The Making Of The Mob explores the rise of organised crime in America. It focuses on the five families which controlled the American underworld in the early twentieth century. Set over two seasons we get an insightful view of some well known mob legends. The likes of Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Siegel, Neyer Lansky, Vito Genovese, Frank Costello are all profiled. In Season two, the rise of Al Capone during the recession in Chicago is covered. On the surface, this is primarily a documentary. Creators have laced it with archival footage and weaved together with some horrific reenactments of historical events like the Valentines Day massacre.
The cast is solid and provides a great presence on screen. Rich Graff is a real stand out playing Lucky Luciano. The only problem I had was that all of the cast members looked a little too glam for their roles. If you do a little research, in real life these guys looked a lot rougher than this show portrays. A real genius stroke is having Ray Liotta narrated the show. His gritty New York accent carries you through each scene providing a real authentic feel. Let's face it, he is probably one of the famous fictional wise guys there has ever been. Adding to the authenticity is a sequence of interviews placed throughout each episode. At key stages in each story a huge list of historians, authors, politicians, actors, politicians, former mafia associates and relatives of the legendary mob bosses add a contribution.
There have been many stories to hit the screen about the mob. Films such as The Godfather, Goodfellas, A Bronx Tale, The Untouchables, Black Mass (review here) and Casino have all been hugely successful. There is no doubting the public fascination with the criminal geniuses that would stop at nothing to build their empires. These guys shaped modern America. But the world should not forget how they did it. They were violent killers and ruthless to the extreme.
While The making Of The Mob is engaging, it is nowhere near as good as the likes of The Sopranos. The editing is shocking with some scenes repeated unnecessarily which makes the storyline disjointed. The movie score is too deep and over the top and just gets annoying however, other than that, the show is insightful and informative. If you are interested in the mob then the gritty reenactments will keep you interested. And interviews with the likes of Rudy Giuliani are quite surprising. With two seasons available on Netflix UK, and each episode being no longer than 45min, it is well worth watching. If you can put up with the ruthless horrific violence that is. Definitely not viewing for the kids.