the supremacy of his family.

Medici: Masters of Florence:
From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance


Medici: Masters of Florence season 1 image giovanni de' medicis
© All rights reserved


Taking advantage of the mystery surrounding the death of Giovanni de’ Medici, the creators Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files, The Man in the High Castle) and Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek) have imagined his assassination as a starting point for their story on the rise of the Medici family in Florence, symbol of the changeover of Western society from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

And curious to see the actor Dustin Hoffman in a series since the failure of the series Luck (2011-2012) on the world of horse racing, so what was our disappointment to see that his character of Patriarch in Medici: Masters of Florence died from the opening of the first episode.

Fortunately, that 8 episodes of 50 minutes of this first season then revive him through round-trips between:

  • a past time (20 years ago) where the banker Giovanni de’ Medici, still alive, decided to invest in the life of the city and trying to influence the choice of the future Pope ;
  • and a present time where Cosimo de’ Medici, played by Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, Klondike), takes power at the expense of his brother Lorenzzo, played by Stuart Martin (Crossing Lines), after the death of their father.

A TV series that struggles to convince


Medici: Masters of Florence season 1 image cosimo
© All rights reserved


Shot in Italy, the TV series Medici: Masters of Florence tells the incredible family of merchants who became bankers then politicians, who will shape the Italy and the Western world. Inspired by the films The Godfather (1972) and Amadeus (1984), says Frank Spotnitz himself, the series imagines how the ‘Godfather’ Giovanni Medici initiated the family project to modernize the Italy, preparing his womanizer son, Lorenzzo, and his son with an artist soul, Cosimo, to be the leaders of it.

Our opinion?

Despite beautiful images — the series was filmed in Florence, Rome and Tuscany —, a quite ambitious political and historical thriller script — we see the architect Filippo Brunelleschi (Alessandro Preziosi) and the sculptor Donatello (Ben Starr) — and a Dustin Hoffman in leading figure, the series Medici: Masters of Florence struggles to convince. It is slow to set up and to create enough fascinating characters.

In short, this first season of Medici: Masters of Florence left us on our hunger and has not really managed to interet us look at the story of this incredible dynasty of the Medici. Anyway, a season 2 is already confirmed…


[amazonjs asin=”B06XGY9T2T” locale=”UK” title=”Medici: Masters Of Florence Season 1 (Region B Import)”] [amazonjs asin=”B01NB7Q7DF” locale=”UK” title=”Medici: Masters Of Florence Season 1 (Region 2 Import)”]


Learn more:

  • Season 1 of Medici: Masters of Florence is broadcasted in France on SFR Play  from Tuesday, October 25, 2016
  • Season 1 of Medici: Masters of Florence is broadcasted in France on Numéro 23  from Wednesday, February 15th, 2016
Jean-Christophe Nurbel

11 Commentaires

  1. I am a real fan of the Medici family of Florence. Went to school there and have read many historical books on the family and Lorenzo the Magnificat. In the attempt to tell this story Hollywood type techniques are all over this TV story. The dialogue is covered with loud music so all you here is mumbling with nothing but photo ops and sex to cover up a poorly told story which is mostly made up. This was a great family and even more important time for the Western world and all America is going to get is a travel film out of the in this story.
    Why the Italians continue to use English actors is also fustratiing and with poorly written story line and low voices with loud music it becomes impossible to understand. One wonders if this was done on purpose?

    If you truly wish to read an accurately told story of the Medici’s the author Colonel G.G. Young, C.B. first published November 1909. THE MEDICI is worth a read.

    Clint Eastwood should do the story of Lorenzo Medici since here is the real story.

    • Still, it was great TV and we loved it!

      • Teresa McCormick

        It was hard to understand because of the music but I am hooked!!!!!!!! I loved it all

      • I so agree, I want to rewatch it again soon! As for the low sound of dialog and loud music, that’s what closed captioning if for. The set was beautifully done and it should have won some awards. The acting was superb. I saw it on Netflix last week and am shocked to come here and see it was made for TV. It played like an expensive movie production and puts some recent movies to shame!!!

        Long live Florence!!!

    • As a descendant of the Medici I actually enjoyed it the story was nicely done in my opinion, no it’s not 100% factual but since when does 100% fact sell. Also, the sound quality for me was fantastic so I don’t see why everyone is complaining. I also like the fact that it’s getting the medici name out there because not a lot of people know what we did for modern society and I wouldn’t mind more people to be educated on the subject even if it’s fact checking this show for accuracy.

  2. Im always up for a nice true life story, but somehow I felt this was trying to tell me how wonderful bankers are for the world BUT only reminds us how the word “usury” has been banished from the modern language, most likely by the bankers who control all too much of our lives..

  3. I loved it. Granted, I’m not a historian of the Medici family and had to do lots of internet searches to check for accuracy. Finding they took so many liberties with history is disappointing, but nonetheless, the quality of the production was magnificent. The sets and costumes and most impressive, the scenes of ancient Florence, kept me hungry for the next episode. I’m disappointed it was a short season.

    • Sono d’accordo , Tim . Condivido . Unfortunately ,we have too many ” smart Alecs ” and “nit -pickers” in this world . Too much arrogance ?!—- How can one deny e.g. ,that the visuals are superb ……. I am definitely looking forward to the second series…..

  4. People, you have to realize this production is not Western Civ 101 — it’s TV and entertainment. If it opens your mind to a period in history that motivates you to fact check, then it was worthwhile to watch. Compare this to TV sitcoms with canned laughter and it’s way ahead in enriching your knowledge of the development of our Western culture.

  5. It was intriguing indeed to see what happened in the world of the Medicci just to stay in power! I can believe all the secret dealings and accusations this family went thru to stay in power! It was done superbly done and I am now looking forward to watching it!

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