My Brilliant Friend: Season 1 (2018)

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Critic Consensus: My Brilliant Friend is an expansive epic that gleans rapturous beauty from the most desolate of circumstances, but it is the intimacy between the central duo -- and the remarkable performances that bring them to life -- that audiences will remember most vividly.

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Episodes

1
Air date: Nov 18, 2018
2
Air date: Nov 19, 2018
3
Air date: Nov 25, 2018
4
Air date: Nov 26, 2018
5
Air date: Dec 2, 2018
6
Air date: Dec 3, 2018
7
Air date: Dec 9, 2018
8
Air date: Dec 10, 2018

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Critic Reviews for My Brilliant Friend Season 1

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (28)

Ludovica Nasti and Elisa del Genio, who play Lila and Lenù as small girls, are amazing: as sly as they are artless, as knowing as they are guileless. Their smudgy, sad faces hold the attention as the histrionic plot does not

Nov 26, 2018 | Full Review…

When there are dozens of new shows every month clamouring for your time, My Brilliant Friend is that rare find that should rocket to the top of your watchlist.

Nov 24, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Saverio Costanzo's production looks and feels wonderfully authentic.

Nov 19, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

So many individual pieces are intriguing, and some even prove rewarding over hours of consideration. Still, even the most introspective series doesn't need to be such a slog.

Nov 16, 2018 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

The announcement of a new TV adaptation... led many of Ferrante's fans to question how the miniseries could possibly capture the heart of the books. Miraculously, though, it does.

Nov 16, 2018 | Full Review…

Insightful and clear-eyed, "My Brilliant Friend" takes you there.

Nov 16, 2018 | Full Review…

There's nothing on TV to match the show's novelistic immersion in [the character's] inner lives.

Dec 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Brilliant, beautiful, a cut above just about every other recent TV series. On the other hand, you can't help the feeling there's so much you're missing out on by not consuming it in its original format.

Dec 10, 2018 | Full Review…

The actresses perfectly and gracefully embody the two central characters, friends, neighbors and rivals who grow up together in a Neapolitan slum in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dec 7, 2018 | Full Review…

Along these lines, My Brilliant Friend displays an intoxicating mastery of perspective.

Dec 6, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for My Brilliant Friend: Season 1

Incredibly nuanced performances & gorgeous production

My heart is full.... after reading all 4 books. I was so excited for the TV series, and what a treat! Everything from cinematography to the actors to Naples 1950s backdrop, EVERYTHING was how I had envisaged it in my mind. All the characters were exactly how I pictured them, even little Lila and little Lenu. I am not Italian, but after I can't help but feel nostalgic, like it's touch a piece of my childhood. I feel that that both Lila and Lenu characteristics are relatable, as if I had a bit of both of them in me. I can't wait to see what is in store for next season. Book 2 was an emotional read for me, so I am preparing myself emotionally before season 2 comes out. This is a must see/read for all generations!

Brilliant and beautiful viewing!

Too dark and dramatic reconstruction of the Italian reality just to wink to the American public. The young actresses are unable to communicate much, in particular Margherita Mazzucco who is expressionless all the time. The series is not much than a list of stereotypical scenes and characters. But the narrating voice is horrible above all: insipid and monotonous it is the voice of the wife of the director, Alba Rohrwacher (example of Italian nepotism, representative of Italy much more than the dull and boring miniseries of Saverio Costanzo, also an example of favoritism, because, not by chance, he is son of one of the most famous and influential Italian TV hosts, Maurizio C.).

I REALLY ENJOYED THIS SERIES. I CAME IN KNOWING NOTHING ABOUT IT AND FOUND IT A WELL DONE SERIES WITH EXCELLENT ACTING AND A VERY INTERESTING STORY.

Kept me on my toes! Loved the story of a beautiful friendship between two girls with two very different personalities!

It wasn’t like “just watching a show”. Because when you’re watching it, it felt like remembering.

Elene Ferrante's Neapolitan novels were often seen as a bit of a prosaic soap opera, so that meshed with their acclaim and popularity made it pretty much inevitable that they'd see a television adaptation. An expectedly faithful recounting of the first novel in the series, My Brilliant Friend succeeds in its precise period details and layered character development. The series confidently captures the intimacy of the novels, while also acknowledging its fiercely feminist themes. Highly recommended, both for fans of the series or otherwise.

Brilliant immersive television. The script, direction and acting are near flawless.

Best HBO show in years. Just watch it....

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