Have You Noticed the Odd Recurring Theme in Showtime's Stable of Shows?

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There's an odd recurring theme in the original programming over at Showtime: The family members are quite close -- a little too close, as a matter of fact.

At least five recent Showtime shows have explored taboo relationships between family members. On "The Borgias," fans are fascinated by the strangely sensual relationship between Cesare and his sister. On "The Tudors," George was accused of incestuous relations with his sister, Anne. And on "Dexter," the eponymous anti-hero had to fend off the advances of his foster sister, Deb.

The trend isn't limited to brothers and sisters. On "United States of Tara," Tara's mental breakdown was brought on because her half-brother Bryce sexually assaulted her. And on the Showtime remake of "Shameless," Mandy Milkovich is impregnated by her own father.

Whether this exploration of families that are a little too close is intentional or coincidental, the fact remains that recent Showtime shows consistently return to this theme. Bearing that in mind, here are some notable plays, books, and historical events that Showtime might want to think about greenlighting.

"The Secret History"

Donna Tartt's debut novel "The Secret History" is a thrilling story about a group of college students who are driven to kill one of their close friends. With plenty of intrigue, deep philosophical conversations, and compelling characters, this novel would be a great basis for a miniseries event. Two of the most compelling characters are twin Camilla and Charles. And just like Cesare and Lucrezia or Deb and Dexter, these siblings have a complicated relationship.

"The Bible"

The History Channel had great success with their own Bible-inspired programming, and there's no reason that Showtime couldn't try and capture some of that audience. After all, Showtime is home to "The Borgias" and the upcoming series "The Vatican," two programs that both have heavy religious themes. And since Showtime's stable of programming seems preoccupied with families that are a little too close for comfort, the Bible is a natural source for storylines. From Abraham and Sarah to Lot and his daughters, the "Good Book" is filled with all kinds of bad behavior.


With "The Borgias" likely to come to a close in the next few years, Showtime will be on the hunt for another historical drama that can up the network's prestige come awards season. What better choice than a series about the Roman Empire's most infamous leader, Caligula? Famous for sleeping with his own sisters and

making his favorite horse a consul, Caligula would be a great acting challenge for an actor of the caliber of Mads Mikkelsen.

"Pericles, Prince of Tyre"

Showtime could carve out a niche for itself by preparing an original screen version of this lesser-known Shakespeare play. In the play, Pericles investigates whether the king of Antioch has been engaged in an inappropriate relationship with his own royal daughter. If re-framed as a gritty, modern cop drama, the Pericles story could be quite sensational.

"Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said"

There's no hotter name in sci-fi than Philip K. Dick, the man responsible for the stories that inspired blockbuster movies like "Blade Runner," Total Recall," and "Minority Report." Showtime could draw in legions of sci-fi fans with a series based on Dick's acclaimed novel "Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said." One of the book's characters, Inspector McNulty, is somewhat reminiscent of Deb Morgan from "Dexter" -- at least in terms of her romantic attachment to Dex.
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