‘Mob City’ finds TNT exploring riskier territory
By Shawn Gakhal
Developed by “Walking Dead” wunderkind Frank Darabont comes the new miniseries noir-drama, “Mob City,” based on a book by John Buntin called “L.A. Noir: the Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City.”
The show revolves around the multi-decade bitter standoff between Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker, played by Neal McDonough and menacing mob boss, Mickey Cohen, portrayed by Jeremy Luke.
Set in the 1940s, “Mob City” is a period piece, which is visually appealing and gives the audience an entertaining glimpse at mob life.
Period pieces have become all the rage in the last five years with the critical successes of “Mad Men” and “Downton Abbey.”
The show premiered on TNT on Dec. 4 to a modicum of critical acclaim and only 2.3 million viewers, which some industry insiders cited as low.
Visually, “Mob City” is enthralling. The attention to the era via slick suits, top hat classic cars, and Tommy guns are pinpoint and provide an entertaining ride for the audience. That’s one thing the show does right.
The writing, on the other hand, is stilted and tedious. The show is a six-part miniseries, so it’s understandable that it’ll get better later on, as even some TV critics have noted that the action picks up in the last few episodes.
The acting is decent, as Jon Bernthal’s (played Shane on “The Walking Dead”) gritty portrayal as ex-marine, now police officer, Joe Teague stood out to me the most.
This isn’t “The Sopranos,” where every scene and piece of dialogue is nuanced and subtle. All I want to see here are car chases, gunfire and heavenly blessed blonde bombshells.
One thing’s for sure — “Mob City” is a risk for TNT. They house current shows like “Rizzoli & Isles,” and “Franklin & Bash,” which are, for the most part, relatively benign.
If anything, TNT gets credit for even green lighting “Mob City” as it is such a risk and departure from their original programming.
As for whether the show itself is any good, well, it’s still in its early days.