Netflix, HBO, Hulu… Amazon. Services that let you stream tons of shows, both licensed and original. All of whom are doing very well. And today we will be taking a look at a show from such a service, specifically… Amazon.
Ladies and gents… “Sneaky Pete”!
Marius (Giovanni Ribisi) is a con man who’s just been released from prison. Problem is that there’s a ruthless gangster (Bryan Cranston) out there who wants to get hold of Marius. So to try to get away from this shit, Marius takes on the identity of his former cellmate Pete (Ethan Embry) and moves in with Pete’s estranged family. And with this we follow Marius as he lives with this family, starts working with them, and gets dragged into some serious fucking trouble… on top of the trouble he already kind of was in. And all this makes for a surprisingly engaging, suspenseful, and clever crime series that kept my interest through all ten episodes. The situations we see Marius/Pete go through are all very entertaining and at times even tense and I loved that. It was a fairly unpredictable plot that had a few good twists throughout. Sure, there were a few convenient moments throughout the show where someone was about to find out about Marius’ actual identity and then they got interrupted before it happened, but they didn’t really annoy me, just thought it would be fair to mention. But the plot overall I thought was great!
The characters in this show are all interesting, surprisingly layered, and very entertaining. Giovanni Ribisi was great as Marius/Pete (Mete? Parius? Mate?), playing him with a special kind of charm that I thought was endlessly entertaining. Also, I have a thing for con men characters… not sure why, I just enjoy them. Then we have Marin Ireland as Julia, the estranged cousin of Pete, and she did a great job. Shane McRae was great as Taylor, the slightly jerk-ish cousin of Pete. Peter Gerety was great as Pete’s grandpa. Margo Martindale, an actress I was already a fan of BTW, was fantastic as Audrey, the grandmother of Pete. And of course, I have to mention Bryan Cranston as Vince, the ruthless gangster who wants to get Marius… yeah, he was fucking great. Then we also got some great supporting performances from a lot of people, including Michael Drayer, Victor Williams, Karolina Wydra, Jacob Pitts, Virginia Kull, and Brad William Henke. Let me just put it like this: There’s a shit-ton of great actors in this show.
The score for “Sneaky Pete” was compsoed by Nathan Barr and I think he did a great job with that. The score is perfect for this sort of sneaky (hehe!) crime drama. It often helped elevate some of the tension and drama throughout. There were also plenty of licensed tracks used throughout, mostly various types of rock songs, and they all worked very well within the show.
The show was created by David Shore and Bryan Cranston (Say what?). Yeah, great actors can co-create TV shows apparently. What’s also interesting is that Shore left the series at some point in 2016, and was replaced with Graham Yost. Not sure why Shore left, but I am also not complaining because yost created my favorite show, “Justified”. Now, I also want to mention that “Sneaky Pete” is a very well directed show. Not only because of some shots looking good, but because the directing is genuinely tense and well handled throughout. It’s not an action show, but it’s also not a slowly burning show. It’s just a very well paced crime caper/family dramedy.
This show has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% (Holy shit) positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10.
“Sneaky Pete” is another solid show from Amazon studios. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Sneaks envelope form someone’s pocket*. My final score for “Sneaky Pete” season 1 is a 9,88/10. So it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
My review of “Sneaky Pete” season 1 is now completed.
Without really spoiling anything, the final episode sets up the plot for season 2 very well… so I’m glad that Amazon greenlit a second season!