‘Gomorrah’ is an Italian crime drama set in the suburbs of Naples focusing on gangs and especially their involvement in the drug market. Whilst many of you may not have heard of this violent mafia drama it has made waves across Europe. In Italy it has become the most viewed TV series in history having on average six times as many views as ‘Game of Thrones’. This alone warrants a watch to see what all the fuss is about. Here I am going to be reviewing both series 1 & 2.
Before I start the main review I’d just like to mention that this series is filmed in Italian and has English subtitles. I loved this though as regardless of what show you’re watching there is always the temptation to look at your phone whilst watching, here due to the subtitles you have to give the show your complete attention, this is no chore though as Series 1 is instantly engrossing. The narrative of episodes is wonderfully easy to follow which can be difficult in crime dramas like these. There are a wide variety of storylines running throughout the 12 episode series. These could have been developed more and the series maybe would have benefited from more of an overarching narrative although this really isn’t a problem. The constant introduction of new stories really kept things fresh and there was something new happening each episode. As well as this the last third of the series feels more connected which combats any feelings of disconnect that previous episodes may have had. ‘Gomorrah’ is interesting too in its setup as there isn’t really a good/bad dynamic between characters. Every one of them has flaws, they do things the viewers won’t agree with and at times you’ll route for no-one! What this series does do though is wonderfully develop it’s characters meaning that going into series 2 you’re desperate to discover their fate.
Series 2 had a hard act to follow after the strong opening series and unfortunately this does show in the first few episodes. For many of the initial episodes the narrative feels quite repetitive apart from some exciting moments of bloodshed. This is maybe relied on too heavily compensating a less stimulating story. Thankfully this doesn’t remain the same for the whole series with the second half picking up the slack for the first. The narrative becomes more like that in the first series being diverse and keeping things original. Series 2 also carries many of the strengths of the first series; it’s musical theme that runs through the episodes is great and the paths that characters will take or end up on is always intriguing. However, what both series could benefit from and what I would like to see in Series 3 & 4, which have already been green-lit, would be more recurring characters and a more exciting opening title sequence.
So if you are looking for a new series to watch ‘Gomorrah’ could well be for you. I’d recommend checking it out for any fans of crime dramas. With a core group of interesting characters all vying for power it’s only a matter of time until the bullets start flying. At times you’ll be confused whose side to be on but this only showcases the strength of the portrayal of such a dark narrative, which is full of engaging and exciting moments.
Arrow Films releases Sky’s epic Italian drama Gomorrah Season Two on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 25th July. For all those who cannot get enough of the gritty mafia crime drama or haven’t seen the series – Gomorrah Season One & Two Box Set is also released on the same day.
Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the series! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.