just gave me yet another reason why I’m going to be more addicted to this new streaming service than ever in 2021.
No, I’m not talking about Warner Bros.’ decision to release its entire 2021 movie slate onto HBO Max the same day that each title becomes available in the relatively few cinemas around the country that are open right now. Although, that’s certainly a huge reason to make sure you’ve signed up for the WarnerMedia streamer (which is also home to solid original content like the Kaley Cuoco-led drama The Flight Attendant).
Come January 21, though, HBO Max is going to release a third season of a fantastic, gritty, Italian crime drama that I’ve been waiting for years to come stateside. It’s called Gomorrah, two seasons of which I bought on iTunes a few years back — and it is in every way magnificent. Once you’ve let Gomorrah take you down the dark, mean streets of Naples and Rome, and it’s introduced you to the warring crime families at the heart of the show, you’ll forget all about silly American TV fare that’s trod the same thematic road. As I understand it, the distribution rights to the show got tangled up in the Weinstein mess a couple of years ago and took some time to unravel, but take my word for it — this show is like a coke-fueled mashup between The Sopranos,The Wire, and Game of Thrones. Just, you know, transported to modern-day Italy.
You can check out a trailer for the third season of Gomorrah below. Here’s the HBO Max description of what’s coming in the new season: “Genny (Salvatore Esposito) takes control and ultimately rules over Naples and Rome. Within his network two women rise to power: Annalisa (Cristina Donadio), named “Scianel”, a key drug pusher and a natural leader, and Patrizia (Cristiana Dell’Anna), one of Genny’s most faithful foot soldiers.
“When Ciro (Marco D’Amore) forms a new partnership with the young and ambitious Enzo (Arturo Muselli), a light that once vanished from Ciro’s eyes reappears. The former street-level drug dealers cast their net far beyond the city of Naples and the borders of Italy. Genny, Ciro and Enzo are about to make peace, when Enzo demands a sacrifice.”
The gun battles in this series are unforgettable, as are the power struggles behind the scenes. The characters are Shakespearean in their level of villainy. In one scene, way back in Season 1, one of the bosses assuages his anger over an underling’s insubordination by turning away from him, unzipping his pants, and filling up a cup with his urine, which he orders the subordinate to drink to prove his loyalty. Many episodes later, a loved one of this boss is gunned down in cold blood. In retaliation, the boss sends one of his hired guns to take revenge in a way that will shock most TV viewers.
You want a well-written, compulsively bingeable drama that will make you forget all about the pandemic? This is that show. Go ahead and park yourself now in front of a TV or your HBO Max-connected device and catch up on the first two seasons that are streaming on the service now, ahead of the Season 3 debut on HBO Max, after a long wait for us American fans of the show, come January 21. Before you know it, the show will be carrying you along, to borrow a description of it from The New York Times, “like one of the sleek Italian motorcycles” favored by the well-off, wealthy bosses at the top of this series’ depraved, murderous food chain.
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Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.
Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.