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Fausto Maria Sciarappa,
In Sicily during the seventies the police chief Maltese finds himself entangled in an investigation that will uncover the widespread influence of Mafia in the area and expose the archaic roots which nurtured it.
Kim Rossi Stuart,
A TV series following the story of the movie by the same title. Also in this case Pif tells the story of a young boy in the city of Palermo during the roaring seventies, when the mafia was not around, officially.......
Well, photography could have been worse - the fascinating scenario of Trieste helps though. And except for a couple of Duffy-duck-worthy performances - lead male included - actors did their jobs despite the surprisingly (given the resume of the authors) poor script.
Don't expect Lucarelli's (and Rigosi's) "Ispettore Coliandro". There we had an hilarious main character carrying the show with his comic-like cocktail of jackass comedy, action and romance (although undeniably the serious side of the stories was underwhelming). Here we have something similarly underwhelming (with drama in place of comedy) less any significant character.
How bad can the result be? You can't really imagine and I'm not going to spoil any detail for the fearless ones daring to give it a try.
Think to a police drama, but without true baddies or a hard investigation: forget procedurals' realism, pulp allure or even basic logic; take just the soapy drama, childish clues and a parade of inaccuracies and plot holes. Now add some mystical flavour because... what can be original in such a trite genre? Serial-killers, grouchy dysfunctional detectives, Holmesian complexities are so pretentious... let's have some ghosts and hereafter stuff! Save costs and headaches with a TV-ish basic direction; put some teens in as well to cater to a wider audience. Flavour with superficial, paternalistic and religious rambling all over (but very politically correct); a B-movie gloomy palette and scenery and... hours and hours of teardrop-filled simplistic drama.
Why should we expect something good from an Italian TV-series with a nice budget and a someway popular Giallo writer as a creator? Because in the last 5 years there have been at least 20-30 other big police drama/detective story international productions well worth a watch. And it's not like all of these had a great plot, cleverly designed characters and clues and all the perfect ingredients of a masterpiece: but at least they were brilliant somewhere. It baffles me how can people not learn a thing with so many good examples around... But hey, you know Italian TV audience demographics: old people, low to basic education. For this target "La porta rossa" is indeed ready for success: why bothering with anything deeper than a puddle?
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