|Index||5 reviews in total|
As good as the first 3 series, with Terence Hill, who gets better every series. Sicilian Nino Frassica (Maresciallo Nino Cecchini) is great and Flavio Insinna from Rome (Capitano Flavio Anceschi) has a fine art of acting. They are the best characters of the series. In the fourth series, the appearance of Milena Miconi (Sindaco) is a new way of fun. Nathalie Guetta plays the dragon of Natalina very really. Francesco Scali (Pippo) is one of the best characters. The producers of Lux Vide and Rai Fiction made the best series of this this years. There is not any violence in the series, but if you want to have fun and a little bit of action, you must see it.
Although I have not been fortunate to see older Don Matteo shows I have been lucky to see Don Matteo on MHZ (worldview TV). I immediately was drawn to this show subtitles and all. In spite of the difference in language it is now my favorite scheduled show on TV. (I have been searching for subtitled older shows and have not been successful.) Don Matteo is akin to a Father Miss Marple, giving Sergeant Chekkini the accurate killer instead of the unfortunate suspect they usually lock up. Each character in the show from the housekeeper to the mayor has a side plot occurring which typically provides the source of the show's humor. My greatest draw to the show of course is the wonderful scenery and architecture, heritage not withstanding.
Don Matteo is a charming Italian television series about a priest who investigates crimes in the little town of Gubbio, Italy. The interaction between characters: the priest, police, mayor of the town and others is delightful with some comedy. The mayor of the town who is a stunning, bright woman is dating the head of police. There are funny episodes with the housekeeper and her husband. There's no blood and guts, sex or profanity: Just good stories each episode. The scenery is lovely. The theme music is really enjoyable. The English subtitles are absolutely excellent. And, in my opinion, Terence Hill, who plays Don Matteo (Father Matthew) has the charisma of Cary Grant.
I don't even know where to begin with this show.
It is addictive.
When I first started watching Don Matteo (consisting of almost 200 episodes in total since starting in 2000) on MHz Worldview International Mystery, it was on the advice of a good friend who'd stumbled across the channel and the international mysteries that air on it in the evenings. I didn't even know MHz existed down there in the Comcast 250's before that. "A detective priest!" my friend raved. "You'll love him!" At first watch, Don Matteo seemed crazy silly to me. About a bike-riding, cassock-wearing, priest (played by the endlessly energetic Terrence Hill -- of spaghetti western fame) who solves crimes because the local police force (the "Carabinieri") is (frankly) too incompetent to do it on their own.
There seemed to be about five basic plots for the shows that the writers of this series rehashed over and over AND OVER again, throwing in a slight variation here, changing a minor story line there (for example, there's the kayaking competition episode, the boxing competition episode, the bicycling competition episode... and then there's the episode where Natalina (one of Matteo's "side-kicks") gets a dog, another where she gets a baby. I could imagine the writers sitting around a table and looking at their blank pages and saying "let's do THIS again!" It all seemed... well... like I said, silly. And then, suddenly, I realized I was hooked. I love this show. I totally adore it. Yes. The characters are silly. The mysteries not very mysterious. The police are more like the Marx Brothers than SVU. BUT IT WORKS.
It is adorable and enjoyable and it makes me feel great to watch it on a good day, and it makes me feel better to watch it on a lousy day.
Much of the brilliance here falls directly on the capable shoulders of Nino Frassica, who plays Maresciallo Cecchini (one of the aforementioned Carabinieri). He's a physical comedy genius, and his interactions with his Captain (played by the equally enjoyable Simone Montedoro) are miracles of timing and humor. Some of my very favorite scenes in the series involve these two actors playing off each other with great skill and aplomb.
Terrence Hill is also magnificent in the starring role.
As I've written in another review, Italian mystery shows like this are a genre unto themselves. If there's a spectrum, and the Scandinavian mysteries like Wallander are on the ultraviolet end of the spectrum, Don Matteo is as far as you can get on the other side in the infrared. It is bright and funny and not at all subtle. This show is not so much about the mystery as it is about the characters, their relationships with each other and the world around them, and about morality, fairness and kindness, family and love.
And when the show hits pay dirt, like with the season 6 "Francesca e il lupo," it is extremely good.
Yes, as someone wrote, this show may be a vehicle for the Catholic Church (although Matteo does seem to be very open minded about many things the Church does not approve of). And it may be predicable and at times a little mind-numbing (there is a lot of comic relief in this show, but it is often played as a single note). However, Don Matteo is simply wonderful to watch.
Many thanks to MHz Worldview International Mystery for airing this series. As I write this review, I am anxiously anticipating the start of the seventh season of Don Matteo. Since being introduced to MHz I've had my eyes opened to these amazing shows made in Italy, France, Denmark, Sweden, and so on. MHz is a national treasure, and if you're not watching it, but like good mysteries, you should give it a try.
This is a highly recommendable series about a priest who helps police to solve mysteries in the beautiful Italian village of Gubbio. The priest Don Matteo is played by Terence Hill in his usually light hearted, mocking way and his personality, with the excellent supporting actors, is what gives this series a special glint: Natalina his housekeeper (french actress Natalie Guetta) always grieving for no being married, Pippo the sacristan (Francesco Scali), Francesco Scali and Simone Montedoro as capt. Anceschi and his successor capt. Tomassi, always trying to avoid Don Matteo snoops in the police cases and especially maresciallo Cecchini (Nino Frassica), special friend of Don Matteo and who always pass him the information about cases to help him solves the mysteries. The relationship between Gubbio inhabitants is as important as the cases and provides the humour touch that makes the series so enjoyable. In the last season Gubbio has been changed to Spoleto, causing people's protest in Italy. Interesting mystery cases mixed with humor, charismatic characters and a beautiful town location. All this makes the perfect combination for a successful and non alcoholic cocktail: no sex nor violence but good vibrations and final ending morals makes this series a good entertainment for the whole family not to be missed. Undoubtedly, highly recommended.
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