Amazon Prime Scores Crime Drama Coup

Amazon Prime Video will stream the global organised crime drama McMafia the day after it airs on the BBC.

It will launch with a double-episode in the first week of January: the premiere will release on January 2 and episode 2 on January 3.

The remaining six episodes will release the day after their UK broadcast.

Created by Hossein Amini and James Watkins, McMafia was inspired by Misha Glenny’s non-fiction best-seller.

It stars James Norton as Alex Godman, an English-raised son of Russian exiles with a mafia history, who has spent his life trying to escape the shadow of that criminal past.

As he starts building his own legitimate business and forging a life with his girlfriend Rebecca (Juliet Rylance), his family’s past murderously returns to threaten them and Alex is forced to confront his values to protect those he loves.

David Strathairn, Faye Marsay (Game of Thrones) and Aleksey Serebryakov (Leviathan) co-star.

Among the early reviews was Radio Times’, which likened it to “The Night Manager with spreadsheets“, combining the earlier US/UK coproduction’s gloss and scale with the hard facts and journalistic vigour of Glenny’s research.

The series’ attempts at true verisimilitude might leave some viewers turning off before they get that far, with lengthy discussions about international finance, money laundering and in-depth import/export deals bogging down earlier parts of the story at the expense of the drama’s pace. It’s all very accurate, but sometimes one can’t but feel a little of this detail could have been jettisoned for a more streamlined story.

If audiences do stick with it, though, McMafia is a rewarding (if slightly depressing) watch, that makes you wonder more and more what your money is actually going towards in a capitalist society

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