Marco Polo, a Netflix original series with an amazing screenplay and dialogue, masterfully spins historical fact into a cohesive story. The imagery and scenery amaze, and honestly I have to say I was blown away. Historical shows often seem like a gamble, but given the success of The History Channel’s Vikings and HBO’s Rome, this genre has been proving its mettle. On Marco Polo, the rich storyline and characters come alive as the first season tells the story of the Mongol conquest of China and chronicles the lives of traders on the silk road.
My only problem with this show is the sheer amount of sex, but I really can’t complain too much since it would just be a preamble to a rant on how standards have changed and how the past was better and all that bullshit.
(Editors note: see our Leisure Suit Larry article in Fossil Records to fall back into the simpler, more wholesome past Sriram is referencing.)
So all in all I really have no major complaints. On to what I love about this absolute gem of a show!
First and foremost, I love the fresh faces in the cast. Each of them showcases their skill throughout the show. In addition, the blend of historical knowledge with the earthy nature of the silk-road setting works really well. These elements combine to make an extremely watchable series that finally showcases a relatively unknown story for western audience.
The show educates viewers on the importance of spices and silk in the economics of the medieval world, but it never lapses into a dry, historical drone. It also portrays the religious beliefs and tolerance of the Mongol Empire. That’s right-there was progressivism in the empire built by the people that some consider to be barbarians of their age!
This show really manages to drive in historical fact into a rich storyline that I hope to soon see more of. Overall I have to recommend this show as I hope, beg, and pray for a second season!