'The Decameron' Trailer Celebrates the Black Death with "Blue Monday"

Zosia Mamet as Pampinea and Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Misia are teenagers in a time of plague in The Decameron Season 1

Zosia Mamet as Pampinea and Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Misia in 'The Decameron' Season 1

Giulia Parmigiani/Netflix © 2024

It's a Blue Monday at Netflix, as the streaming service takes the opportunity between Bridgerton Season 3 installments to release the trailer for its next period-piece teenage sex romp, The Decameron. Loosely based (and I mean very loosely based) on the 14th-century Italian short-story collection of the same name by Giovanni Boccaccio, the series centers around the arrival of the Bubonic plague in Florence in 1348, and how a small group of young nobles and their entourages attempted to flee the city in hopes of survival. With death knocking at the door, and nothing to do but drink and feast and forget, Boccaccio's fictional tales range from the romantic to the ribald, some of which were so explicit that the church banned the book for centuries. Netflix, naturally, plans to lean into the latter, if the trailer is anything to go by.

Boccaccio's collection is considered a foundational work as a contemporaneous text written during the plague years. Brown University has an entire website dedicated to the official translations, characters, and study of the period his fictionalized tale provides. But for those who might not know it, Florence was Ground Zero of the Bubonic Plague in Italy, to the point it was actually referred to as "The Plague of Florence" for many years after. Of course, there were no K95 masks, and vaccinations wouldn't be invented for another 350 years. The only thing anyone could do was flee... if you could afford it.

Whether or not a riff on Bridgerton: The Plague Years will be something that catches viewers' interest remains to be seen. However, with a trailer like this, it does seem like there's nothing like a Bubonic Plague Party because a Bubonic Plague Party doesn't stop... until everybody drops.

Here’s the official synopsis:

The Decameron is a soapy period dramedy that aims to examine the timely themes of class systems, power struggles, and survival in a time of pandemic, brought to life by an ensemble of characters both ridiculous and ill-fated. Set in 1348, the Black Death strikes hard in the city of Florence. A handful of nobles are invited to retreat with their servants to a grand villa in the Italian countryside and wait out the pestilence with a lavish holiday. But as social rules wear thin, what starts as a wine-soaked sex romp in the hills of Tuscany descends into an all-out scramble for survival.

Saoirse-Monica Jackson (Derry Girls) and Tanya Reynolds (Sex Education) co-star alongside Zosia Mamet (Dickinson) and Jessica Plummer (The Girl Before). The rest of the ensemble cast includes Amar Chadha-Patel (The Wheel of Time), Lou Gala (Julia), Karan Gill (Flesh & Blood), Douggie McMeekin (Harlots), Leila Farzad (I Hate Suzie), and Tony Hale (Drunk History). 

Jordan, who created the series and serves as showrunner, is also the lead writer on the series. Other writers on the series include James Rogers III, Anthony Natoli, Megan King Kelly, Marie Hanhnhon Nguyen, Zoe Jarman, and Stephen Unckles. Mike Uppendahl (Ratched) is the lead director, helming four out of the eight installments, with Andrew DeYoung and Anya Adams splitting helming duties across the other four. Jordan also executive produces The Decameron with Jenji Kohan (Orange is the New Black), Blake McCormick (Mad Men), and Tara Herrmann. Tilted Productions produces the series for Netflix.

The Decameron is slated to arrive on Netflix, with all episodes debuting on Thursday, July 25, 2024.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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