In 2017, HBO put out one of the weirdest and most alluring television shows of that year in Paolo Sorrentino's The Young Pope. With a magnificent Jude Law as the titular Catholic figurehead, the series was gorgeously shot, immaculately designed, and boasted a surprising amount of heart in its boundary-pushing narrative. Also, it was really sexy, an adjective that has rarely ever been used to describe anything related to the Papacy.
While some thought the series took prestige TV to a ridiculous extreme, it's nonetheless returning for a second season, but this time it's called The New Pope. Writer-director Sorrentino returns as showrunner and John Malkovich joins the cast as Pope John Paul III, the successor to Law's Pope Pius XIII. In a new interview with Variety, Sorrentino points out that The Young Pope ended with Law's character going into a coma so the church has chosen a replacement pontiff. He says of the forthcoming season's plot points, "Law’s coma may not be so irreversible. It may have some unexpected novelties, so that two popes can co-exist in the episodes that follow."
HBO has unveiled the first teaser for the new season and it's totally bonkers. It showcases a hilarious and highly stylized juxtaposition of Malkovich walking through the Vatican with his papal clerics, while a speedo-clad Law leisurely gallops through a beach amidst several bikini wearing women. Like the best episodes of The Young Pope, it feels like a blasphemous fever dream. Watch it below.