A mini-crime wave will hit the small screen with the February 26 debut of both NBC’s Good Girls and AMC’s McMafia. To avoid you getting caught behind programming bars, let me tell you now: The former is a score, while the latter is a heist of your time.
Airing at 10 PM, Good Girls, a 10-episode drama starring Christina Hendricks, Retta and Mae Whitman from ex-Scandal co-executive producer Jenna Bans, skillfully shifts a catchy premise into a surprisingly magnetic groove. On the other hand, as I say in my video review above, the clearly pricey but plodding UK co-produced McMafia doesn’t go anywhere a million airport novels and good-son-turned-bad gangster flicks haven’t taken us before. Also — and I can’t emphasize this enough — even in the era of slow-burn TV, the eight-part series created by Hossein Amini and James Watkins takes forever to get there.
Lacking any narrative nutritional value except to fill space for the home of The Walking Dead in the absence of a speedy sequel of sorts to the Emmy-winning The Night Manager, the show — international in scope and Russian at its Kremlin core, and based on Misha Glenny’s 2008 nonfiction book about the post-USSR rise of global underground — doesn’t even light with a simmering James Norton as its lead.
As happens in these shows, NBC’s Good Girls — about a trio of broke suburban Michigan moms who knock over a supermarket and get in lot more trouble than they intended — not only takes on the tropes of similar crime stories but also the American Dream, weak men and a system that seems dedicated to grinding them and many families down. It has the added bonus of the fact that Mad Man alum Hendricks (who replaced Kathleen Rose Perkins from the original pilot), Parks and Recreation vet Rettta and Arrested Development’s Whitman have great chemistry that is lit from the get-go.
So, as the Winter Olympics heads into the final stretch, check out my video review above. Then I suggest you partake of Good Girls next week if you want to feast on something good.
Editors note: This review originally posted on February 20.
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