Black Donnellys

I just watched the pilot of The Black Donnellys — no, don’t worry, you haven’t missed it. Their letting people rent the pilot through Netflix. This is a new drama series from Paul Haggis, who moviewatchers may best know from Million Dollar Baby and Crash, but we small-screen fiends will link his name to Due South.
The Donnellys in question are a family of fairly small-time New York hoods, brothers each with their own problems and pecadillos. The story is narrated by one of the brothers (who is established as an unreliable narrator, which may prove problematic at some point), looking back at the events that lead them to where they are now… in his case, in prison.
The flashbacks have that heightened sense of idealistic realism that you might find in a Barry Levinson film. There is some sense early on that this is supposed to be a goofy, hey-they’re-crooks-but-they’re-lovable tale, but the crimes get too dark for that. I suspect that the intention is to show a family in transition as they head off into more Sopranos territory (which I’m fairly sure is the motivator for this show), but the end result is to disappoint. I might want to watch a crooks-but-lovable show. But they’re not lovable, and they’re not that interesting. Perhaps if I watched more, I’d care more.
And oddly enough, I’m going to suggest that you give it a try. It’s a legitimate attempt. It’s not unlikely that others will like it.

Published in: on January 25, 2007 at 2:08 am  Leave a Comment  

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