Godfather of Harlem: Season 1 (2019)

SEASON:

Season 1
Godfather of Harlem

Critics Consensus

As sharply dressed as it is smartly written, Godfather of Harlem walks familiar blocks to its own beat and makes a strong first impression.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 23

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 89
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Episodes

1
Air date: Sep 29, 2019
2
Air date: Oct 6, 2019
3
Air date: Oct 13, 2019
4
Air date: Oct 20, 2019
5
Air date: Oct 27, 2019
6
Air date: Nov 3, 2019
7
Air date: Nov 10, 2019
8
Air date: Nov 17, 2019
9
Air date: Nov 24, 2019
10

Godfather of Harlem: Season 1 Videos

Tv Season Info

Cast

Forest Whitaker
as Bumpy Johnson
Nigel Thatch
as Malcolm X
Vincent D'Onofrio
as Vincent "The Chin" Gigante
Giancarlo Esposito
as Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
Paul Sorvino
as Frank Costello
Ilfenesh Hadera
as Mayme Johnson
Lucy Fry
as Stella
Rafi Gavron
as Ernie Nunzi
Kathrine Narducci
as Olympia Gigante
Roslyn Ruff
as Delia Greene
Sereene Brown
as Sister of Islam
Hank Strong
as Big Dick Buster
Demi Singleton
as Margaret Johnson
Markuann Smith
as Junie Byrd
Eric West
as Richie
Jamaal Burcher
as Fruit of Islam Soldier
Christopher Parker
as Prison Guard #1
Korey Jackson
as Livingston Wingate
Angela McKenzie
as Sister of Islam
D Ivery
as Woman in Ice Cream Parlour
Chaz Riddle
as Officer Riddle
Gregory Cioffi
as Fat Ricky
Jerry Hebrank
as Harlemitte
Trent Miller
as Gangster
Arlene A. McGruder
as Dignified Woman
Jake Friedman
as Julius Patron
Danielle McCullough
as Woman in Diner
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News & Interviews for Godfather of Harlem: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Godfather of Harlem Season 1

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (10)

[Whitaker] holds it all together, but this is definitely an ensemble piece, and it's smart, engaging television that only occasionally falters under the weight of its ambition to tell a few too many stories at once.

Oct 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Anachronistic hip-hop might date the series quickly, but for now it's a rich and piquant stew.

Oct 2, 2019 | Full Review…

Whitaker gets his first series lead role, with predictable results - all good.

Sep 27, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This unofficial prequel to "American Gangster" does play with nostalgia from the era... But its depiction of a racially divided, corrupt and often venal world rings just as true today.

Oct 2, 2019 | Full Review…

Through it all, Whitaker keeps a tight rein on his performance, letting his storied intensity break through in just a few flashes.

Sep 30, 2019 | Full Review…

Even with its ambitions, its embracing of the genre's cliches, its at-times strained credulity, and overstuffed plot lines may keep new audiences away.

Sep 30, 2019 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

The show mostly bobs along at a level of "pretty good," and every now and then it crests higher than that. The trio of Whitaker, D'Onofrio, and Esposito are enough to make anything worth watching, and they're matched by a superb Nigél Thatch.

Oct 11, 2019 | Full Review…

On one level it's a good entertainment, featuring a stellar cast and fantastic production values, on another level it uses the melodrama of this genre to explore themes about race in a way you normally wouldn't get in a mere crime thriller.

Oct 3, 2019 | Full Review…

In Godfather, there promises to be tragedy enough for all.

Sep 30, 2019 | Full Review…

I'm not saying devious behaviour is to be celebrated but even in the crime world, ingenuity and creativity exist before the inevitable demise of the criminal.

Nov 22, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Godfather of Harlem, which is stuffed with real historical figures, including Malcolm X, tries to be a mash-up of over-familiar gangster clichés and lofty history of the African-American quest for social justice, but ends up overreaching.

Jan 8, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

It's gritty, pulpy and unpredictable and confident in a swagger that's not really trying to emulate the soft nuances of "prestige" crime dramas like Breaking Bad or The Sopranos.

Oct 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Godfather of Harlem: Season 1

  • Feb 12, 2020
    Rivering with a great soundtrack and an authentic feel of the real Harlem. Forrest Whitaker at the top of his game. Whats not to like?
  • Feb 09, 2020
    Forest Whittaker is back with a vengeance transforming himself into the Bumpy Johnson Role. Brilliant. The show is so compelling I binged on the entire season 1 over 2 days. Every single actor is addictive & naturally fitting in the scenes. The actor playing Gin, and all the other mob heads are truly convincing - enough to turn your stomach inside out. Set design was very accurate. I wish I could have seen them transform Lenox Terrace here in Harlem because the lobby area appears very authentic. It looks just like it did in the early 90's (though this is set in the 60's - all of the buildings were updated in 2002). The young cute Italian kid "Ernie" (Rafi Gavron) reminded me of the young kid who played Deniro's son in A Bronx Tale. He's holding it down in this role, though playing an awful, insecure, spiritually lost young killer for the mob, who spends his days trying to become a made man. Adding Bumpys' complicated relationship with Malcom X, and Malcom's struggles within the NOA kept me watching episode after episode. The handsome, captivating Nigel Thatch brought Malcom to life on screen in the most mesmerizing way. Even Elijah Mohammed being played by Clifton Davis was a huge surprise that WORKED!! He really looks like him and does him well. Wow. The storyline for this series is thick, heavy, but realistically portrayed throughout each episode. It may seem like a lot and there really is a lot going on at once, so you will never get bored. The writers are trying to show us some important aspects of Bumpy's life and relationships as they relate to some famous people we know - I imagine this was challenging to put together. Still, this is one of the best series showing us how street life, politics, & religion can become entwined into one mission when you look deeper into it. Or at least, as it ended up this way for Bumpy Johnson. These men kept changing and needing one another despite their disagreements and seemingly opposing values. Now I don't know if Adam C. Powell was this hilarious in real life, but in this series GianCarlos had me laughing out loud. I can't wait for season 2. 10 episodes is not enough. Godfather of Harlem is excellent storytelling. I don't want to give away any spoilers since most of us know a lot about these men anyway. You won't regret it.
  • Jan 31, 2020
    Loved it. Very strong stories and extremely compelling cast. I also thought they did a fantastic job with the imagery to represent the time period from clothing, cars, furnishings, accents to music. Was really impressed and very eager for a second season. This is a home run series.
  • Dec 29, 2019
    it was a great series. it has to continue. they left alot out from this same time frame in that era.
  • Dec 23, 2019
    A great insider look at American History in the '60s. The show is perfectly paced and every hook at the end of the episode had me wanting more. I can't wait for Season 2!
  • Dec 16, 2019
    Another smash from the creator of Narcos. I'm going to cry if this show is cancelled for some random reason!
  • Dec 12, 2019
    I used Amazon Prime to subscribe to Epix for this show. The series had me excited for Sunday. It was very entertaining and intriguing. I'm now waiting on season 2. If you want to go ahead and let me review season 2 early I'd be more than happy to do so!
  • Dec 05, 2019
    One of the "best"shows on TV right now the best...😀
  • Dec 04, 2019
    Forest Whitaker is a genius! So glad they decided to cast him in this role. Every episode leaves you wanting more. I wish I could rewatch this show.
  • Dec 01, 2019
    Very good TV show based on true events so realistic.

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