Gomorrah
Gomorra La serie.png
ItalianGomorra - La serie
GenreCrime drama
Created byRoberto Saviano
Based on
Starring
ComposerMokadelic
Country of originItaly
Original languagesNeapolitan
Italian
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes58 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Producers
Running time44–55 minutes
Production companies
DistributorSky Vision
Release
Original networkSky Atlantic
Picture format
Original release6 May 2014 (2014-05-06) –
17 December 2021 (2021-12-17)
Chronology
Followed byThe Immortal

Gomorrah (Italian: Gomorra - La serie) is an Italian crime drama television series created by Roberto Saviano for Sky Atlantic. Based on Saviano's book of the same name,[1] the show premiered on Sky Atlantic in Italy on 6 May 2014 and ran for five seasons; the final season aired in 2021. The 2008 film of the same name is loosely based on the same book, but unrelated to the TV series.[2]

The show, largely filmed in the Scampia neighbourhood of Naples,[3] tells the story of Ciro Di Marzio (Marco D'Amore), a member of the Camorra's Savastano clan, headed by Pietro Savastano (Fortunato Cerlino), a high-ranking member. Ciro aims to navigate the dangers of the criminal world, while also fighting a brutal civil war.[4] The Savastano family also consists of his wife Immacolata (Maria Pia Calzone) and son, Gennaro (Salvatore Esposito). The show also features rival crime boss Salvatore Conte (Marco Palvetti), while introducing the characters Annalisa Magliocca (Cristina Donadio), Patrizia Santore (Cristiana Dell'Anna), Giuseppe Avitabile (Gianfranco Gallo) and Enzo "Sangueblù" Villa (Arturo Muselli) in the show's later seasons.

The series has gained critical acclaim for its characterization, pacing, atmosphere, acting, directing, and writing.[5][6] It has also become a ratings hit for Sky, regularly featuring as one of the network's most-watched cable shows.[7][8]

The series has been sold in 190 countries worldwide.[9][10] It premiered in the United Kingdom on Sky Atlantic on 4 August 2014; in the United States it debuted on SundanceTV on 24 August 2016 for the first two seasons,[5] and continued on HBO Max since 22 January 2021.[11] The spin-off film The Immortal, which is both a prequel and a sequel to the events after the series' third season, was released on 5 December 2019.[12][13]

Premise

Set in Naples in the 2010s, the series follows Ciro Di Marzio, a member in the Savastano Camorra clan of Secondigliano, headed by Pietro Savastano. When Pietro is arrested, an internal power struggle breaks out with his rivals as well as between the "old guard" of the clan and the "young guard" headed by his son Gennaro Savastano. Ciro and Gennaro eventually find themselves at odds with their own families, and the several alliances they make with various criminal groups, as they navigate the Naples underworld.

Cast and characters

Main characters

Marco D'Amore as Ciro "l'Immortale" (The Immortal) Di Marzio
Marco D'Amore as Ciro "l'Immortale" (The Immortal) Di Marzio

Recurring characters

Episodes

Main article: List of Gomorrah episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1126 May 2014 (2014-05-06)10 June 2014 (2014-06-10)
21210 May 2016 (2016-05-10)14 June 2016 (2016-06-14)
31217 November 2017 (2017-11-17)22 December 2017 (2017-12-22)
41229 March 2019 (2019-03-29)3 May 2019 (2019-05-03)
51019 November 2021 (2021-11-19)[14]17 December 2021 (2021-12-17)

Season 1 (2014)

In Naples, the Savastano clan is commanded by the dreaded and respected Pietro Savastano. Looking to make his mark, Ciro Di Marzio is tasked to burn the house of the mother of Salvatore Conte, a rival drug lord. After completing the task without hesitation and slowly gaining the trust of Pietro, the elder Savastano later entrusts Ciro to ready his son Gennaro to become the future head of the clan.

Following a police check, Pietro is arrested and taken into custody; control of the clan unofficially passes into the hands of his wife, Immacolata, who deems Ciro and Gennaro unable to run the clan in Pietro's absence. Immacolata, who maintains a dislike for Ciro, orders him to travel to Spain in order to make-up with Conte and reunite the clans. She later tasks Gennaro to travel to Honduras, hoping his interactions with drug producers will fast-track his development into becoming head of the clan. Despite being able to make peace with Conte, Ciro is frozen out by Immacolata, a sentiment that is shared by Gennaro once he returns to Naples. Gennaro, becoming more detached and isolated, begins a cleanup of the clan's members, inviting more younger comrades, while engaging in actions that grow distrust amongst the old guard, including Ciro, who find Gennaro unable to handle the clan. A civil war then ensues between the two factions of the Savastano clan: the old guard who are faithful to Pietro and the younger members who are faithful to Gennaro.

Ciro, feeling ignored and devalued by Gennaro, aligns with the old guard, seeking to shift the internal equilibrium of the clan. Ciro also solicits support from Conte, managing to obtain Conte's respect during his trip to Spain. Ciro begins by killing Immacolata; however, Gennaro quickly discovers Ciro's betrayal and, no longer knowing whom to trust, enlists the members loyal to him in order to dismantle the old guard he believes to be Ciro's accomplices. Gennaro largely succeeds, killing everyone besides Ciro and Malammore, both of whom manage to go into hiding. Gennaro later discovers Ciro's whereabouts, sending the members loyal to him to kill him, but they are intercepted and brutally massacred by Conte's clan. Gennaro is later shot by Ciro, while Malammore breaks Pietro out of a police transport van during a prison transfer.

Season 2 (2016)

Following his escape from prison, Pietro realizes that his stay in Naples will be short-lived, and promptly flees to Cologne, leaving the clan in the hands of Malammore and the rest of the members that aided his escape. He also plots to seek vengeance on the people who ambushed Gennaro, who survived his shooting. Ciro, meanwhile, forms an alliance with Conte, at the expense of his relationship with his wife, Debora.

A year later, Gennaro is healed from his injuries and reunites with his father in Germany, where they align with the Avitables. After an arms deal goes awry, Pietro becomes wary of his power waning, and decides to return to Naples alone to resume control of the clan. Ciro and other members of Conte's clan encounter trouble with Conte, disliking his aims at creating a monopoly and gaining absolute power. They then devise a successful scheme to kill him. Pietro views this as the perfect opportunity to exact revenge, taking advantage of the disjointed clan by murdering several of them. Ciro learns of Pietro's return, and wishes to negotiate a settlement. Malammore's niece, Patrizia, informs Ciro that he will only be able to negotiate with Gennaro. Wary of a potential ambush, Ciro goes to Giuseppe, a mutual friend of his and Gennaro's, to act as guarantor during their negotiations. Gennaro eventually accepts the settlement conditions set by Ciro, which infuriates Pietro. Gennaro explains killing Ciro would have caused a war without any boundaries and expresses his wish to focus on business.

Pietro rejects the settlement, and continues to wage war, revealing to Patrizia that he wishes to defeat his son for undermining him. He is also suspicious of Patrizia's loyalties. After violently killing another member of the clan, he plants evidence to make it appear as though the murder was a result of in-house betrayal. In-fighting then becomes rife within the clan. However, after failing to subvert another member, Ciro learns of the true murderer and informs Gennaro. After Pietro murders Ciro's daughter, Ciro decides to murder Pietro. Disgusted by his father's actions, while also wishing to raise his son, named Pietro after his grandfather, in a world without in-fighting or violence, Gennaro agrees and informs Ciro of Pietro's whereabouts. Ciro murders Pietro at the Savastano family plot.

Season 3 (2017)

Gennaro assumes full control of all drug trade in Naples. He becomes feared and respected among the underworld. However, Ciro loses the will to continue, and after killing Malammore to avenge his daughter, moves to Sofia to work for Valentin, an associate. He later finds out Mladen (Valentin's son) tried to set him up, and since he's Valentin's successor, he hesitantly orders Ciro's death. Ciro however, murders Valentin and his son Mladen, and returns to Naples, while Giuseppe is in prison after Gennaro reveals his criminal past to the police.

Giuseppe quickly avoids jail time by agreeing to a plea deal, and is placed on house arrest instead. He then orders the systematic destruction of Gennaro and his criminal empire, robbing and killing his lieutenants, which leaves him isolated in his war against Giuseppe. Gennaro then seeks assistance from Ciro and Annalisa, who are both eager to return to power. Ciro initially aims to locate allies outside Naples, however, he meets Enzo and Valerio, members of the Santo clan, who convince him only people from the city truly wish for Giuseppe's demise. Together, they help Gennaro resume business, while Gennaro also bribes lawmakers and police officials to aid his cause.

However, Enzo begins to have reservations when many of his men begin to die at the hands of the Confederates, and wishes to leave. The Confederates, outraged, attempt to murder his sister by bombing the restaurant she works at, which begins a war between Enzo and Valerio, against them. Ciro desperately proposes an armistice, which is reluctantly accepted. Enzo's reservations are maintained, however, which forces Gennaro to kill his sister, which he then blames on Arenella (a member of the Confederates). This increases Enzo's involvement, and they successfully organize an ambush on Giuseppe and Arenella.

Following this, Ciro pushes Gennaro to create peace with all their enemies. Peace is eventually accepted, and Gennaro divides the city and other land to the people who helped him win. Patrizia later kills Annalisa, which arouses Enzo's suspicions, as Patrizia vocally opposed murder during the war. He later stalks her, and learns Gennaro was involved in his sister's murder. Inviting both him and Ciro on his yacht under the pretense of celebration, Enzo reveals his intentions to kill Gennaro. Prior to shooting him, however, Ciro sacrifices himself in his place by admitting to murdering his sister, stating his desire to avoid another war, and wishing to re-join his family in heaven. Enzo then forces Gennaro to kill Ciro.

Season 4 (2019)

Further information: List of Gomorrah episodes § Season 4 (2019)

Season 5 (2021)

Further information: List of Gomorrah episodes § Season 5 (2021)

Broadcast and release

The show's first season premiered on Sky Atlantic and Sky Cinema 1 in Italy on 6 May 2014.[15] It also aired on Rai 3 on 10 January 2015. Season 2 aired on 10 May 2016, season 3 on 17 November 2017, and season 4 on 29 March 2019. The upcoming fifth season is set to be released in 2021.

After the success on television, the series also had a limited theatrical release by The Space Movies and Universal Pictures. The first season was screened on 200 Italian theaters from 22 September 2014, with three episodes per evening (150 minutes) for four consecutive Mondays.[16]

The show's success has spawned its release to international markets, being sold in 190 countries worldwide.[9] It premiered in the United Kingdom on Sky Atlantic on 4 August 2014, and in the United States on SundanceTV on 24 August 2016.[5] The series was also released on Netflix in some countries (including in the US, Australia and New Zealand) and on SBS on Demand in Australia from 16 October 2020.[17]

All the episodes and the movie are also set to be released on HBO Max in the US;[18] season 3 debuted on 21 January 2021.[19]

Reception

Critical response

Gomorrah is one of Sky's most-watched cable shows, and has gained critical acclaim for its characterization, pacing, atmosphere, acting, directing, and writing.[5] The first season holds a 95% rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 19 reviews and with an average rating of 7.31/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Gomorrah brings a refreshing twist to a familiar story, with its realistic, unglamorous and often riveting portrayal of a Neapolitan crime organization organization".[20] On Metacritic, it has a rating of 76 out of 100, based on 15 reviews.[6]

Ben Travers of IndieWire called it the "darker, grown-up version of The Sopranos" and stated, "Despite its familiar construction, Gomorrah is significantly more frightening than others in its genre because of the history behind it."[21] Mary McNamara of The Los Angeles Times wrote: "Aggressively dark, focused to the point of claustrophobia and often all but choking on its own authenticity, Gomorrah shocks the system like a real Italian espresso after years of skinny vanilla lattes ... in Gomorrah, familiarity breeds relief rather than contempt."[22] Brian Moylan of The Guardian stated, "For those who like mafia shows and the sort of anti-hero dramas that have become the stock in trade of 'peak TV', this is another excellent entry."[23] Sight & Sound called the series "Italy's answer to Breaking Bad."[24]

However, the show has received criticism from several Italian politicians. Naples mayor Luigi de Magistris claimed that bouts of violent crimes skyrocket in the city whenever an episode of the series is aired.[25] He also added that the series "is likely to corrode the brains, souls, and hearts of hundreds of very young people."[25] Anti-Mafia magistrate Giuseppe Borrelli has stated, "The series fails to capture any aspect of today's Camorra", the national anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero de Raho has stated, "it humanizes gangsters", while the state prosecutor in Catanzaro Nicola Gratteri has stated, "It makes them seem likable, which is dangerous."[26]

Spin-off film

A spin-off film titled The Immortal (L'immortale) was released in theaters on 5 December 2019.[12] The film is both a prequel and a sequel to the events after the series' third season, and stars Marco D'Amore reprising his role as Ciro Di Marzio.

References

  1. ^ ""Gomorra," six other Italian films, and so much more at the Film Festival". Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  2. ^ Rees, Jasper (4 August 2014). "Gomorra, Sky Atlantic, review: 'ugly, in a good way'". Telegraph. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Goodbye to Gomorrah: the end of Italy's most notorious housing estate". theguardian.com. 17 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Gomorra, seconda stagione: dal 10 maggio su Sky Atlantic!". skyatlantic.sky.it. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Thomas, Kaitlin (23 August 2016). "Gomorrah Review: Why You Should Watch SundanceTV's Italian Import - Today's News: Our Take". TV Guide. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Gomorrah: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Italian Mafia Series "Gomorra" Ratings Hit for Sky Italia". www.betafilm.com. Beta Film. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  8. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (7 April 2014). "TWC closes deal for U.S. rights to Italy's "Gomorra" Skein". www.variety.com. Variety. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  9. ^ a b "I Medici e Gomorra le serie italiane più popolari". Movieplayer (in Italian).
  10. ^ "Lo sbarco di Gomorra sugli schermi Usa". cineuropa.org. 24 August 2016.
  11. ^ Dana Harris-Bridson (21 January 2021). "At Last, 'Gomorrah' Is the Prestige Drama That HBO Max Needs". IndieWire.
  12. ^ a b "L'Immortale, un'altra Gomorra" (in Italian). esquire.com. 10 December 2019.
  13. ^ "'The Immortal,' Prequel Film to 'Gomorrah' TV Series, to Roll Out in Italian Theaters". variety.com. 2 December 2019.
  14. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (24 September 2021). "'Gomorrah' Season 5 Trailer Unveiled Ahead of November Launch (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Gomorra, seconda stagione: dal 10 maggio è su Sky Cinema 1!" (in Italian). Sky Cinema.
  16. ^ Gomorra - La serie al cinema. fattoquotidiano.it
  17. ^ "Gomorrah". SBS.
  18. ^ "Gomorrah on HBO Max". Salvatore Esposito.
  19. ^ "Gomorrah: HBO Max Announces US Premiere Date of Season 3 of Hit Italian Crime Drama". The Euro TV Place.
  20. ^ "Gomorrah: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  21. ^ "Gomorrah review". IndieWire. 24 August 2016.
  22. ^ "Gomorrah review". The Los Angeles Times. 24 August 2016.
  23. ^ "Gomorrah: the second coming of The Sopranos lands with a bang". The Guardian. 24 August 2016.
  24. ^ "SundanceTV acquires acclaimed Italian series "Gomorrah" from the Weinstein Company". sundancetv.com.
  25. ^ a b "Mayor claims TV show 'Gomorrah' causes immediate rises in violent crime". cnn.com. 7 May 2019.
  26. ^ "Magistrates criticise Gomorrah's airbrushed image of Camorra". corriere.it. 5 December 2017.