The Black Donnellys (TV Series 2007– ) Poster

(2007– )

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The makings of a great show
burkiali26 February 2007
If there is something Paul Haggis is good at, it's storytelling.

The pilot was as captivating as a pilot can hope to be. The story begins to come together after the first ten minutes of an 'introduction' and it's an entertaining ride with thought behind it.

This casting is good, the characters have plenty of depth to play with and the writing is, well, Paul Haggis.

There's a lot of potential and I hope we see a great run from the Black Donnellys. It would be a pity if this goes the Arrested Development route.

Though, this is a very different show.
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Make No Mistake - The Black Donnelly's Should STAY.
m0viEmAniA10297 March 2007
It's early to say this but judging by the first two episodes this show is going to be something special. I love this show. Now, granted I was at first interested in it because the main characters are Irish, as I am. But this show is about so much more than just being Irish, or even just the mob/organized crime. It's like the tagline for the show says.. "Family above all" and how far one brother is willing to go to protect his brothers. Will he put himself first? Or will he save his brothers? Some people say this show is like The Departed (Which I loved, so I'm not saying anything bad about the Departed)

It's only like The Departed because 1.) The main characters are Irish. 2.) It features some organized crime (but mostly dis-organized) and violence. This really is an excellent show. Not many shows have the balls to put so much effort into a pilot. Pilot episodes are usually those boring shows that set up the story but have nothing to them. This series pilot was intriguing and actually had a plot and trusted you to keep up, which is something most pilots wouldn't even dream of doing. The second episode just proved how great this show is. Not only is it violent and all - but it has a dark sense of humor. Which is great, I personally find it very entertaining.

So here's what I'll say... Watch the Black Donnellys. Give this show a chance. This is my new favorite TV show, and if NBC does something RIDICULOUS and cancels this amazing show I will forever give up watching TV because this is a great series and I can't wait to see how it unfolds.
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Very Good. The Black Donnellys is the tits.
andrewrunning28 February 2007
I don't know what the problem is with this show.. that everyone seems to hate it, but I watched it, and I thought that it was very very good. The dialogue was good, the premise was dark, and of course, unbelievable. But seriously, what are the hit shows on today... Heroes? Lost? Desperate Housewives?, doesn't TV thrive on the unbelievable? I mean, why else would we watch something that could be going on nextdoor? Its just not that interesting. As for the comment that the good comments were just boosters from the show, the argument could be made that all the bad comments are from people that want to see the show fail. This is just as possible as boosters being on IMDb. Paul Haggis didn't get all of those Oscar noms for nothing. So heres to hoping that it stays on the air.
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luckyfoshizzle6 March 2007
The first time I heard about this show was through all the ads on NBC and I just thought "dear God not another stupid TV show coming on the air for me to not watch" without really paying much attention. Then, the day it was set to premiere I heard a little more about it. The whole "brothers fighting for brothers" thing intrigued me. It kind of reminded me of "Four Brothers" (one of my personal favorite movies). So I decided to tune in. And boy, was I glad I did that.

This show is great! Finally, a little action and originality coming to TVs. You can tell that the writers wrote many movies just from the way its written, GREAT! The whole "Joey-Ice Cream telling the story" thing is quite original and with a little humor added into it.

Even though there's only been two episodes I can tell that I am definitely going to be tuning in for all the rest there is to come no matter how many that my be.

To break it all down, if you love movies/shows with action, drama, violence, with a little humor, etc. then you'll love this show. And if not, try to give it a shot, you probably won't regret it!
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Probably the best pilot of the 06-07 season
VerbalKint-213 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
*** There are no spoilers until later in this review, and they are clearly marked. ***

If internet rumours are to be believed, Paul Haggis has had this project in the works for the better part of a decade. Those rumours also imply that the box office and critical success of both Million Dollar Baby and Crash has made it much easier for him to find a home for this series about four Irish brothers living in what appears to be Hell's Kitchen, NYC.

I don't put much stock in those rumours, and feel Paul Haggis is being given too much credit for this project. And by too much credit, I mean he's being given ALL of the credit. That's due in large part to NBC's early promotion of the show (which will not premiere until mid-season) having Haggis' name stamped all over it. Not to mention the fact that just about everyone who's heard of this show knows its title is a reference to an Irish family, several of whom were viciously murdered in 1880 in a Southwestern Ontario (Canada) township not far from where Haggis grew up.

Paul Haggis' influence is certainly felt in the pilot episode of this series, which he directed and co-wrote. But the influence of co-writer/creator Bobby Moresco is also very apparent. It's clear that his knowledge of Hell's Kitchen (where he spent his childhood) and the consequences of power struggles between organized crime syndicates in that neighbourhood (Moresco's brother Tommy was murdered there in 1983) provided the perfect setting for Haggis' present-day Donnellys.

For the record, I'm not saying that Haggis hadn't been working on this for a while. In all likelihood, he had. But I do believe that this project found its legs when Haggis and Moresco worked together on Crash. I imagine a conversation between Haggis and Moresco where Haggis presents Moresco with the story of the real-life Black Donnellys and the idea of updating it from the 1800s to the present day. In turn, Moresco is reminded of the Westies, an Irish-American gang from his Hell's Kitchen childhood who often clashed with mafia families.

Those elements combine to form the basis of this new drama, set to take ER's time slot (10pm Thursdays) in January, 2007. NBC clearly has high hopes for this show. And after seeing the pilot, I can see why.


Told in narrated flashbacks, but never tipping its hand as to the eventual fates of the characters involved, the pilot buzzes along at breakneck speed. The narration is from a third-person perspective. That person is "Joey Ice Cream", an apparent petty criminal who knows everything and everyone in the neighbourhood. The kind of guy you go to if you want to know where the bodies are. And that's exactly what two detectives want to know.

We're given brief glimpses of the Donnelly boys' childhoods, insight into what made them the young men they are today, but mostly we're told how the brothers came to be, in Joey's opinion, the protectors of the neighbourhood.

Tommy Donnelly (Jonathan Tucker) is the brother with the most going for him...the one who stays out of trouble. Most everyone in the neighbourhood knows he's the one who could make something of himself, or "get out", as Joey Ice Cream puts it. Holding him back, however, are his brothers Sean (Michael Stahl-David), Kevin (Billy Lush) and Jimmy (Tom Guiry), whose constant scheming mean Tommy spends more time keeping them out of jail than pursuing his gift (Tommy is a talented artist).

A plan hatched by Jimmy, Kevin and Sean is necessitated by a five-thousand dollar gambling debt of Kevin's. Against Tommy's advice, the three criminally-inclined brothers kidnap an Italian gangster named Louie Downtown. Unfortunately for the Donnellys, the Italians catch wind of the fact that Louie was snatched by three Irishmen. The Donnellys are instantly implicated by Sal Minetta (Mark Margolis). Minetta's right-hand man Nicky Cottero (Kirk Acevedo) is dispatched to make the Donnellys pay. What follows changes the shape of the family, and in turn the neighbourhood.


The show feels gritty and natural. The writing is perfectly suited to the characters (in as much as network television allows such dialogue to be realistic), as are the actors playing those characters. The show obviously needs a strong lead, and Jonathan Tucker as Tommy is superb. He appears mature beyond his years, which of course the role requires. To this point, most of the other actors are, in relative terms, background...only there to support the story of Tommy's defining day, but they're all solid. I look forward to seeing them all develop.

In a season with an abnormally strong crop of new shows (the pilots of both Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Shark were very strong), The Black Donnellys appears to be the best of the bunch. Haggis' reworking of a notorious Canadian feud combined with Moresco's perfect setting has me wishing we could skip the next four months. January simply cannot come fast enough for me.
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Paul Haggis returns to the Irish Mob
BasiliskSt13 February 2007
The Black Donnellys is a return to form for Paul Haggis, the show's creator and executive producer. The lead characters are four Irish-American brothers in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. Police, unions, and mob families interact in complex ways that recalls Haggis' short-lived television masterpiece EZ Streets. In The Black Donnellys, Haggis creates an engaging story of family loyalty, desperation, sacrifice and redemption. The Donnellys' world is not as dark and desperate as the unnamed rust belt city of EZ Streets, but the Donnellys are nonetheless bound by history to a path filled with conflict and drama. I found the story believable and engaging. The twists of the story reinforced the character development. Few shows manage such deft intertwining of plot and character. Most must either be characterized as plot-driven or character-driven. The Black Donnellys uses both artistic barrels, with stunning accuracy.

Based on the series Pilot, The Black Donnellys is highly recommended. NBC has a full order of 13 episodes. (The pilot is available through Netflix before the television premier scheduled for March 5, 2007 @ 10:00 PM Eastern, 9:00 PM Central.)
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Best show on TV!
rushour14428 February 2007
As for the whole Departed rip off... THINK AGAIN! I love Scorsese and would never put him down, I've seen the Departed 5 times, and this show does not even attempt to rip it off. The Departed is all about mix ups and backstabbing. Although The Departed does take place in a poor Irish neighborhood, The Black Donnelys take a whole new approach. This show is all about, well... brotherly love. Tommy will go so far as to go against everything he isn't to protect his brothers. This show does not start out slow at all. It is up in your face by second 1 and doesn't slow down. The intro is cool too. I almost think it will rise above The Sopranos (one of the greatest!) it is that good.

This is not a TV show, it is more a movie that is to long for theaters so they chopped it up and put it into a TV show.

As for what it replaced Studio 60 sucked. It was slow and dull and a wannabe attempt to try and make an entourage (the whole going into the actors behind the scenes life wise, not premise wise)show and did not work. That headline a while ago should be, WHAT was on before THE BLACK DONNELYS!

Please, if you even seem to like Scorsese or Guy Ritchie films whatsoever, WATCH THIS! You will not regret it!

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Looking Forward to Series Debut
brettharlow1232 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
*Based on the pilot I'm looking forward to seeing this show and hoping it can sustain the quality, the density and richness, of the pilot.

There's a lot of story in 40-odd minutes. A number of driven characters, each differently motivated, with some new, unusual, but welcome faces. I felt as if I were in actually in this neighborhood in New York. The production value is that of a feature film.

Forget the Super Bowl. This is what hi-def TV is made for.

The comment currently listed on this series's homepage is, in a word, stupid. It's insulting to the storytellers and the audience, not to mention that it contains spoilers. You don't have to be best buds with Haggis and Moresco to enjoy this show.

The challenges, naturally, other than the humdrum Herculean tasks of producing a show (13 eps? I heard?), will be the use of violence, language, and sex on network TV. Good luck and I'm waiting.
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Reboot please
gin8170020 April 2018
This show needs a reboot ASAP I miss this show so much. Come on amazon, netflix and hulu?!?!?!?!
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So Far, So Good
mr-lydian5 March 2007
I'll go ahead and state that I come from an Irish background, so I was biased toward the show before I watched the pilot. After watching the first two episodes, I'm still on the wagon. It's the first show in a long time that has a perfect blend of plot, characters, and action (I know, most people would say "Lost" has the same blend., but I just think it's so-so--personal opinion).

I'm interested to see how the narrator aspect of the show is going to pan out; I'd assume you can only tell the story in this fashion for so long before it gets old. But, at the beginning, it's very creative and interesting. Here's to (hopefully) the new best show on TV.
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The show "The Departed" wishes it was
trixie112728 February 2007
Going just by the pilot - excellent! I thought the story'd be off to a bit of a slow, boring start, but it took off like a flare, from the first few shots, never flagging, never letting up. The grittiness of the look, the timing, the pace, the story line, the dialogue -- terrific, just what you'd expect from people who made "Crash." They didn't disappoint. The acting is also very good, except Keith Nobbs, who plays Joey Ice Cream: entirely too much of a clichéd motor-mouthed overacting little weasel. If he's going to continue providing the narration, it can be a detriment to the overall quality, as it was in the pilot, hence I gave it only 9 stars out of 10.
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An Equal Substitute
DeSantis_162615 March 2007
For a network television station, NBC has just found her new gem. As a Sopranos fan, I was a bit skeptical about watching the show. But Paul Haggis' genius strikes again and this time its on the small screen. Now that The Sopranos is finishing its final season in April, fans of the show need a substitute, and I highly recommend The Black Donnellys is just as good. I thought it would be hard to show that world without swear words, but the show is not just about that side of it. Its a show about brothers who love one another and come from 'that neighborhood', not Irish mobsters that happen to be brothers.

In conclusion, watch the damn show!
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Deadly great show
lordprater4 March 2007
This show was deadly awesome. i saw the commercials and told my girlfriend, "were watching that". then when we watched it, it was amazing. Very well written. Fast paced yet still intellectually stimulating (don't run though, its great even if you're not a deep thinker).

The only thing i don't like about the show though is the actor who portrays Tommy Donnellys character. Jonathan Tucker just comes off too depressed like in all his roles, and i don't really like that aura. He's a good actor and all, but, like i said, too sad looking. I also don't really get the whole narration thing, it will probably be explained later.

In all its an awesome show and id recommend it to anyone.
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WATCH IT! Solid, smart, well written, directed and acted character/crime drama.
MovieChickie26 February 2007
I just watched the first episode tonight (we got it a day early in Canada) and I thought it was great. I'll admit that my upbringing in suburban Canada doesn't qualify me as an expert in the subject matter of the show, and I won't speak to its authenticity, but as a television show, as a work of "art", for lack of a better term, I thought it was really entertaining and engrossing. It was well written and well directed, as one would expect from Haggis and Moresco (all you Haggis haters please give it a chance, spread a little love), but I also thought the characters were really well drawn and well acted. Right now when you think of "young" television, meaning shows about people under 30, what usually comes to mind are shows like the moderately entertaining "Heroes" and "How I Met YourMother" as well as every crappy CW show (with the exception of "Veronica Mars" which ROCKS). And when you think of young Hollywood in general, people like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton and movies like "American Pie" pop into mind. Right now, with few exceptions, shows or movies with or about young people inevitably end up being some sort of poorly acted freak show, usually with bad writing, characters and...well you get what I'm trying to say. As a 26 year-old, it's getting harder and harder to find shows and characters I can relate to (again, just want to give props to "Veronica Mars"). So, when I see a show like "The Black Donnellys" it gives me hope that there is more to "young" television than exploitative drivel. That's not to say older people won't like it as well, because I would imagine this show would appeal to a fairly wide demographic, BECAUSE IT'S GOOD! The only problem I had with the first episode, and what I suspect is going to be a theme throughout, is the romance/pining thing between Tommy and Jenny that I felt was a little forced and honestly seemed a little borrowed from the movie "Sleepers". But it's not a big problem.

SO, TO SUMMARIZE: on the whole a very solid hour of dramatic television. I only foresee two problems: 1. NBC has the a terrible advertising department, and though the ads for the first episode have so far been OK, I'm sure the "very special Blossom" advertising they've been using for "ER" and other shows lately or the annoying repetitive "Heroes" advertising will start to creep in, so please watch even if it looks like it sucks from the ads. All that means is the ads suck. 2. The timeslot is a little weird, after "Heroes". I see "Heroes" as being a much lighter fantasy show, aimed toward a more broad audience, probably more people under 18 and families, and "The Black Donnellys" is certainly not that. Hopefully the scheduling will change and NBC will pair it with one of the Law and Orders, which would be much more appropriate. SO I"LL BE WATCHING, and hoping NBC has the foresight to keep this show through to next season and give it a chance, regardless of ratings. Because NBC could use a few more intelligent and genuinely entertaining shows. MovieChickie

*************** EDIT...CRAPPY SHOW AFTER ALL>>> July 07 OK, this show has now been canceled for a while, but I just wanted to say that I was disappointed with the way it turned out. I thought the pilot had a lot of promise, but it never delivered. It just sort of...fizzled...the acting was good but the story lines were just boring, well, terrible and I never cared about the characters. Overall a kind of boring blip on the T.V radar. One of those shows you'll probably never think about again. Mo vieChickie
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One of the best premieres I have ever seen. Can only get better, especially if told from Joey "Ice Cream's" point-of-view.
gene87-12 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I thoroughly enjoyed the premiere. When I started watching the show all I could think about was how weird my life had been lately, and how it was normal for a while there. But as the show went along, I got really wrapped up in it. The show itself, and the acting are both top-notch.

I thoroughly enjoyed Tommy, who was played by Jonathan Tucker,an actor I had seen on Masters of Horror on Showtime, where I enjoyed his performance there a lot as well, and thought that he should move onto bigger and better things.

I especially enjoyed the scene with Tommy drawing Jenny in the coffee shop, and her asking innocent questions about it, and him just leaving.

The premiere thoroughly led me on, and I totally did not see the ending coming, until Tommy went to leave with his brother, and I realized he wasn't going to get Beer, or anything else, but that he was going to take care of "business".

I can only imagine that a show this great, with a premiere where the main cast kills off the mob bosses in their area, can only get ten times better as it goes along. Also,I hope they post my comment, or someone's who reviewed the show in a positive way. The fact that the gentleman who has his comment up now gave this show 4 stars is a disgrace.

This is one of the best shows I have seen in years, and short of Tommy being killed, I do not think it can disappoint me in any way.
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Best Pilot
moviefanatic_173 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Black Donnellys was the best pilot I have ever seen. It was very intense, realistic,had its humorous moments. The soundtrack fit perfectly. It sends chills down your spine at certain points.

Basically, this show is about four brothers (Jimmy, Tommy, Kevin, and Sean) who put each other before anyone else, and the feeling of brotherhood throughout the show is so strong, yet believable, because many of us can relate to it.

Jimmy is a drug addict, and he had his leg run over by a car when he was younger. It is later revealed that Tommy was the driver of the car. Tommy is the smart one, and as the trailers say, the only one with a real future, while Kevin is the unlucky brother who seems to think that he has a knack for gambling (though he's never won a bet), and Sean, well, what can you say about Sean? He's the youngest, and he's the lady's man.

When Sean is beaten up by goons to whom one of the brothers owes money, Jimmy kills Sal's nephew, whom they were using for ransom. Tommy knows that Jimmy's a dead man walking, and after running over his brother's leg, he vowed never to let Jimmy get hurt again, and took the matter into his own hands, killing the "big guys," with Kevin's help.

Tommy unknowingly took over his neighborhood, and he and his brothers must now protect it, says Joey "Ice Cream," who is narrating this story to two cops while in jail.

I loved this pilot. Strong plot, great cast, and once again, very realistic.

Watch The Black Donnellys on Mondays at 10:00 right after Heroes on Channel 7.
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Why Cancel The Black Donnelys!
Nick_hockeystar10 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The Black Donnelys was a ground breaking show on the brotherhood of four Irish brothers which showed their chilling struggle with life in their neighborhood. From the very first 10 minutes of the pilot I was drawn into this masterpiece. The whole series was a complete thrill ride that i couldn't stop watching.

This show was brilliant on a whole new level of TV that could have shaped for a better, more meaningful level of TV.However it seemed that not everyone was smart enough to comprehend its level of brilliance. The twists and turns kept going throughout this whole series including the death of one Donnely whom I will not mention. It still disgusts me on how this show of grit and tension was replace by a stupid show called The Real Wedding Crashers! I still do wish for a continuation of this series, no matter how long it would take!
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They Replaced Studio 60 with WHAT??!!??
spasticclown27 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I believe in giving every new show it's chance so when I heard they replacing Studio 60, a decent show with an excellent cast and obviously above par writing, I figured it must be pretty darn good. But after over an hour of lame dialogue, completely fanciful plot devices and contrived characters I had had my full. It's easy to see why NBC went this route, it a lot cheaper. I guarantee that Sorkin, Perry, Peete and Whitford didn't work cheap and replacing them with a bunch of nobodies who obviously work for a fraction of the price. But it wasn't just the SUB par acting that bothered me. It was the complete and total lack of believability.

Here are some examples:

1) The cops seem completely clueless. They're on the look out for a truckload of stolen Hawaiian shirts. They believe the Donnelly to be the culprits so they come into the bar that they brothers own (more on that in a second) and question the brothers. Later it is revealed that the stolen truck is in the alleyway behind the bar. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The cops suspect these guys but didn't even bother to notice the stolen truck sitting outside their place of business. 2) At the end of the episode it's said that Jimmy will get rehab for stealing the truck. Earlier in the episode it's said that he used a gun to steal the truck and as a result it's considered armed robbery (which is only kind of true because if you use a weapon to steal a truck it considered hijacking, which carries an even bigger punishment than that of your standard armed robbery). And it's said that the arresting cop will help to see that Jimmy only gets rehab. When does a cop decided how much time a perp will do? Doesn't the D.A. and the judge decide that? And no one I know who has even boosted a car for a joyride has ever only received rehab. No Jimmy would be doing some serious time because what he did was a Class A felony and it's like a mandatory 5 to 10 pinch and that's if he wasn't a repeat offender, which they are making it out to be that he was one. 3) Back to the bar. Just because you win a bar in a crap game, which is completely unbelievable that anyone in their DRUNKEN mind would ever put a bar on the line in a crap game, doesn't mean you will be able to just run it the next day. When a bar passes ownership the new owners have to apply for a liquor license and if they have had any criminal convictions then their application will be turned down. Not to mention the distributors for all the alcohol in the joint would have to rewrite their contracts with the new ownership and there is no way that any reputable beer or hard liquor supplier would ever do business with a bunch of street punks, who most likely would never be awarded a liquor license in the first place. 4) Hasn't anyone who watched this show seen Goodfellas or Casino? Before you can whack a made guy you have to have a sit down with the higher ups because if you don't then the bosses will find you and kill you. So Jimmy kills a connected guy and then Tommy kills a local mafia captain and they want you to buy that the full force of the mafia wouldn't already be fitting them for cement boots? And please don't tell me the mafia around that area won't know who did this or won't find out because, hell, it only took a phone call at the beginning of the episode for the Sal (the mafia captain of the neighborhood) to figure out who kidnapped his nephew.

I seriously could go on but that would be pointless. And aside from the completely unrealistic writing that sustains some huge plot gaps, what about that crappy acting and unbelievable cast? Doesn't it strike you at all odd that all these supposed inner city street thugs are remarkably well groomed and attractive? And the female lead is a little too good looking (and by the way too horrible of an actor) to be hanging around a bunch of low class slime balls who are too dumb to know that your aren't supposed to leave a stolen truck outside of your place of business and who are retarded enough to kidnap a connected guy?

If this were even remotely close to realistic in anyway these kids would be a hell of a lot more street smart, they wouldn't be reckless and wild, instead they would be smooth and ruthless. Otherwise they would be dead or in jail already.

In the end when the narrator says that Tommy took over the neighborhood, who's he kidding? The criminal element that runs the neighborhood would never allow a kid that stupid to run things and also if he iced the local Irish boss then someone else from the inside of the Irish mafia would fill the void. ---- Sorry I didn't mean to get into it again, that's what the list was for.

Simply put I don't buy it. There is nothing redeeming enough about this show to make me believe it will last more then, at most, ten episodes (less than a season). I guess I can start going to bed a little earlier on Monday nights.
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OK story, horrible casting
shanayneigh12 July 2008
This opinion is based on having seen about 3-4 episodes, and I can only hope that my impression of this show improves with the following episodes.

The show itself is OK. The story (and back story) is somewhat engaging and the milieu is kind of interesting.

What I don't like about the format so far, is the device of using Joey Ice Cream as a story telling device. He suddenly pops into scenes without real explanation (I assume that he's lying) and I can only hope that his function will pay off later in the show. Right now, it just seems contrived and a conscious effort on behalf of the creators of the show trying to distinguish it from the plethora of shows portraying criminals.

The biggest problem for me is the casting. Jonathan Tucker playing Tommy Donnelly is totally miscast. He has a kind of dopey look to him and I don't buy it for a second when he's trying to "act" tough. He's constantly overacting, pulling his best faces trying to look mean. He couldn't be more wrong for The Black Donnelly's. Had he been a minor player I could have lived with it, but since the story revolves around him, I'm getting very close to turning the show off for good, since I can't stand his never ending overacting.

The same thing goes for Tom Guiry playing Jimmy Donnelly, who in all fairness seems like a poor mans' Scott Caan. These two guys trying to act like hardasses has drama class written all over it.

However, Olivia Wilde was a pleasant surprise. She gives a very good performance as Jenny Reilly. And I can only curse the writers for not using Chris Bauer and Frank Margolis, both terrific actors, more in the story.

EDIT: OK, so I gave a couple more episodes, but now I've had enough. The two guys playing the main brothers have completely ruined the show for me, and I have no intention of continuing to watch this show. Too bad. The premise for a decent show was there, but they completely screwed up in the casting process. In the future, I will stay clear of anything starring Jonathan Tucker or Tom Guiry.
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Haven't we seen this before?
thomasbergsell21 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
A hotheaded brother who uses his fist more than his mouth, a weak brother who only follows around taking orders and the smart brother, who doesn't want the wise-guy life. But, something happens and he has to step in and shot a guy.

I almost rather watch Godfather part three again, over this show. Almost.

But the weirdest character in this show, is the "pretty face" brother. I hope he wakes up before there comes a scene where the smart brother has to hide pretty face in the hospital. And then stand outside the hospital with a, lets say a baker, and look like though guys.
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Funniest show on Television
hawk9055 March 2007
However, this is supposed to be a serious drama, and as such, lacks any redeeming qualities. This show is simply BAD. First of all, the acting is weak. No one in New York sounds like that... Didn't these guys do ANY research? Tommy sounds like he just got off the bus from Boston. Secondly, the premise is ridiculous. Two punks kill the boss of the Irish mob and the Italian mob??? What Irish Mob? The westies have been defunct for 15 years... Thirdly, the LYING narrator is a silly and poorly crafted vehicle. Tonights episode was unwatchable... I tuned out after the brothers just happened to discover a body when they just happened to need to throw away a jacket. Gimme a break... If this wasn't written by Haggis, it would have been pulled by now. As such, I give it six weeks... Tops.
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Not a copy, but resembles great work
fallenava27 February 2007
Although The Black Donnellys has a theme very similar to movies like The Departed, it is not exactly like it. Just because one movie was made about organized crime in New York City, that does not mean another piece cannot be made without being a copy. I thought it was a great show that brought ideas from movies like the The Departed into the theme, but added personality and a special connection to the characters. With a TV show, there is a bond with the audience that lasts for such a long time that it can be even more powerful than a movie. I am definitely looking forward to watching this show every week.
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Dawson's Creek Mafia
haji_hill5 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Sorry.... Sorry I watched this show, and sorry I listened to all the glowing reviews.

I was really excited to see this, but it really did turn out to be some hodge-podge high school mafia portrayal. And what was worse, the evolution of the pseudo mouth-full-of-spit Brooklyn accent by several of the brothers over the first 2.5 shows. I was unable to watch more than that, so I don't know if this continued, but I do know they started out talking like normal people, but soon devolved into some poor rendition of Serpico with hyperactive salivaries.

Overall, this was just unwatchable. And I really wanted to see more of it, if for nothing more than Olivia Wilde's marked, though somehow vaguely disturbing, good looks.
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Short sweet and vicious review - awful show!
philip-rogan23 April 2010
I give this show a 2 because with one of the most highly paid scriptwriters around it is an awful unbelievable mess. Also as I am Irish I am horrified at the moronocity of almost all the Irish characters but even more so at the level of lazy, sloppy, bad writing. Every problem is easily solved though the actors are required to look like it's difficult when they are given magic outs left right and center. All the other reviews that are negative about this show are right and those that are 90% positive are blindly ignoring the mess that this show is. I bought the box set and so wish I never had. The Tommy character is quite engaging but that's about it and Dokey is suitable evil, Ma is daft and so are the other three brothers. The Italians are uninteresting and lack any real menace and any comparisons with The Departed are silly as mob/Irish is the only connection. Pure Rubbish! Feel somewhat better now though I've only watched 4.5 episodes over a 5 month period (it's that bad!) In fact it's BXllXCKS!!
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Newsflash: Paul Haggis not complete hack
Grinand17 August 2006
I disagree with the other poster's subject heading. This is definitely not the best pilot for 06-07 season. That would be "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." Still, I should confess that I hate Paul Haggis with an irrational fire. "Crash" was a ridiculous film and just thinking about it and the fact that it won Best Picture still gets me angry.

But I have to admit, his television show ain't half bad. The pilot builds slowly - too slowly - but ends on an absolutely terrific high note. I don't care that the high note is completely cribbed from "The Godfather" - it still gave me chills.

And the main character in "The Black Donnelly's" (one of four Irish brothers living in Hell's Kitchen) is instantly engaging. You will completely empathize with him, which makes the ending that much more effective.

The pilot also has a nice twist. I would at least give this one a chance.
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