No matter his age, Law's Pope Piux XIII -- an orphan named Lenny Belardo from Brooklyn -- is a bit of a paranoid, reactionary jerk. After the show's dreamy opening, which includes a fiery speech from Lenny about taking the Church away from some of its conservative principles, we see a series of scenes where the new pope teases, embarrasses, and humiliates the spiritual leaders around him as he goes about preparing for his first major address to the public. He doesn't suffer fools -- or elaborate breakfasts.
Luckily, he has some of his own people around to help him. The curious nun who raised him (played by a stern but playful Diane Keaton) arrives to provide guidance. His mentor Cardinal Michael Spencer (James Cromwell) lurks in the background. If this sounds a bit like The West Wing set in the Vatican, rest assured that it's not. Besides a few scenes of Cardinals bickering, the show doesn't seem to be especially interested in explaining how exactly someone as young as Lenny became the Young Pope. He just did.