DVD Review: THE BASTARDS OF PIZZOFALCONE (Season One, MHz Releasing)

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by Dale Reynolds on November 21, 2019



Set in the hilly part of the bayside city of Naples, Italy, Pizzofalcone was once a flourishing center of power and money, but is now a rundown, dangerous sector of the third largest city in Italy, after Rome and Milan.

So, when police detective Inspector Giuseppe Lojacono (an arresting [!] Allesandro Gassman) is exiled to this precinct police station after false claims of him being a Mafia stooge, he must build trust from his governments in taming some of the lawlessness that gives Naples such a bad reputation. Along with his team of talented misfits, the six storylines, based on the bestselling mystery novels of Maurizio de Giovanni, smoothly unveil for us with solid writing and the perceptive direction of Carlo Carlei.

Assisting Lojacono are the handsome-but-dim Special Agent Marco Aragona (far-too-pretty Antonio Folletto), young, brash and impulsive; a solid-but-dull older inspector, Giorgio Pisanelli (Gianfelice Imparato), a widower who nightly talks to his dead wife; and beautiful prosecutor Laura Piros (Carolina Crescentini), a potential, if politically unhealthy, love interest for our heartthrob detective.


The storylines always involve the variety of these disparate police characters, including the new boss of the squad, Luigi Palma (Massimilano Gallo), a by-the-books kickass leader, hot for the married Ottavia Calabrese (Tosca D’Aquino), their IT specialist, who is raising a son who is on the spectrum; closeted lesbian Alex Di Nardo (Simona Tabasco); and rough-and-tumble Francesco Romano (Gennaro Silvestro), whose near-psychotic acts against potential criminals as well as his suffering wife, are a constant danger to the squad.

The episodes, always shot with a glorious Naples and its bay in the background, vary from murders of the middle class, the working poor, and the über-rich. Not much humor here, but the characters are all given strong scenes, with the right amount of sensuality (especially the lesbian sequences) and the budding romance between Lojacono and Piros.

Gassman (son of famed director Vittorio Gassman), now in his mid-50s, is a handsome and fascinating an actor to watch, showing his character’s vulnerabilities at war with his macho side. Every one of the actors has been well-cast and the first-season tales hold interest with their excitement and fluidity.

The Bastards of Pizzofalcone
Season One
MHz Networks
in Italian with English subtitles
3 discs | 612 minutes | released on DVD April 28, 2019 | not rated
available at MHz Releasing or Amazon

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