Mob City Premiere

mob cityI finally got around to watching the Mob City premiere on TNT. Mob City is the new cop/mob drama from creator Frank Darabont (The Walking Dead) based in 1940s and 50s Los Angeles. Based on the book, L.A. Noire: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, Mob City is the story of the decades long battle between L.A. Police Chief William Parker and mobster Mickey Cohen.

The 2 hour premiere of Mob City was Thursday night. Head inside to see what I thought of the premiere.I suppose I should start off by saying that I am a sucker for mob related movies and TV shows. Good Fellas and Casino are two movies that when I see them in the channel guide, I immediately stop flipping channels and watch, no matter where in the movie I land. Knowing that, Mob City would have to be pretty bad for me not to like it. Well? It wasn’t bad and I liked it.

Whether I like it or not is irrelevant really. TV dramas are tough to do. They take a lot of commitment from viewers and when the American TV viewing public is involved, commitment is not something in large supply. In Mob City’s case, a commitment is necessary but not a long one. This is only a 6 episode min-series. You would think that Americans can invest in 6 episode but based on the ratings for the premiere, it’s clear that no, no they cant.

Mob movies and TV shows are always popular. HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is one of the networks most popular shows. It’s not a bad idea for TNT to try to capitalize on the public’s enjoyment of all things mob related. Even better, cover a story that hasn’t really been done. So much of mob related entertainment has focused on the east coast or Chicago or Las Vegas. We have not really had much coverage of the rise of the mob in the west. Mob City takes us there and does so very well.

Costuming for Mob City is outstanding. I know we don’t often discuss all the nitty gritty details of TV here at MWTVG but in this case, it has to be mentioned. If you want to do a period piece set in a specific time, you need to make me believe you are really there. Costume designer Giovanna Ottobre-Melton┬áhas done a wonderful job putting characters in period clothing.

If only the set design was as good. I can give them a bit of a break because creating 40s and 50s L.A. would be difficult and expensive. It’s not like on Boardwalk Empire where they can create any ocean side looking town and 99.9% of viewers wouldn’t know the difference. This is L.A. It’s too iconic. Given that the budget probably doesn’t have room for set design, crudely done stage sets fill in for most exterior shots of L.A. What little real outside shooting they do is all with very tight shots that you can’t tell the difference. The sets don’t take away from the action but I would expect better from a Darabont production.

Two episodes in and I’m hooked. I’ll be watching the rest of this miniseries to see how this plays out. The first two episodes had to get the introduction work done and with a large cast of characters, it was tough to establish back stories while setting the scene for current time in the show. I was confused at points with flashbacks and focus on so many characters early on. It was hard to follow at points but there was enough there to keep me interested.

Here is a sneak peek from TNT:

 

Mob City airs on TNT on Wednesdays at 8:00. They are airing 2 episodes back to back each week so the 6 episode miniseries will be over in 3 weeks. I enjoyed it and will be watching. If you like mob or cop dramas, then I highly recommend it. If you like 2 Broke Girls, you definitely won’t like this show and you should continue having CBS hand feed you TV shows.