How Amazon’s ‘Bad Guy’ Breaks the Expression Tradition of the Italian Mafia – The Hollywood Reporter

If there’s one thing the world doesn’t need, it’s another Italian mafia series. Mob shows have become the favorite genre of the Italian industry, the global success of shows like Gomorrah (on HBO in the US) and suburb (on Netflix) made several (mostly inferior) copies.

But Bad guyNew mafia show from Indigo and Amazon Studios movies, something different.

The series, which debuted on Amazon worldwide in early December, creates a new background on how the mafia and its forces fight organized crime, portrayed on Italian television.

The film is set in near-future Sicily, and stars Luigi Lo Cascio (traitor, The Most Beautiful Youth) as Nino Scotelaro, a former anti-crowd prosecutor jailed on charges of collusion with Cosa Nostra. Angered at the injustice, he vowed revenge. Over the course of six episodes of the first season, Nino goes from very good to very, very bad, as he crosses every moral line – including leading to murder – in search of revenge.

That alone is something new for Italian television. Lawyers against the mafia — at least on the small screen (see for example RAI’s anti-mafia series la piovra) — often represented as modern-day saints. Nino Scotelaro is not. He is a man whose taste is punished only to be rivaled by his love for good food and good cigars. The series is clearly inspired by Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul in depicting a good man’s transformation into something entirely darker.

RAI . Series Hunter, starring Francesco Montanari as a prosecutor circumventing the law to catch thugs behind bars, opened the door for more humane, flawed depictions of mob lawyers in IDEA. But where? Hunter push envelopes, Bad guy Tear the envelope open and throw it in the trash.

The beginning of the story, Bad guy directors Giuseppe G. Stasi and Giancarlo Fontana decisively broke with tradition. Through the film, we see the characters watching a fictional drama depicting the murder of Nino’s father-in-law, a holy prosecutor killed in a mob bombing. It’s a not-so-subtle dig into how Italian television, especially public broadcasters, likes to tell stories about their mafia in clear black and white tones.

Bad guy

Claudia Pandolfi as Luvi Bray in ‘The Bad Guy’


Stasi and Fontana began their careers as satirists, making a name for themselves with fake online videos referring to American pop culture and films to mock Italian political and current affairs. . They have worked with some of the biggest names in Italian comedy, including Sabina Guzzanti and Neri Marcorè, and directed the 2018 hit. Metti la nonna in freeze) before turning their camera on the mafia with Bad guy.

That comic background appears in humor throughout Bad guy, feels more inspired by Quentin Tarantino than Francis Ford Coppola. It is also rendered in the style of the series, featuring quick stylistic correction and a keen ear for musical cues and drops.

Although completely fictitious, Bad guy extensive use of official sources and regional details — in particular, the use of Sicilian spoken throughout, which requires subtitles even for fluent Italian speakers — to create a world of three reliable and effective dimension for Nino Scotelaro and his numerous enemies.

This is completely new and very welcome for Italian television. This is the hope of international success of Bad guy — which premieres December 8 on Amazon’s 10 most-watched shows in the US — will lead to a second season and more imitators back home.


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