This is probably going to be the only review I write on this site, it is not something that I normally do, but this show truly deserves it. It is not only the greatest show never to have been watched, but on of the best shows of all time. It really did not get the marketing and the advertising it deserved. I came across it by accident flicking through the channels, and I do not know of anybody here in the UK that actually sat down and watched it, reason being, they did not know it even existed, it really is a shame.
This is right up there with the Sopranos and the Wire, no question about it. Is it a Sopranos rip off, well it does focus on gangster life as part of its main theme, and it is pretty violent, but that in no way shape or form makes you think that you are watching the Sopranos. I'm truly baffled at how some can call this show a Sopranos rip off. Two Irish American brothers with a love hate relationship, one the black sheep of the family, violent, borderline psycho, a small time gangster with visions of making it big, the other the complete opposite, a family man and a small time politician, very smart, sly, with visions of moving up higher in the political ranks. He initially believes he can achieve this, without dirtying his hands or his conscience, or stooping any where near the level of his law breaking, violent, no good brother. As the series progresses Tommy realises to his disgust, that as much as he may well despise his brother for what he does and who he is, there are elements of Michael within himself that he must use, if he truly wants to succeed in his quest to reach the top of the political ladder. Does that sound anything like the Sopranos to you?.
As well as personal and family issues, this show focuses on how the Irish gangster are trying to compete and co exist with the Italian mobsters who are slowly trying to force them out. This is not a Sopranos copy or clone, in anyway whatsoever, I am only guessing that this is the view of a bitter obsessive fan. The political aspects of the show are as riveting as the the darker, more violent gangster side, and each have you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. The political aspect is similar but not the same as the Wire, and the acting all round absolutely superb.There are some great characters, and also many great lines and many great moments, some very funny some very brutal, it is a show that you will never forget.
Shows like this are the reason I do not watch many so called serious dramas, there are very few that can reach this level of excellence. The third season is a bit rushed, and it feels this way when watching it. The reason for this apparently was because the writers were told that the third season was going to be the last, so they did the best they could, with the little time they had to end it. Anybody who likes gangster shows or even gritty well acted violent dramas should love this show, search it out, you will not be disappointed. Be prepared for that sick to the stomach feeling, you get when watching an excellent show that you are hooked on, that ends way before it should have. I also got that feeling with Rome, Deadwood, Intelligence (excellent Canadian drama) and also, although not in the same league as these shows, Line of Fire from 2003. I would have given it 10 out of 10, but did not because of the rushed feel of the third season, which was purely down to the writers being told they only had a short time in which to finish it.
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