Jude Law as the newly ascended pope of Vatican City in "The Young Pope."

Jude Law Loves ‘The Young Pope’ Memes

Jude Law may not be on Twitter, but it appears that he is enjoying The Young Pope memes that have been thriving on the Internet.

According to Variety, The Young Pope star informed reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour that he was only recently apprised of the existence of the memes. Law confessed that before this, he wasn’t even aware of what a meme was.

“Having spent the last week in New York and here doing lots of press, I’ve become very aware. I didn’t even know what a meme was. But they’ve very funny and imaginative.”

The actor also hopes that the proliferation of The Young Pope memes will translate to more interest and viewings of the show from a younger audience, according to Entertainment Weekly.

“I hope [the memes] will prompt interest and intrigue. I don’t know if meme trends are reflective of young people’s interest but if so I hope [young viewers see the show].”

Most of the memes and jokes about The Young Pope seem to be inspired more by the name of the show itself, rather than its content.

The HBO show has inspired a raft of memes that either poke fun at the name or employ clever ways to embed the words “young pope” in well-known song lyrics.

It’s unclear whether or not social media’s obsession with the TV show title will actually lead to high ratings for the show. HBO describes The Young Pope as a show that tells the story of the rise of a controversial, fictionalized pope, Pius XIII. Contrary to what viewers may have expected, Law’s character stirs up controversy in Vatican City not because of his progressive, enlightened ideas. In fact, the truth seems the opposite.

A teaser trailer of The Young Pope shows the main character to be despotic and egomaniacal. The speech that Jude Law’s character makes in the trailer makes clear his vision of what the church should become and that vision is conservative, to say the least.

“From this day forward, we need to go back to being prohibited, inaccessible, and mysterious. I don’t want any more part-time believers and sin will no longer be forgiven at will.”

There is therefore a clear disparity between the cheeky, renegade version of the young pope in The Young Pope-inspired memes and the real young pope portrayed in the show by Jude Law. And while the name of the show has served as great fodder for Internet humor, it seems unlikely that The Young Pope will be HBO’s next big hit.

Reviews of the new HBO show have so far been mixed. While most of the critics have given the show its due in visual opulence, many were bewildered by The Young Pope‘s disjointed tones, the lack of plausibility of the premise, and the show’s general “weirdness.” A review of The Young Pope from Vulture described the show as “one of the weirdest, most counterintuitive programs ever to get a green light from HBO” and a reviewer at The Washington Post called the new HBO show one of “the strangest and most unsettling shows” he has ever reviewed.

The Young Pope has already debuted in Europe last year and will air in the U.S. on 9:00 p.m. ET. on January 15.

[Featured Image by HBO]