Sunday, February 4, 2007

Preview—The Black Donnellys

The pilot episode of this mid-season NBC series was made available on the Netflix-exclusive Heroes Season Summary DVD. The show was created by Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco (Crash, Million Dollar Baby).

The Black Donnellys tells the story of the four Donnelly brothers and how they become involved in organized crime in New York City, and has a strongly cinematic look and feel. To me, it felt a little like a Guy Ritchie movie, with its juxtaposition of wry humor and brutal violence. The writing is good, but I found the voice-over narration approach to be distracting in places, mostly because it wasn't clear to me why Joey was narrating. He didn't seem to be intimately involved enough in the events he was discussing to serve as narrator--unless he's supposed to be an untrustworthy narrator, and then we get into a whole new kettle of fish. Then again, I have a prejudice against voice over, especially in pilots.

In any case, this pilot episode was solid, well-produced and well-acted, with a killer soundtrack (although what's with the ubiquitousness of Snow Patrol lately?).

The Black Donnellys premieres this spring on NBC.