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[James] Norton plays Alex with such committed blankness that his rare outbursts of emotion are almost humorous.
No matter how you feel about "McMafia" as a title, it does illustrate what's wrong with the show itself: If it were a McDonalds product, it would be an Egg McMuffin. Bland but filling, it's a breakfast sandwich sans any discernible flavor
A thrilling watch that's filled with provocative gestures, portentous moments and the same gripping tension that made fellow recent British series like Bodyguard and The Night Manager so binge-worthy.
The ace in McMafia's pack is undoubtedly Norton. It takes a lot to turn a caviar-necking banker son of a Russian crime dynasty into a likeable TV hero, but Norton somehow imbues his character Alex with a sense of fundamental decency.
McMafia is certainly slick. But as an expose of international organized money laundering, I fear it's too dense to be the sexy thriller of 2018 that everyone so wants it to be.
As the show insists, there really isn't that much glamour at the top, just cold-hearted pragmatism, and cold it is - in each and every frame.
For many, this may seem redundant, but the commitment to showcasing the mafia's spread in the age of globalization gives the show an important angle.
It is not a failure, and its slick look convincingly creates a world for its story, but to survive in the current TV landscape, it needs to stop being like its main character and take more of a walk on the wild side.
Sometimes it was mad, occasionally it was bad, but in the end I came to love McMafia.
McMafia has a Night Manager-level budget and a United Nations cast of actors. It oozes quality, and in Norton it has a leading man who can both act and look good in a DJ.
Audience Reviews for McMafia: Season 1
Nov 15, 2020Very well written, well researched and original, show holds nothing back. Definitely a must watch for those who crave a high quality production.
Oct 13, 2020Great TV! It took me about an episode and a half to fully get into it I admit, but from then on I was locked in constantly. S1 of 'McMafia' is outstanding! Riveting plot alongside some terrific acting, particularly from James Norton (Alex) and Merab Ninidze (Vadim). The locations are stunning, I love the worldwide feel to the show - I know that sounds obvious given the premise, but they truly make it feel global which is important. Of course it isn't perfect, but it's very close to being so. Can't wait for season two!
Oct 26, 2019Wonderful characters and beautifully executed story with an epic climax.
Oct 14, 2019Great show and story line with nice locations filmed. The main character personality change into a mafia boss was well done. Hope it gets a second season.
Jul 17, 2019Brilliant, we loved it. Bring on Season 2
Mar 23, 2019Great!!! Really a different view of the underworld
Sep 08, 2018The crime drama is innovative with its Russian mafia gangs/families as the backbone, although most of the narrative end results are no different from what could have been with any other type of warlords and families.
Aug 12, 2018I truly enjoyed this drama series, the acting was top of the line, maybe wiuth a larger budget the series can get even better .. I'm excited to see Season 2 and all that it brings
Jul 31, 2018McMafia is the best program on AMC.
Jun 19, 2018Great script, excellent acting.Suspenseful. Although the main actor channels michael corleone and other similarities to the godfather, the scope is international and focuses on money laundering, sex trafficking, and drug smuggling. Takes place in london, moscow, tel aviv with middle east countries and the mexican cartel thrown in to round out the international flavor. best show currently on tv.