Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October 17, 2017

I chanced upon Suburra via James Delingpole's column, and boy, am I glad I did.

Gripping plot, haunting music and visuals, very relatable characters, you name it, Suburra has it and more.

The format of starting each episode with a preview of the episode climax, with an Il giorno prima ("The day before") is neat. It leaves you wondering how on earth would the situation glimpsed in the preview come about, and doesn't fail to disappoint you even once. Well, almost; I was not so enamoured with the season finale, but the rest of the episodes are top notch.

The depiction of the Anacletis and their gypsy culture with all the ostentatious display of wealth, communal living, and so on was refreshing when compared to the sober and classy milieu of, say, the Vatican. Loved the Spadino character as well, his vulnerability coupled with all his theatrical hand flourishes and twirls.

Make sure to watch the show in the original Italian with English subtitles. I didn't try Suburra-dubbed-in-English, but I can very well imagine how it would have been, based on my brief experience of El Chapo dubbed in English (side note: give El Chapo a try as well; almost as good as Narcos -- on a par with S3 and the Cali cartel, but pales somewhat in comparison to Pablo Escobar in S1 and S2).

A couple of things that didn't sit well:

  1. The Samurai character. Somebody who claims to rule Rome goes around in a scooter like an accountant, with no retinue of bodyguards? Doesn't sound right. I get it that everybody knows how powerful he is, but he'd still be an attractive target for a rival gang.
  2. Maybe I'm ignorant of how things are in Rome, but the ease with which heavily-armed gangs are able to move about the city and engage in drive-by shootings strained one's credulity a bit. Except for the scenes involving Gabriele's father, the police don't put in much of an appearance at all.

I am not a big fan of hip hop, but the end credits song is really great too.

Can't wait for Season 2.