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I didn't expect Netflix to have a TV series based on mafia gangsters in Canada. Let's face it, no one really expected it. Usually when we think of mafia crimes, we think of New York, Chicago, and Las Vegas. The big profile stories are always based in the United States, especially the true story ones. Although the stories have been made over and over again. I guess they needed new material. It so happens that Canada had a large mafia problem of their own. I'm sure not a lot of people know about the story of Vito Rizzuto. Sometimes they say the biggest gangsters are the ones that no one knows about. That ended soon now that this series has been made. Who knows... Canadian shows aren't ever that popular.
A little background about me. While I was studying criminology in University, I was privileged to read a book about the Rizzuto family. Up until university, I didn't know we had such an organized crime problem in Canada. The book explained how they were the biggest Italian family crime organization in North America at one point. They had connections everywhere. It just so happens that the Rizzuto family was still going through a ton of turmoil when I recently graduated from University. It was weird because the Rizzuto stories are still fresh in my mind from when I read about the crime murders related to the Rizzuto organization.
Since I had all this background information beforehand, it wasn't such a big shock when I heard of some of the stories they played out in the Bad Blood series. These events actually happened in real life and I saw them in the news. The fact that these things happened so close to me made the stories resonate a little more to me. I recognized the scenes in Montreal and recognized some of the actors and newscasters in the series. It felt a little more close to home than I'm used to so it was nice to see this.
The series stars Kim Coates as the main character Declan. You'll recognize him from his role as Tig in Sons of Anarchy. I think they picked the right guy to play this character. He plays the tough guy role really well. He also has a way to make us sympathize with him despite the fact he's done all these bad things on the show.
I enjoyed all of the actors of the show. They all seemed like veteran TV actors, but I didn't really see anyone that really stood out to me that I would say deserves to be a star. It was a great ensemble cast. The only gripe I have with the show was that, since it was based in Montreal, they should have had more French dialogue in the series. It was surprising to me that they didn't.
Bad Blood is without a doubt a Canadian film. It has that Canadian feel to it. I always joke about the fact that Canadian films have this weird flavor to them that you just can't put your finger on, but you'll know it's Canadian when you see them. This TV series has that Canadian flavor in spades. It does not shy away about how Canadian it is and I thought that aspect was pretty fun.
I have to say that I didn't really get into the series from the first episode, but it does pick up pretty quick. There are only six episodes so it's a really quick binge watch. The character development is very well done and you can sympathize with each of the characters. There are plot twists closer to the end that I didn't totally see coming. I didn't see it coming, but in hindsight, I should have been able to see the events unraveling before my eyes. I may have said too much...
I think all Canadians that are into crime movies should see this. This show should resonate with Canadians a little more than Americans, but I hope that doesn't deter Americans from checking it out. Canadians love American gangster movies, after all. A good story is still a good story. Overall, I will give this series an 8 out of 10. I don't see a lot of quality Canadian crime dramas so it's a refreshing TV series to watch. I only hope that audiences from other countries will give this show a chance.