Follow TV Tropes


Series / Casanova

Go To

In 2005, the BBC made a three-part miniseries about the life of one Giacomo Girolamo Casanova starring David Tennant. The series is notable for sticking fairly closely to Casanova's actual memoirs.

The series primarily uses flashbacks to tell the story; Casanova's youth in Venice, France and England is actually being written by the older Casanova. The younger Casanova is played by David Tennant in his Star-Making Role, while the older Casanova is played by Peter O'Toole.

The series was written by Russell T Davies, of Doctor Who fame. Davies was so impressed by Tennant's performance that he cast him as the Tenth Doctor.

This show contains examples of:

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Henriette, after Casanova's thrown in jail.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Grimani during his astonishing Villainous Breakdown.
    Grimani: She was mine first. That's what everyone forgets, I was with her first. And you just strode in.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: You kind of have to feel sorry for Grimani.
  • Aside Glance: Casanova, after being told how things work in England.
  • Better as Friends: Bellino and Casanova. While Casanova is an amazing boyfriend and would make a wonderful husband, he'd make a terrible wife, which is what he'd be as the spouse of a famous person. And besides, he's in love with someone else.
  • Blatant Lies: The woman Casanova rents a room to initially insists her husband is off fighting in a war. When Casanova asks which war, she claims The Punic Wars. When he points out that the Punic Wars ended in 150 BC, she responds that he has been gone a long time
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Giac and Leonilda. Granted they're half-brother and sister, but still.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When helping Casanova to escape from Venice, Bragadin asks him to take with him his illegitimate son, whom he sired 6 years previously with a nun. When reminded of the nun's name, he has some serious difficulty remembering.
  • Camp Gay: The guy who introduces Casanova to Billino the fake castrato, played by Matt Lucas.
  • The Casanova: What did you expect?
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Casanova's closer to this than the trope he named.
  • Crapsack World: Naples. It's in the shadow of an active volcano that could go off at any moment, which means its inhabitants like Bellino don't care about morality anymore, since they're all moments from dying anyway.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Invoked by Casanova about his series of schemes where he pretended to be an "expert" astrologer, lawyer and musician despite having zero qualifications, which all somehow ended up working regardless.
    Casanova: I'm starting to scare myself.
  • Creepy Child: Casanova Junior.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Edith.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Happens to Casanova over and over again. For just one example, he gets his start by impersonating a lawyer, a doctor, and an astrologer. He is later arrested for, among other things, impersonating a lawyer, a doctor, and an astrologer.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Ironically, Casanova himself, in that the woman he loved and desired most of all is denied to him through various cruel twists of fate. As for Grimani, see All Love Is Unrequited.
    Grimani: Neither one of us can have her, Casanova. Instead we have each other.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Rocco.
  • Ethical Slut: Again, Casanova is more of this than the trope he named. This is Truth in Television: the real life Casanova had quite Fair for Its Day morals (for example, he liked and respected intelligent women.)
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even Casanova, the man who gave his name to, well, The Casanova, is thoroughly squicked out by how Giac and Leonilda don't seem to care the fact that they're half-siblings.
  • Funny Background Event: When Casanova discusses with Rocco his intentions to be an involved and caring father, the audience sees Giac in the middle of suffering all sorts of mishaps which Casanova remains completely oblivious to.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Casanova seems to leave Giac with Rocco pretty much all the time.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Casanova is disgusted to learn that Giac and Leonilda were screwing each other despite being half-siblings. This pales in comparison with the actual Casanova, who admitted he'd slept with his own niece and one of his daughters.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Casanova and Rocco.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Casanova for Bellino. It turns out he really was a girl all along
  • Ignored Epiphany: Grimani has a moment during his duel with Casanova where he realizes that Henriette doesn't love him, that she'll never love him, and that the entire duel is useless. He's driven to tears, considers killing himself... and then turns to shoot Casanova in the hand. He knows all this and doesn't care.
  • Indy Ploy: Casanova is the king of these. Henriette points out that going along by the seat of your pants, while dashing and fun, is a terrible way to live.
  • It's All About Me: Rocco tries to coax Casanova into talking about something other than himself when interacting with his son, but he doesn't listen.
  • Ironic Echo: Played for Drama when Giac repeats all his father's "lessons" back to him. Casanova can only protest that he never said those things. He did, but thanks to his Hands-Off Parenting, Giac has only seen his father's shallow hedonistic personality and taken it to heart.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Bellino, knowing Casanova's feelings for Henriette, breaks off their engagement.
  • Jerkass: Grimani.
  • Land in the Saddle: Early on, Casanova attempts this while escaping from a disgruntled husband, but completely misses the waiting horse.
  • Let Them Die Happy: As Old Casanova lays dying, Edith claims that she was sent by Henriette and that Henriette is coming for him. Henriette has been dead for the past six months, but she is coming... to be with Casanova in death.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: While Casanova is very noticably squicked upon having to observe the would-be royal assassin Damiens being Flayed Alive, right beside him his six year old son is smiling.
  • Love Will Lead You Back: Or at least, Casanova hopes so.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Take a wild guess.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When Casanova finds out his son is having sex with his half-sister because he's internalized Casanova's Chivalrous Pervert nature with being an immoral sex maniac.
  • Nostalgia Heaven: The ending.
  • Only Sane Man: Again, poor, long-suffering Rocco.
  • Parental Abandonment: Young Casanova is abandoned by his actress mother.
  • Parental Neglect: Again, Casanova is not a very good father.
  • Really Gets Around: The titular character. When he lists some of his exploits to a priest during a confessional, said priest faints.
    • In perhaps a Call-Back to earlier, the Priest may have fainted because Casanova had just informed him about the nuns he had slept with, first independently and then at the same time.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: One of the big differences between Grimani and Casanova, respectively.
  • Sad Clown: Casanova has shades of this. The elderly Casanova dials it up, particularly with the speed in which he goes from describing his youthful adventures amongst the elite of France... to the brutality of the French Revolution.
    Old Casanova: Everyone I knew in that city is dead.
  • Self-Deprecation: A lot of Casanova's time in England (in this British series starring British actors) revolves around Casanova and Rocco complaining about how disgusting England is, and how boring the English court is in comparison to the French and Venetian ones.
  • Servile Snarker: Rocco.
  • Silver Fox: To prove a point to her, old Casanova seduces Edith with very little effort.
  • Sky Cell: Casanova ends up in one of these. He manages to escape, though.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Giac, Casanova's son lampshades this.
  • Wham Line: "Rocco died."
    • "She's yours, Giac."
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Casanova changes jobs as necessary in order to earn money.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Bellino, who pretends to be a castrato
    • This is however spoiled by anyone who has seen the DVD cover or even the picture on this very page as it shows the actress that plays 'her' in a dress showing cleavage.
  • You Have Waited Long Enough