When you say wrong first impressions. Very first seconds of the first episode of Bang Bang Baby , Prime Video’s Italian Original series.


The first five episodes are available on the platform from April 28th.

The remaining five will arrive on May 19th). There is a lamp behind the protagonist, and it is the first of two Pac-Man anachronisms.

But I don’t have time to think about the usual 80’s jam spread everywhere now, just because it is carried, which Bang Bang Baby surprises me with a surreal moment. He is not the only one, nor the craziest.

I read a few days ago on social media Roberto Recchioni define Bang Bang Baby , a series written and conceived by the actor and director Andrea Di Stefano , as a production that looks a lot at the things of Nicolas Winding Refn . And in fact it is impossible not to get lost in all those neon lights and those Lombard mists furrowed by the headlights, without thinking about the works of the Danish filmmaker. There is also an obvious quote from The Neon Demon , out there on the street.

But Bang Bang Baby to style, in search of something visually contemporary and a moment more refined from a directorial point of view, combines the taste for exaggeration, the grotesque of its characters. At times, it is like looking at something by Refn, but written by Niccolò Ammaniti.

Although everything is based on a true story, the autobiographical book Mafia Princess (published in Italy in 2011 by Sperling & Kupfer as L’intoccabile ) by Marisa Merico, the story of a girl born in the 1970s, born as Alice (Arianna Becheroni ) by Bang Bang Baby in a family of the ‘Ndrangheta transplanted to Lombardy, Di Stefano’s series enjoys playing with its protagonists. Thus, alongside more or less real figures, such as that of Merico’s real grandmother – a talented Dora Romano , the inflexible Signora Gentile of Sorrentino’s Was the Hand of God – and Adriano Giannini ‘s Saint Baron , a roundup of freak.

The psychopathic gangster who calms down only with George Michael (an excellent Antonio Gerardi ), his psychic cousin in tow, the women of the strip club armed to the teeth, like in a Sin City comic by Frank Miller . When they ask me if, as a Calabrian, I feel offended by the similar portrayal of my countrymen, I answer no. These are not normal people, but criminals: and if in a crime series you portray the criminals in such a grotesque way, all the talk about the possible exaltation of the criminal fails.

And so I was glued, episode after episode, to this strange mix of ferocious violence, humor and visions like those of JD of Scrubs , with so many original visual ideas, a refined direction and a rhythm that flows well, although some characters do not work as well as the others (the classmate who has seen The Time of Apples too many times , to say). An 80’s smoothie that at the time of the Paninari uses the great classics of the period from the sound point of view – Felicità by Al Bano and Romina, or George Michael – only for successful contrasts. For the rest, he throws himself into the arms of the synthesizer of Santi Pulvirenti.

It will be said that they have been doing such things abroad for some time, and it is true, but the most spontaneous response to this type of objection is that everything else out there is the bleak Italian scenario, in which almost everything flounders as if Rai-Mediaset fiction of twenty years ago. It is no coincidence that when the name of the few exceptions is mentioned, the names are always the same, and sometimes distant in time. Boris  is a series born fifteen years ago.

How many Italian series at the height of foreign productions have we seen born in the last five years? Fewer fingers are needed to count them than a single hand. It remains to be seen how the five remaining episodes, in just over two weeks, will tie back into the prologue and bring the story to a close, sure. But for now, a very nice surprise