If you thought no Italian crime drama could get more brutal and wicked than Gomorrah, think again! Brash, ruthless and cold-hearted Suburra will make you change your opinion about Rome as it unveils its secrets, its schemes and its criminal underbelly across three seasons.
The series draws from real life events and situations of the Mafia Capitale – Rome’s organised crime group – and focuses on power clashes and corruption among hardcore criminals, politicians and members of the clergy.
Suburra’s main characters are Aureliano Adami, the head of a gang based just outside the city; Spadino Anacleti, the heir of a prominent Sinti Roma family in the Italian capital; and Lele Marchilli, the son of a police officer who eventually becomes involved with criminal activities.
Chance binds them together when they get their hands on a shocking video involving member of the clergy Monsignor Theodosiou – masterfully played by Greek actor Gerasimos Skiadaresis – and decide to blackmail him.
The events that unfold give life to one of the most intricate Italian TV dramas ever produced and the first Italian-language original series on Netflix.
The complexity of the many characters that come and go and a plot that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat are aided by the likelihood that every event unfolding on the screen probably took place in real life.
Granted, Rome’s reputation got tarnished by Suburra – and, in fact, its producers were heavily criticised by the city’s governance after it premiered in 2017 – but the drama, the schemes, the betrayals and the tragedies that mark the series paint a different and somewhat refreshing image of the Eternal City.
The juxtaposition of the public veneer of Rome and its seedy criminal environment that forms a sprawling world of corruption is the drama’s main selling point. On top of that, none of the characters involved, sinners or saints, are afraid to get their hands dirty, which makes Suburra a compelling and exciting series.