The Mechanism: Season 1 (2018)


Season 1
The Mechanism

Critics Consensus

The Mechanism's complex investigation of a Brazilian corruption scandal proves a solid and entertaining foundation, making it a welcome addition to the prestige crime drama line up.



Critic Ratings: 10


Audience Score

User Ratings: 346

Rate And Review

User image


  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this season

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.


    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of this tv season? (optional)

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this season

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.


    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of this tv season? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?


Air date: Mar 23, 2018

The Mechanism: Season 1 Videos

The Mechanism: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

A thrilling, character-driven original series inspired by real events in Brazil. This fictionalized story explores how a small group of dogged investigators comes to discover the inner workings of a monstrous corruption scheme and the impact their pursuit has on everyone involved - including themselves.

News & Interviews for The Mechanism: Season 1

Critic Reviews for The Mechanism Season 1

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

It's a fascinating, angry and at times bewildering series, but is driven by cold rage.

Jun 22, 2018 | Full Review…

It will be interesting to see how The Mechanism grows in future episodes, especially knowing that there's so much corruption and intrigue to get to before the eight episodes are told.

Mar 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Even putting aside the unscripted adaptations of the story, which will serve as political ammunition, the series remains a lost opportunity. [Full Review in Spanish]

Apr 3, 2019 | Full Review…

A 90-minute film would have better served the narrative instead of eight episodes. We really didn't need a full series, especially since it wasn't going to end with a resolution anyway. Netflix could have spared us this one.

Mar 27, 2018 | Full Review…

... a nuanced, addictive series worth sinking your teeth into.

Apr 13, 2018 | Full Review…

Turns out, this is superb TV, a complex law-and-order procedural in the vein of The Wire-and a useful primer to the headlines pouring out of Brazil.

Apr 11, 2018 | Full Review…

One of the best series available on Netflix. [Full Review in Spanish]

Apr 10, 2018 | Full Review…

But the immersion into such a massive web of crime is fascinating, especially knowing it's at least loosely tied to a real case.

Mar 30, 2018 | Full Review…

Brazilian crime drama isn't as much fun as Narcos.

Mar 27, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The Mechanism proves to be a competent procedural operating on a huge, historic scale, one that, while sharing a lot of DNA with Narcos also has hints of The Wire and even the recent drama Collateral. It's an entertaining watch.

Mar 23, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Mechanism: Season 1

  • Jan 18, 2020
    A brave report of Brazilian recent history!
  • Jan 24, 2019
    There are two ways of assessing this series. It is a pamphlet, and it tries to be a work of art. As a pamphlet, it is a lie, or a series of lies, and it is part of parcel of a full blown coup d'etat that severely damaged Brazilian democracy. From that point of view, which is difficult to avoid when you are one of the victims of this series, it would not deserve even one star. As a work of art - though it is difficult to determine whether such status is genuinely aimed at, or just an excuse for slander - it has several other problems. One of them is being the next "work of art" from the same artist as "Narcos", which makes comparisons unavoidable - and unfavourable to this series. In "Narcos", there were real and fictitious characters - and some real characters were fictionalised, like Hermilda, Pablo Escobar's mother. But Gaviria and Samper were actual presidentes of Colômbia, e there actually was a minister called Botero. Likewise, Escobar, La Quica, the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers, or the DEA agents, Murphy and Peña, though fictitious actions are attributed to them, were real people. And the main characters were historical characters, while the fictiious characters, as Sandoval or Fernando Duque, fit well in the plot - doubtlessly somebody had do play simiilar parts in real life - just like the fictionalisation of Hermilda made her, to say the truth, a more interesting character than the real Hermilda (who, ironically, was much more stereotypical than her fictional avatar). "The Mechanism", however, resorts to a somewhat ridiculous move: Lula is portrayed as "Higino", Dilma as "Janete", Youssef as "Ibrahim", Sérgio Moro as "Rigo". This betrays a certain insecurity, which is easily explainable: in "Narcos", events are history; it is unnecessary to suppose the involvement of Botero with the Cáli Cartel, which cost him a conviction and later the exile in Mexico. But "The Mechanism" deals with very recent events, which in fact haven't yet fully unfolded. Thence the fake names: you would not like to be in the situation of attributing to Lula illegal acts that he may not have practiced at all. Which also prompts a much lower level of subtility than in "Narcos". There, Botero shares information to the Rodriguez clan, but we only learn that together with the "detectives" - Botero never appears saying any illegal absurd on screen. That would undermine "Narcos'" point, which was to tell a story; but "The Mechanism" point is to make a political statement, so the president must be seen on screen doing blatantly illegal things, so he can't be named Lula, thence he is "Higino"... So "The Mechanism" wants to be brave, but instead it is quite cravenly: it hides behind the screen of fiction to deny that it is saying what it actually wants to say. It again is a reason why it is a bad pamphlet: it is not an actual denounciation. As a narrative, it borders in ridicule, like a detective novel in which we already know who is the criminal, while the detective still struggle to find it. As an openly political piece, it is too weak to be taken in serious. Add to this the complete disaster that is Selton Melo's character, "Marco Ruffo" (and a character has to be really, really mistaken for Melo being unable to save it). He is an envious crook, and a stupid crook to booth, frustrated because after twenty years as a "delegado" - a police chief - in the Polícia "Federativa" (another ridiculous deal, the renaming of Brazilian institutions, in the case, the Polícia Federal) he only has an old car and a small villa for estate, while those he investigates are filthy rich. But such is life; no one gets to be a millionaire on a police chief salary, much bigger it surely is than Ruffo's constant baby-crying over it. As only a complete fool would imagine such a possibility, what transpires is that Ruffo, like the most despicable envious people, doesn't actually want to do well - just that everybody else does as badly as himself, and that such is his idea of "justice": that nobody be richer, or happier, or more recognised than himself. This doesn't make a character empathetic, except perhaps to the small part of mankind that is similarly affected by pathological envy. And without such empathy, it is very difficult to get on board with such an awful, incompetent and unhinged policeman, who threatens a suspect with a razor to the throat, purposefully destroys the motorbike of another suspect, commits arson in a justice court because he dislikes the plea bargain proposed by the public attorneys, threats arson against a bureaucratic precinct because the paperwork seems abusive (the best line in the series is perhaps by the public servant who has to deal with that threat, something like, "you can do that, but I still need the document"), and threats to murder a physician on the issue of an insanity certificate. That is the kind of policeman who no one wants to meet, the kind that uses his distinctive to harass and intimidate common people, the kind of bitter and irresponsible bully who uses his position to screw up other people, and not to serve the population, or even to serve Law. Agents Murphy ou Peña may be stereotypical or mistaken - in fact, if "Narcos" is true to real life, they are bad cops, who collude with torture and random murder, and accomplicit, even if vaguely critical, of "policy" that consist in making alliance with a gang in order to defeat another one. But their motives are both better and more plausible. Besides an authentic devotion to the abstract role of the police, and a better notion of "justice", they want to destroy Escobar and the Rodrígues - and are willing to commit their own crimes and misdemeanours, if necessary or apparently necessary - but not because Escobar and the Rodríguezes are richer than them; on the contrary, because this is what the "law" demands, or because the crimes of these mafia bosses are truly revolting. Ruffo, on the other hand, has only one reason for pride: he never accepted a bribe. But looking at the kind of illegal things he is happy to make, one has to wonder why on Earth doesn't he accept a bribe after all. We are left with the feeling that he would happier, and even a better person, if he just could do it... It is a pity that the time and efforts of good actors are wasted on this sham.
  • Jun 05, 2018
    Como brasileiros gostaríamos que essa série fosse puramente ficção mas a verdade é que ela mostra o mecanismo que esta moendo o Brasil por dentro, o câncer que esta matando uma nação.
  • May 07, 2018
    I fell in love with this serie.
  • Apr 19, 2018
    The MechANISM offers a fictionalized, yet similar to reality, perspective on the corruption case that has shaken the establishment in BRAZILIAN politics. As entertainement, it's genre and type of storytelling is not well defined, and requires improvements. The characters are interesting, and the story is MIND BOGGLING(and yet, it does not reach the levels of absurdity that real facts on the case have presented. I guess the directors didn't want to strech the suspension of disbelief too far...), but the script does not work the thriller effects too well. There is very little suspense, and that makes the storytelling somewhat flat. For a brazilian that watched the news and have a strong political perspective on the whole thing, I consider the series very ENTERTAINING, and very telling of how deep the rabbit hole goes down here in brazil...
  • Apr 07, 2018
    Excellent and insightful
  • Apr 03, 2018
  • Apr 02, 2018
    Túnel de corrupción [2018]
  • Apr 02, 2018
    Excelent ficcional history about brazilian corruption
  • Apr 02, 2018
    Muito bom, esperando 2° temporada

News & Features