My Brilliant Friend
My Brilliant Friend title card.png
Genre
Created bySaverio Costanzo
Based onNeapolitan Novels
by Elena Ferrante
Written by
Directed by
Starring
Narrated byAlba Rohrwacher
ComposerMax Richter
Country of origin
  • Italy
  • United States
Original languages
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes24 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Luigi Marinello
  • Sara Polese
  • Laura Paolucci
  • Daria Hensemberger
Production locations
Cinematography
Editors
  • Francesca Calvelli
  • Carlotta Cristiani
  • Stefano Mariotti
  • Annalisa Forgione
Running time43–67 minutes
Production companies
Distributor
  • Fremantle
  • Rai Com
Release
Original network
Original releaseNovember 18, 2018 (2018-11-18) –
present (present)

My Brilliant Friend (Italian: L'amica geniale) is an Italian- and Neapolitan-language coming-of-age drama television series created by Saverio Costanzo for HBO, RAI and TIMvision. Named after the first of four novels in the Neapolitan Novels series by Elena Ferrante, the entire literary work will be adapted into four eight-episode seasons.[2] The series is a co-production between Italian production companies Wildside, Fandango, The Apartment, Mowe and international film groups Umedia and Fremantle.

The first two episodes were presented at the 75th Venice International Film Festival, in 2018.[3] The first season premiered on HBO on November 18, 2018, and on Rai 1 and TIMvision on November 27, 2018.[4][5] A second season, based on Ferrante's second Neapolitan Novel and titled My Brilliant Friend: The Story of a New Name (Italian: L'amica geniale – Storia del nuovo cognome), was confirmed in December 2018,[6] and premiered on Rai 1 on February 10, 2020, and on HBO on March 16, 2020.[7][8] The first two episodes of the second season were screened in selected Italian cinemas from January 27 to 29, 2020.[7]

In April 2020, the series was renewed for a third season, based on the third novel in the series, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay.[9] The eight-episode third season premiered on Rai 1 on February 6, 2022, and on HBO on February 28, 2022.[10][11] In March 2022, the series was renewed for a fourth and final season, based on the final novel in Ferrante's series: The Story of the Lost Child.[12]

Cast and characters

Main

Featured

The following actors are credited in the opening titles of a single episode of the series:

Recurring

The Grecos
The Carraccis
The Pelusos
The Sarratores
The Scannos
The Spagnuolos
The Cerullos
The Galianis
Others

Guests

Episodes

SeasonSubtitleEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
18November 18, 2018 (2018-11-18) (HBO)
November 27, 2018 (2018-11-27) (Rai 1)
December 10, 2018 (2018-12-10) (HBO)
December 18, 2018 (2018-12-18) (Rai 1)
2The Story of a New Name
Storia del nuovo cognome
8February 10, 2020 (2020-02-10) (Rai 1)
March 16, 2020 (2020-03-16) (HBO)
March 2, 2020 (2020-03-02) (Rai 1)
May 4, 2020 (2020-05-04) (HBO)
3Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
Storia di chi fugge e di chi resta
8February 6, 2022 (2022-02-06) (Rai 1)
February 28, 2022 (2022-02-28) (HBO)
February 27, 2022 (2022-02-27) (Rai 1)
April 18, 2022 (2022-04-18) (HBO)

Season 1 (2018)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S./Italy viewers
(millions)
11"The Dolls"
"Le bambole"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoNovember 18, 2018 (2018-11-18) (HBO)
November 27, 2018 (2018-11-27) (Rai 1)
0.242[14] and 7.458[15]
22"The Money"
"I soldi"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoNovember 19, 2018 (2018-11-19) (HBO)
November 27, 2018 (2018-11-27) (Rai 1)
0.128[16] and 6.729[15]
33"Metamorphoses"[a]
"Le metamorfosi"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoNovember 25, 2018 (2018-11-25) (HBO)
December 4, 2018 (2018-12-04) (Rai 1)
0.244[17] and 7.302[18]
44"Dissolving Boundaries"[a]
"La smarginatura"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoNovember 26, 2018 (2018-11-26) (HBO)
December 4, 2018 (2018-12-04) (Rai 1)
0.151[19] and 6.725[18]
55"The Shoes"
"Le scarpe"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoDecember 2, 2018 (2018-12-02) (HBO)
December 11, 2018 (2018-12-11) (Rai 1)
0.291[20] and 6.699[21]
66"The Island"
"L'isola"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoDecember 3, 2018 (2018-12-03) (HBO)
December 11, 2018 (2018-12-11) (Rai 1)
0.210[22] and 6.699[21]
77"The Fiancés"
"I fidanzati"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoDecember 9, 2018 (2018-12-09) (HBO)
December 18, 2018 (2018-12-18) (Rai 1)
0.318[23] and 6.974[24]
88"The Promise"
"La promessa"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoDecember 10, 2018 (2018-12-10) (HBO)
December 18, 2018 (2018-12-18) (Rai 1)
0.228[25] and 6.620[24]
Notes
  1. ^ a b HBO listings translate the titles of episodes 3 and 4 as "The Metamorphoses" and "Dissolving Margins", respectively.

Season 2: The Story of a New Name (2020)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S./Italy viewers
(millions)
91"The New Name"
"Il nuovo cognome"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 10, 2020 (2020-02-10) (Rai 1)
March 16, 2020 (2020-03-16) (HBO)
0.148[26] and 7.099[27]
102"The Body"
"Il corpo"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 10, 2020 (2020-02-10) (Rai 1)
March 23, 2020 (2020-03-23) (HBO)
0.147[28] and 6.452[27]
113"Erasure"
"Scancellare"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 17, 2020 (2020-02-17) (Rai 1)
March 30, 2020 (2020-03-30) (HBO)
0.120[29] and 6.842[30]
124"The Kiss"
"Il bacio"
Alice RohrwacherElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 17, 2020 (2020-02-17) (Rai 1)
April 6, 2020 (2020-04-06) (HBO)
0.141[31] and 6.235[30]
135"The Betrayal"
"Il tradimento"
Alice RohrwacherElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 24, 2020 (2020-02-24) (Rai 1)
April 13, 2020 (2020-04-13) (HBO)
0.196[32] and 6.585[33]
146"Rage"
"La rabbia"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 24, 2020 (2020-02-24) (Rai 1)
April 20, 2020 (2020-04-20) (HBO)
0.134[34] and 6.053[33]
157"Ghosts"
"I fantasmi"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoMarch 2, 2020 (2020-03-02) (Rai 1)
April 27, 2020 (2020-04-27) (HBO)
0.159[35] and 7.110[36]
168"The Blue Fairy"
"La fata blu"
Saverio CostanzoElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoMarch 2, 2020 (2020-03-02) (Rai 1)
May 4, 2020 (2020-05-04) (HBO)
0.130[37] and 6.757[36]

Season 3: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (2022)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S./Italy viewers
(millions)
171"Indecencies"
"Sconcezze"
Daniele LuchettiElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 6, 2022 (2022-02-06) (Rai 1)[a]
February 28, 2022 (2022-02-28) (HBO)
0.130[38] and 4.837[39]
182"The Fever"
"La febbre"
Daniele LuchettiElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 6, 2022 (2022-02-06) (Rai 1)[a]
March 7, 2022 (2022-03-07) (HBO)
0.149[40] and 4.475[39]
193"The Treatment"
"La cura"
Daniele LuchettiElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 13, 2022 (2022-02-13) (Rai 1)
March 14, 2022 (2022-03-14) (HBO)
0.124[41] and 4.940[42]
204"Cold War"
"Guerra fredda"
Daniele LuchettiElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 13, 2022 (2022-02-13) (Rai 1)
March 21, 2022 (2022-03-21) (HBO)
0.141[43] and 4.753[42]
215"Terror"
"Terrore"
Daniele LuchettiElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 20, 2022 (2022-02-20) (Rai 1)
March 28, 2022 (2022-03-28) (HBO)
0.077[44] and 4.669[45]
226"Becoming"
"Diventare"
Daniele LuchettiElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 20, 2022 (2022-02-20) (Rai 1)
April 4, 2022 (2022-04-04) (HBO)
0.049[46] and 4.589[45]
237"Try Again"
"Ancora tu"
Daniele LuchettiElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 27, 2022 (2022-02-27) (Rai 1)
April 11, 2022 (2022-04-11) (HBO)
0.108[47] and 4.294[48]
248"Those Who Leave, Those Who Stay"
"Chi fugge, chi resta"
Daniele LuchettiElena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio CostanzoFebruary 27, 2022 (2022-02-27) (Rai 1)
April 18, 2022 (2022-04-18) (HBO)
0.074[49] and 4.112[48]

Production

Commissioned by Rai Fiction, HBO and TIMvision, the first season was produced by Italian production companies Wildside and Fandango and international film group Umedia.[4] TIMvision withdrew from the project after the first season,[50] while production companies The Apartment and Mowe joined production for the second season.[51]

On February 18, 2020, Gaia Girace announced that she would leave the series after playing Lila in three episodes of the third season, as a new and older actress would be cast for the following episodes.[52] However, the director of the third season, Daniele Luchetti, later opted to retain Girace and Mazzucco for the duration of the season.[53]

Music

The score of the series is composed by Max Richter.

Season 1

My Brilliant Friend
(TV Series Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedDecember 7, 2018 (2018-12-07)
GenreSoundtrack
Length36:15
LabelDeutsche Grammophon
Max Richter chronology
Mary Queen of Scots (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
(2018)
My Brilliant Friend
(TV Series Soundtrack)

(2018)
Ad Astra (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
(2019)
Singles from My Brilliant Friend
(TV Series Soundtrack)
  1. "Elena & Lila"
    Released: November 30, 2018

The soundtrack album for the first season was released by Deutsche Grammophon on December 7, 2018, for digital download.[54] It was preceded by the release of the single "Elena & Lila" on November 30, 2018.

Track listing
No.TitleLength
1."Elena & Lila"4:53
2."Whispers"3:41
3."Your Reflection"3:35
4."The Days Go By"2:43
5."Interior Dialogues"1:37
6."In the Dark"2:30
7."In Spite of All"2:10
8."Brilliant Clouds"1:11
9."In Remembrance of You"4:57
10."Shimmering Clouds"1:15
11."She Was Running"2:08
12."Our Reflection"5:35
Total length:36:15
Additional music

The first season features additional material from Richter's solo discography.[55]

All music is composed by Max Richter.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Spring 1" (from the album Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, 2012)Max Richter, Antonio Vivaldi2:31
2."Summer 2" (from the album Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, 2012)Richter, Vivaldi3:59
3."Cypher" (from the single Cypher, 2018) 7:43
4."Aria 2 – Pt. 1" (from the album Sleep, 2015) 1:19
5."Infra 5" (from the album Infra, 2010) 5:16
6."Infra 8" (from the album Infra, 2010) 3:21
7."Love Song (Cascade)" (from the album Perfect Sense, 2011) 1:02
8."Organum" (from the album The Blue Notebooks, 2004) 3:13
9."Dream 13 (Minus Even)" (from the album From Sleep, 2015) 8:52
10."Vladimir's Blues" (from the album The Blue Notebooks, 2004) 1:18
11."Iconography" (from the album The Blue Notebooks, 2004) 3:38
12."Chorale/Glow – Pt. 1" (from the album Sleep, 2015) 2:00
13."Circles from The Rue Simon – Crubellier" (from the album 24 Postcards in Full Colour, 2008) 1:04
14."Dream 19 (Pulse) – Pt. 6" (from the album Sleep, 2015) 3:17
15."Interior Dreams an Idea" (from the album Henry May Long, 2009) 2:18
16."Kierling/Doubt" (from the album 24 Postcards in Full Colour, 2008) 0:50
17."Space 11 (Invisible Pages Over)" (from the album From Sleep, 2015) 5:15
18."Space 17 (Chains) – Pt. 7" (from the album Sleep, 2015) 1:08
19."Space 21 (Petrichor)" (from the album From Sleep, 2015) 4:47
20."Sublunar – Pt. 1" (from the album Sleep, 2015) 1:29

Season 2

My Brilliant Friend, Season 2
(TV Series Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01)
GenreSoundtrack
Length54:51
LabelDeutsche Grammophon
Max Richter chronology
Ad Astra (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
(2019)
My Brilliant Friend, Season 2
(TV Series Soundtrack)

(2020)
Voices
(2020)

The soundtrack album for the second season was released by Deutsche Grammophon on May 1, 2020, for digital download.[56] The soundtrack features material from Richter's solo discography.

Track listing
No.TitleLength
1."Elena and Lila (Titles Season 2)"1:13
2."Sub Piano (MBF Version)" (from the album Infra, 2010)0:49
3."Protest March (Pt. 1)"1:09
4."Protest March (Pt. 2)"2:32
5."Organum (MBF Version)" (from the album The Blue Notebooks, 2004)3:15
6."Leo (MBF Version)" (from the reissue of the album Songs from Before, 2014)2:11
7."She Won't Answer"2:35
8."The Young Mariner (MBF Version)" (from the album Henry May Long, 2009)4:06
9."Harmonium (MBF Version)" (from the album Songs from Before, 2006)4:25
10."Cinema Music"6:28
11."Don't Put Sad Ideas In My Head / All By Themselves"3:21
12."Winter 2 (MBF Version)" (from the album Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, 2012)2:53
13."Return 16 (time capsule) [Edit]" (from the album Sleep, 2015)9:14
14."moth-like stars (Edit)" (from the album Sleep, 2015)10:40
Total length:54:51

Season 3

My Brilliant Friend, Season 3
(Original Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedMarch 4, 2022 (2022-03-04)
GenreSoundtrack
Length29:47
LabelDeutsche Grammophon
Max Richter chronology
Invasion (Music from the Original TV Series: Season 1)
(2021)
My Brilliant Friend, Season 3
(Original Soundtrack)

(2022)

The soundtrack album for the third season was released by Deutsche Grammophon on March 4, 2022, for digital download.[57] The soundtrack features material from Richter's solo discography.

Track listing
No.TitleLength
1."Romance I"1:57
2."Leo (MBF Version)" (from the reissue of the album Songs from Before, 2014)2:11
3."Spring 1 (MBF Version)" (from the album Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, 2012)2:32
4."Romance II"1:40
5."This Picture Of Us. P." (from the album 24 Postcards in Full Colour, 2008)1:38
6."Sub Piano (MBF Version)" (from the album Infra, 2010)0:49
7."Fragment" (from the album Songs from Before, 2006)1:44
8."Romance III"1:55
9."Vladimir's Blues" (from the album The Blue Notebooks, 2004)1:21
10."Romance IV"1:39
11."Romance V"1:41
12."moth-like stars (Edit)" (from the album Sleep, 2015)10:40
Total length:29:47

Reception

The series has received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a 93% "certified fresh" rating with an average score of 8.4 out of 10 based on 57 reviews. The site's critical consensus is, "My Brilliant Friend is an expansive epic that gleans rapturous beauty from the most desolate of circumstances, but it is the intimacy between the central duo – and the remarkable performances that bring them to life – that audiences will remember most vividly".[58] On Metacritic, it has a score of 87 out of 100 based on 20 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[59] Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett of The Guardian stated "How revolutionary it still feels to see female friendship explored onscreen in this way. It goes without saying that it takes the Bechdel test and turns it into ragù."[60]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has a 100% "certified fresh" rating with an average score of 9.5 out of 10 based on 15 reviews. The site's critical consensus is, "Gorgeously shot and full of incredible performances, My Brilliant Friend's second season expands its small world with rich results."[61] On Metacritic, it has a score of 92 out of 100 based on 8 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[62]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the third season has a 100% "certified fresh" rating with an average score of 9.2 out of 10 based on 11 reviews.[63] On Metacritic, it has a score of 96 out of 100 based on 6 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[64]

In 2019, My Brilliant Friend was nominated for a Peabody Award.[65]

Home media

On April 2, 2019, HBO Home Entertainment released the first season on DVD and Digital in region 1.[66]

Notes

  1. ^ a b The first two episodes of the third season were released online in Italy on February 4, 2022.

References

  1. ^ Jones, Tobias (November 19, 2018). "From Fellini to Ferrante: the cinematic vision of My Brilliant Friend". The Guardian. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  2. ^ Moylan, Brian (February 9, 2016). "Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels set for TV adaptation". The Guardian. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  3. ^ Yoshida, Emily (September 2, 2018). "HBO's My Brilliant Friend Adaptation Should Have Been an Anime". Vulture.com. Retrieved July 31, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "My Brilliant Friend Debuts Sunday, Nov. 18 on HBO". HBO. September 13, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  5. ^ Patterson, Troy (November 15, 2018). ""My Brilliant Friend," Reviewed: A Prada Ad for Working-Class Gloom, but with Shades of Humble Tenderness". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  6. ^ Otterson, Joe (December 4, 2018). "'My Brilliant Friend' Renewed for Season 2 at HBO, RAI". Variety.
  7. ^ a b Berni, Andrea Francesco (December 19, 2019). "L'Amica Geniale: storia del nuovo cognome, i primi due episodi usciranno al cinema, ecco il trailer!". BadTaste.it (in Italian). Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  8. ^ Romano, Nick (January 31, 2020). "HBO's My Brilliant Friend season 2 trailer continues the addicting, emotional drama". Entertainment Weekly.
  9. ^ Porter, Rick (April 30, 2020). "'My Brilliant Friend' Renewed for Third Season at HBO". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  10. ^ "Rai 1, dopo Sanremo arriva "L'amica geniale"". Il giornale locale (in Italian). January 26, 2022. Retrieved January 26, 2022.
  11. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (January 26, 2022). "HBO's 'My Brilliant Friend' Season 3 Gets Premiere Date and Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 26, 2022.
  12. ^ Chapman, Wilson (March 22, 2022). "'My Brilliant Friend' Renewed for Fourth and Final Season". Variety. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
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