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"I live in a world of grey hats..."
Just like several unfortunate people in the promo, I was blown away by this first look at Mob City. Ever since Frank Darabont's post-Walking Dead project was announced, the TNT (knows) drama seemed like one of new shows worth keeping an eye on and the brief spot, simply titled "sneak peek," certainly did nothing to alter that perception. On the contrary the flashy, vivid and even greasy trailer for the period piece only moved it even higher on the list of this year's most anticipated new series.
Mob City is set in a post-war, organized crime addled Los Angeles with a police force as corrupt as the criminals they purport to fight. But Neal McDonough's Police Chief William Parker has had enough and decides to go after both the crime bosses that have a strangle hold on the city, like Ed Burns' Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel and Jeremy Luke's Mickey Cohen and anyone from the force who's taking a cut to turn a blind eye. Or worse. This means setting up a new task force (like the Gangster Squad) and that means recruiting Jeffrey DeMunn's Det. Hal Morrison and Bernthal's Det. Joe Teague. Teague seems like the show's lead, an ex-Marine with ties to the criminal underworld thanks to a war-time friendship with Milo Ventimiglia's fixer for the mob.
Among several rad aspects of the Mob City sneak peek, I think I loved the use of the old-school looking photographs the most, especially with the Texas Chainsaw-ish flashbulb sound effect kicking everything off. The photos showcased most of the major players with Berenthal and Ventimiglia featured prominently as well as Star Trek star Simon Pegg even though he's only in a guest role. The sneak also showed off the seemingly extreme level of violence but, to its credit, those scenes also look to be executed (pun always intended) in great style, whether shooting the action; in silhouette, with the frames slowed-down, in deeps blues, draped in smoke or with blood literally hitting the camera.
Oh, and the show's title is new as well. And terrible, especially compared to the many that came before it from L.A. Noir (fitting since the series is based on John Buntin's "L.A. Noir: The Struggle For The Soul Of America’s Most Seductive City") to Lost Angels. But, as a famous playwright once said, "what's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." I think it was Marlowe. Kidding, just a bit of noir humor.
Mob City premieres Wednesday, December 4 at 10 p.m. ET on TNT. "This city's so damn beautiful. But only from a distance. Up close, it's all a gutter."