The Young Pope is one of the most anticipated new shows of 2017, and even though it hasn’t premiered yet, it’s already become the butt of an ongoing joke online.
The show follows the fictional Pope Pius XIII (Jude Law), an archbishop from New York who becomes the most important man in the Catholic church and youngest pope of all time. Elected by the College of Cardinals, “Lenny” as he’s referred to, turns out to be nothing but a problem. He refuses to play along with the Cardinals antics and enlists the help of the woman who raised him, Sister Mary (Diane Keaton), as his secretary.
Although the show hasn’t debuted in North America — it’s already available to watch in Europe — it has caught the attention of the internet and become the newest meme. People have taken the theme of The Young Pope along with the name itself and have used it to create parodies of other songs. For example, the lyrics to Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks” were replaced with Young Pope, as seen below.
and we don't care about the young pope— Rachel Fershleiser (@RachelFersh) January 4, 2017
talkin' 'bout the young pope
Another Twitter user replaced the lyrics to Gary Puckett and the Union Gap’s “Young Girl” as a part of the meme.
Young Pope, get out of my mind / My love for you is way out of line / Better run, Pope, / You're much too Young, Pope— kyle amato (@kyle_amato) January 4, 2017
One of the more common versions of the meme going around reference Neil Young’s “Old Man.” In many cases, the lyrics from the chorus, “Old man look at my life, I’m a lot like you were,” have been changed to incorporate the term Young Pope in some regard.
♫ Young Pope look at my life— Gabriella Paiella (@GMPaiella) January 4, 2017
I'm a lot like Jude Law ♫
Young Pope, look at my life/— Alexander Huls (@alxhuls) January 4, 2017
I'm a lot like you were
And it’s only fair that a show about an archbishop in New York being elected pope would result in the most patriotic reference the meme could possible make.
♬ Popes like us— Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox) January 4, 2017
Baby, we were born to Young♬
It should be noted that as funny as the meme surrounding the show is, The Young Pope does have a pretty great opening theme. Featuring a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” by Devlin, originally written by Bob Dylan, it stars Law walking through a corridor of the Vatican, looking particularly smug.
Despite the joking attitude surrounding the show, The Young Pope has received mostly positive praise from European and English press. The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin said, “Sorrentino has set the stage for both a spiky war of wills and a twisting character study -- a sacred mystery shot through with stabs of the profane.” Others, including critics from The Guardian and The Independent have all praised Law’s performance as Pius.
The Young Pope will debut in North America on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.