Stream or skip? +2023

How many shows have we seen where we see the mafia from the inside? And how many have we seen with someone in law enforcement going undercover? There are dozens of such shows. But one where a man goes undercover in the Cosa Nostra to get revenge on the people who sent him to jail? That’s a little different.

THE EVIL: Stream or skip?

opening shot: A dusty, cobweb-covered chandelier shakes and rattles during an explosion, sending dust into an open sea urchin. A man does push-ups in an abandoned house.

The essentials: The man, Dr. Nino Scotellaro (Luigi Lo Cascio) has been on the run for some time. Outside the building, a Special Forces soldier lies on the ground with his legs just ripped off by a land mine. The soldier who calls him out tells him that if they keep going and there’s another mine, “Your sister will be blown out next.”

Eight years earlier, Scotellaro was a judge in Palermo, Sicily, consistently tracking the numbers of the Costa Nostra, and for fifteen years his team has been chasing one of the greatest, Mariano Suro (Antonio Catania). We first see him in a maximum security prison trying to extract information about Suro from mafia hitman Salvatore Tracina (Vincenzo Pirrotta). He then learns of Suro’s stash of intel thanks to the surveillance of Leonarda Scotellaro (Selene Caramazza), a young Special Forces agent.

Yes, Leonarda is Nino’s younger sister; He pulled some strings to get her into the Special Forces to help her with her addiction issues and she excelled in that role. Nino’s wife Luvi Bray (Claudia Pandolfi) is a formidable defender in Rome whose father was killed by Suro a few years earlier. She is producing a TV movie based on the case.

When the Special Forces are about to raid Suro’s storage unit, Nino has Leonarda recalled because he has a hunch that Suro will trick his people into stealing a kidney from a recently deceased ski champion so he can have a transplant. He persuades the commander to raid the place, but Suro has already left.

Nino then has to decide whether to take a government job in Rome, closer to Luvi, or take over the office in Palermo when his boss Giusy (Guia Jelo) is forced to resign due to early onset Alzheimer’s disease. He feels that they are on the verge of pinning Suro down, that he feels it is his duty to stay. Then, during the premiere of the film about Luvi’s father, he is summoned for questioning. Apparently, some listening devices owned by Leonarda indicate that Nino is a Mafia contact.

Luvi promises to get him released, but he gets 15 years instead. Five years later, while being transported from prison to a community work assignment, the bridge the truck is on collapses and Nino is the sole survivor. This is when his revenge plan is set in motion; His first stop is the home of a known enemy.

The Evil
Photo: Prime Video

What shows will it remind you of? The Evil reminds of something The fugitivebut with a little more sense of humor and a revenge plan attached.

Our opinion: Ludovica Rampoldi, Davide Serino and Giuseppe Stasi The Eviland they’ve written a twisting, tortuous story about a man who essentially becomes the “bad guy” he’s accused of simply because someone saw fit to falsely accuse him of mafia connections in the first place.

Due to the bridge collapse, everyone including his wife and sister assumes Nino is dead and this will give him the cover he needs to carry out his plan. The way he goes about it, changing his identity and appearance, and then finding the people who put him in jail in the first place should be a fun ride, even as Nino laments that he misses his wife and sister.

When he allies himself with Tracina and his family, the idea arises that the former enemies will be allies because of their common enemy, Suro. What we appreciate is that the show’s creators bestowed on Nino and the rest of the cast a wry sense of humor about their work, at least, but not so wacky that it undermines the seriousness of their task.

Will Nino’s main enemy be his sister Leonarda or his wife Luvi? How will they find out who he is? All of this is intriguing, to say the least, and the show is certainly good enough to keep all of these aspects of the story going without major lags.

gender and skin: Leonarda gets oral sex from a woman named Katerina (Anastasia Doaga); We’re not sure if she’s a prostitute or someone Leonarda has a relationship with. But it seems like she keeps her sexuality rock bottom for some reason.

farewell shot: In a callback to the prison scene where Tracina unties his handcuffs with a paperclip, the fugitive Nino, still handcuffed after the bridge collapsed, goes to Tracina’s house. After Tracina shot him in the chest with – buckshot? A beanbag gun? not sure – Tracina recognizes Nino, who asks the gangster: “Will you do your little trick for me?”

sleeping star: Guia Jelo is quirky and poignant in her few scenes as Nino’s boss Giusy Corifena, especially when she tells him she remembers her middle school attendance sheet but not what she ate just three seconds earlier.

Most pilot line: While watching the film about his father-in-law, Nino tells Luvi that the actor who plays him looks nothing like him. We then see the actor nod in Nino’s direction and notice that he is looking exactly like Nino.

Our appeal: Stream it. The Evil is a transformation and revenge story, but one in which the person being transformed is basically good and becomes bad just to exact revenge. It’s an interesting concept that should make for an enjoyable series.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and technology, but he doesn’t fool himself: He’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Salon,, VanityFair.comFast Company and elsewhere.

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