Watch The Name of the Rose
- 1 Season
In SundanceTV's gripping series, The Name of the Rose, viewers are whisked away to 14th century Italy, where a Franciscan friar named William of Baskerville (portrayed by John Turturro) and his young assistant Adso of Melk (played by Damian Hardung) are called upon to solve a series of mysterious deaths at a secluded Benedictine monastery. The show, which is based on Umberto Eco's best-selling novel of the same name, takes us on a journey through a time of great religious and political upheaval, as William and Adso attempt to unravel the truth behind the gruesome killings while navigating the complex webs of power and corruption that surround them.
From the very first episode, The Name of the Rose establishes a foreboding atmosphere, with dark and eerie visuals that perfectly capture the Gothic setting. The monastery is a labyrinthine structure, its stone walls seemingly alive with ominous whispers and shadows that lurk around every corner. Meanwhile, the monks themselves are a fascinating and eclectic bunch, each with their own secrets, desires and fears. There's the enigmatic and devout Abbot (played by Francesco Bentivoglio), who seems to be hiding something; the ambitious and scheming Salvatore (a standout performance by Greta Scarano), who is desperate to use the murders to her own advantage; and the wise and grizzled old librarian named Jorge (James Cosmo), who seems to know more about the situation than he's letting on.
Despite the show's Gothic trappings, however, The Name of the Rose is much more than just a mystery/thriller. At its core, it's a meditation on faith, reason and the power of knowledge. William of Baskerville is an unconventional hero, a man of science and logic in a world ruled by superstition and blind faith. His clashes with the more traditional members of the monastery are some of the show's most fascinating moments, as he struggles to reconcile his own beliefs with the deeply ingrained dogma of the medieval Church. Meanwhile, Adso, who is inexperienced and naive, serves as a kind of audience surrogate, as he watches and learns from William's investigations.
One of the show's greatest strengths is its top-notch ensemble cast, who all deliver nuanced and layered performances. Turturro, in particular, is a standout as William of Baskerville. He brings a wry and sardonic tone to the role, making the character both wily and endearing. Hardung, meanwhile, is a revelation as Adso of Melk. Though he's not as well-known as some of his co-stars, he more than holds his own, imbuing his character with a fragile innocence that forms a perfect contrast with William's world-weary cynicism. The supporting cast is also excellent, with Michael Emerson, Sebastian Koch and Rupert Everett all contributing memorable turns.
Even if you're not a fan of historical dramas or murder mysteries, The Name of the Rose is well worth checking out for its richly-drawn characters and haunting atmosphere. From its gripping opening scene to its stunning finale, the show will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you pondering big questions about love, knowledge, faith and the limits of human reason. It's a rare gem that manages to be both thought-provoking and entertaining, and one that's sure to leave a lasting impression on audiences.
The Name of the Rose is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (9 episodes). The series first aired on March 4, 2019.