Monday, January 16, 2017

Pilot Review: Sneaky Pete

Sneaky Pete (Amazon)
Premiered January 12

I never seem to be able to catch Amazon’s pilot season when it launches, with the exception of two times over the past few years. This show actually debuted with its first installment way back in October 2015, and now it finally premiered as a series of ten episodes this past Thursday. I knew nothing about this show going into it other than the fact that it starred Giovanni Ribisi, who I first remember as Phoebe’s socially awkward brother Frank on “Friends” twenty years ago. The last show that I saw about a man getting out of prison and taking someone else’s identity was the fantastically dark “Banshee,” and this is a very, very different show. Fortunately, it’s just as intriguing, and I agree with the Amazon pilot audience that voted to turn this into a full-fledged series. Ribisi definitely has what it takes to carry a show like this, and he also does a great job emulating Ethan Embry, who plays the real extremely talkative Pete whose life he takes after hearing countless details and stories about his childhood and his family. The best pairing this show could possibly have produced is casting Marin Ireland opposite Ribisi’s Marius as Julia, who is more than capable of anchoring her own scenes and not giving in to what her newfound relative wants to do in every case. Joining someone else’s family business to act as a bail bondsman should be very interesting, especially as he tries to find a way to save his brother from getting his fingers sliced off one at a time by Bryan Cranston’s big bad guy. This pilot was very strong, and I’m excited to see what comes next.

How will it work as a series? The first case that Marius and Julia tackled was definitely pretty awesome, and I like how they handled all aspects of it. That bodes well for any future assignments they’ll approach together, and as Marius’ past catches up with him, it’s sure to create much more enticing drama, especially since no one particularly likes him all that much right now and they don’t think that’s he lying about who he is yet.
How long will it last? Unlike Netflix, Amazon puts most of its original series online as pilots to be voted on by users before making a whole season of a show, so that already says something. The reviews have been very strong for the whole first season, so I expect that this one is going to be back for a second season and beyond.

Pilot grade: B+