The Good Mothers

The Good Mothers

TV-MA

hulu

Women take down the mafia in this intricate, true-story-based Italian-British crime drama

The Very Best

8.0

TV Show

Italy, United Arab Emirates
Italian
Crime, Drama
2023
ELISA AMORUSO, FEMALE DIRECTOR
Barbara Chichiarelli, Francesco Colella, Gaia Girace

TLDR

When has a mafia show been this good? When else has it cared about its victims?

What it's about

Born into one of the biggest of Calabria’s crime families, three women band together to betray their families in order to secure their futures and that of their children.

The take

With years of films depicting Italian crime syndicates, most focus on their leaders – the Dons, the Capos, and the Consiglieres. Most of them focus on the mafia’s men. However, in this series, it’s the women who are the stars of the show. Based on the novel of the same name, The Good Mothers is a compelling crime drama, focused on the women, not the men, of the 'Ndrangheta clan. It’s from their perspective we see the mafia. The masterful way the series unfolds makes it clear that their lives are constrained, that this dated way of life still prioritizes the family over their individual women. It makes it all the more satisfying when they’re given the opportunity to retaliate, and when they choose to take that opportunity. And it’s so much better knowing that this was real.

What stands out

The slow pace of The Good Mothers might dissuade viewers, especially those used to other fast pace crime dramas, gangster shows, and murder mysteries. However, this pace feels fitting for a show like this. Instead of shoot outs, dramatic fight scenes, and gun fights between criminals and police, most of the show takes place within the homes of these mafia families, in dinner tables headed by fathers, and bathrooms where it’s often the women’s only solace. It takes place in cars driven by underlings, whose doors are opened and closed by other men. The claustrophobic nature of the mafia women’s lives is captured in its slow pacing, and it makes it easier to wish them a better life, regardless of each way they try to find that.

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