Well, I'd say it was a fascinating failure. They totally should have called it The Orphan Pope, because that's really what the main motivator of the story was. Man, was it obsessed with orphans. Which could have been interesting, but they kept their oblique approach to everything all the way to the end and never really paid off his desire to see his parents effectively, I didn't think. In fact, they didn't pay off much at all.
Again, I know it's asking for a lot, but I would have appreciated a more authentic representation of the men and women who wield so much power in the Church. They talked all the time about God in the abstract, and hardly ever spoke about Jesus. Or St. Peter for that matter. I think the way the politics in the Vatican were presented was fine and interesting. In fact, if there was any MVP outside of Jude Law (who of course gave a great performance), it was the Italian actor who played the Cardinal secretary of state. Great performance, and great character.
Well, it was a promising concept. Too bad it was just a little half-baked.