Perhaps the most interesting thing about The Young Pope is that unlike other films, which show Latin chant and other things from the past in order to create a more serious view of the Church, this show is very aware of the current ways and conscientiously rejects them. The liturgical depictions are thoroughly pre-Conciliar, with the Missal on the Epistle side, altar cards, the chalice veil, the burse, and priests wearing the maniple. The namesake "young pope," Pius XIII, even goes as far as to order the papal tiara to be shipped back to Rome from Washington DC (Paul VI sold it off to some Jewish fellow through the UN before Cardinal Spellman bought it back to avoid embarrassment). The Machiavellian Pontiff tells his cardinals that the Church has been too open to the world, that henceforth people will come to the Church and not the other way around. If this is not a repudiation of every papacy from Pius XII to Bergoglio I do not know what is.
The other fascinating aspect of this program, betwixt long shots of inaction, is that it believably depicts how a genuine reform movement might be received in the Vatican. Between breaking the seal of Confession and sexual temptation, Pius XIII manages to send a pederastic prelate into exile in Alaska, only to shock the liberal establishment into attempting to blackmail the Pontiff. There is a scene when the Camerlengo attempts to bring the pope to submission to which the pope replies (words to the effect) "Past pontiffs gave in because they were concerned with losing consensus. I don't care about consensus." In between long, gratuitous prayers and stiff production there is a truth here that resonates with the Gregorian and Tridentine reforms to the papacy: that affairs will only change when the fellow in Rome wearing a white cassock cares more about the Church than about the conniving red suited mediocrities around him.
As Fr. Capreolus noted in a side discussion, there really is not any holy character in this show, no depiction of fundamentally good people. Still, Pope Jude Law is interesting in that he is a very "rigid" person who adheres to discipline because "something is wrong with him": he is an orphan, whose ecclesiastical discipline gave him direction in life. Contrary to the usual depictions of the Vatican establishment as old fashioned, narrow people, the Cardinals are loose in morals, absent in discipline, thoroughly liberal, and completely corrupt. The "conservatives" in the show are not the "good guys" necessarily, but HBO does seem to have a grasp on how the Vatican has been run for several decades.
On the whole I do not recommend the show, but these points are notable. Why does a blood and sex network like HBO understand the Church better than contemporary churchmen?
Meanwhile, Bergoglio is advocating population control. Again.