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Godfather of Harlem: Season 1 Videos
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Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
News & Interviews for Godfather of Harlem: Season 1
[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.
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.
Whitaker gets his first series lead role, with predictable results - all good.
Through it all, Whitaker keeps a tight rein on his performance, letting his storied intensity break through in just a few flashes.
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.
What lifts Godfather Of Harlem above your standard mobster bloodbath is its classy evocation of a New York caught on the cusp of major upheaval.
The historical context is fascinating and the series lives up to its rich complexity. [Full Review in Spanish]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Audience Reviews for Godfather of Harlem: Season 1
Jul 04, 2020Captivating story with a script that uses important historical facts as a framework. The battle for the street in Harlem in the sixties, with the confrontation between the black community and the Italians, has components of great interest. Excellent performances, where Forest Whitaker stands out clearly. The only element of criticism is the music, not because of its quality, but because I would have preferred them to use songs from that time.
Apr 15, 2020The acting is amazing: Forrest Whitaker and Vincent D'Onofrio are spot on.
Apr 11, 2020My new favorite series. This is some amazing entertainment
Feb 12, 2020Rivering 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, 2020Forest 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, 2020Loved 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, 2019it was a great series. it has to continue. they left alot out from this same time frame in that era.
Dec 23, 2019A 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, 2019Another smash from the creator of Narcos. I'm going to cry if this show is cancelled for some random reason!
Dec 12, 2019I 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!