All your questions about ‘The Young Pope,’ answered


If you've been on Twitter in the past 48 hours, you've probably been seeing the phrase "young pope" pop up a lot. And, quite understandably, seeing "young" and "pope" in succession leads to a lot of questions. Yes, it'd make a great name for a rapper, and no, Pope Francis did not die to be succeeded by a pope who is, in fact, young. Instead, the endless memes are the result of an upcoming HBO series. Surprisingly, it's called The Young Pope

While the show doesn't make its American debut until Jan. 15, the internet's adoration of the bonkers title and overall premise warrants a lengthy popesplainer. Here's every question you have about The Young Pope, answered — starting with the most important question of all. 

Is he young? Depends on your perspective. At 47, he is certainly young in papal terms, with most modern-day popes starting in their late 60s. But to a group of teens who participate in mannequin challenges and compliment peers for their flashy white vans, the young pope might seem old. He might even seem like Steve Buscemi in 30 Rock

But rest assured, The Young Pope title works because he is a young pope! 

Seriously, this is a real show? Not only is The Young Pope a legit show, it has already been renewed for a second season and drew rave reviews in Europe, where it already premiered. The Young Pope is here to stay.  

What is his pope name? Pius XIII, which is problematic because the Pius name was previously tarnished by an earlier Pope for his support of Mussolini. Basically, the fact that he chooses this name for himself is a tad foreboding. 

Does he fuck? Signs would point to yes, considering the series was picked up in the U.S. by television's edgiest, most orgy-loving network, HBO. Alas, in the five episodes this humble writer has seen, Pius XIII does not fuck. In his popeless past, however, it is intimated that he had a romantic fling, which may or may not have involved fucking. So there's that. 

Still, it's fun to imagine this was the actual pitch to HBO. 

Is The Young Pope based on an actual Pope? Heavens no

If this pope is kind of terrifying, how on Earth did he get elected? The show doesn't fully address this — at least in the first five episodes —  which is somewhat frustrating, because five minutes of screentime with this (young) pope is enough to tell he's a rogue, radical conservative who should be nowhere near the papacy. 

In fairness, many Americans are probably asking a similar question

Is the young pope literally Jude Law, or is Jude Law playing the young pope? Unfortunately, it's the latter. But if there's room in the era of "peak TV" for a show about the Frank Underwood of popes, there may be space for a similar series in which the pope, still somewhat youthful, is literally Jude Law. We patiently await for that day to come. 

Does this Pope have the best hat collection on the planet? Yes, and it's not even close. 

Is he a fan of Italian espresso or American coffee? Pius XIII prefers a cup of American coffee over Italian espresso, which might be the most insulting aspect of his character. He lives in Vatican City; he can get anything he wants, and yet he wants, and prefers, American coffee. 

That is beyond sinful, young pope. 

What is his preferred breakfast, and does it include Cherry Coke Zero? Cherry Coke Zero is his breakfast. Man, popes these days. 

Does he have a changing montage set to LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It"? What a specific question! You'll have to tune in to find out. 

Memes aside, should I actually watch The Young Pope? Diane Keaton plays a nun who shoots hoops at the Vatican and owns a punny nun pajama shirt; the opening title sequence features Jude Law's Pius XIII winking at the camera; and the show is about a rogue, edgy pope who happens to be young for a pope. 

If you haven't made your decision yet, there's nothing else we can do for you.