Carlo & Malik – Netflix Season 1 Review



Season 1

Episode Guide

Looks Can Be Deceiving: Part 1
Looks Can Be Deceiving: Part 2
Once Too Often
A Night Without Stars
For Love
A Song For You
A Quiet Family
Just Married
Hidden Truths
Unfinished Business: Part 1
Unfinished Business: Part 2



Carlo & Malik is the latest Italian crime drama to drop on Netflix and after the success of Suburra, this televised, formulaic series pales by comparison. Ticking every trope in this genre, Carlo & Malik fails to establish itself, despite some interesting cases and an undercurrent of socially relevant themes.

The first episode holds no surprises and gets right to the heart of the drama. It’s here where we’re introduced to veteran cop Carlo whose teamed up with rookie Malik. After a two-parter to open the season, setting the mood for what’s to come, the rest of this Italian police procedural descends into individual cases before a climactic two-parter to finish the season off.

Grappling with their own personal issues, both Carlo and Malik struggle to balance their own drama with a number of criminal cases. From a body inside a suitcase to a stabbing in a sex shop, the murders and ensuing mystery around each are just about interesting enough to keep you watching but the formulaic nature of how most of this plays out, holds this back from being a better title.

Everything from the stock music through to the static camera work fails to really inject this series with any sort of originality. It’s all very tried-and-tested and as such, the series feels dated and uninspiring. While there are some nice action scenes and some of the investigative work is quite good, there really isn’t anything here that hasn’t been done before elsewhere with more polish.

Whilst I do appreciate this show has done pretty well in Italy during its televised run, to an international audience on a platform with so many polished crime dramas, there really isn’t anything particularly special or outstanding here to make this one stand out. There are some enjoyable moments here no doubt, but this is simply more of what we’ve already seen, and not enough of what we haven’t.


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  • Verdict - 5/10

13 thoughts on “Carlo & Malik – Netflix Season 1 Review”

  1. I’ve watched a lot on netflix. Not impressed with this show. Bad writing and even worse acting. No chemistry between characters and the plot is painfully long and boring. 4 out of 10 and that is being generous.

  2. Really REALLY REALLY enjoyed this Italian crime drama and I’m waiting keenly for season 2 NOW! Sooner rather than later would be great!

  3. I really enjoyed this show on Netflix,
    great characters,
    great storyline, most of all loved tgat is was filmed in parts of ItakyLooking forward to season 2.

  4. Critics always want to find fault with everything. I did enjoy Season 1 a lot. I do like the interaction between Carlo and Malik. I do enjoy Carlo’s experience and wisdom and Malik’s smartness at following the evidence. Alba and Malik’s relationship feels real and wholesome. My favorite character is Alba’s boss. Awaiting Season 2.

  5. I’ve really enjoyed this series, I binged watched it and ended up staying up till 4am. I get fed up with critics. Every critic should remember that they are only one person and therefore cannot speak on behalf of all of us international viewers. I really hope Netflix picks up season 2.

  6. Also watched this and enjoyed. It’s always challenging to pick up cultural nuances when a show is translated, but the way deal with racism and xenophobia is very interesting and has enabled me to understand some of my experiences in Italy better. I also enjoyed the love story between Alba and Malik

  7. We really enjoyed the series and like other commenting, look forward to the second. It rose effortlessly above the Cop/Rookie genre with characters that were human and whom we really cared about. The racial aspects were realistically dealt with in a way seldom touched on in U.K dramas and the Rome setting was unobtrusive in the background, unlike Montalbano, Morse, etc.. The format, generally a crime an episode was refreshing and any violence understated, their usual resolution seemed to depend exclusively on mobile phone tracking . Whilst this was hardly believable, it allowed the focus to remain firmly on the developing and stumbling relationships between the main characters.

    Well done Netflix!

  8. I am not particularly fond of the acting, but I believe that the true value of the series lies in its addressing racism with the different layers of complexity it holds in Italy (Italiani brava gente etc). Nero a metà was, in this sense, a perfect title. In Italian, “nero” does not have any racist or belittling connotations. “Person of colour” is considered to be a classier way of saying, also considering that “nero” is a way of calling those who belong to the fascist party.

  9. I loved this. The police procedurals in each episode were sometimes a little too neatly wrapped up but I was more interested in the main characters and their interaction and journeys.

  10. It was about time Italian television produced something like Carlo & Malik. I admit the original title ” Nero a Metá” is awful and I am pleased with the solution chosen by the translators. From American to Scandi noir series we have seen it all in detective fiction genre: superheroes detectives running like a jaguar, emotionally disturbed police officers in mid-life crisis and sloppy female detectives who seem to have never stepped into a shopping mall or a hairdressers’…Although it is very nice to ‘visit’ the green landscapes of Wales, Finland or New Zealand, without having to watch a rather boring TV travel programme, I am amazed to have Rome’s streets and surroundings as the main locations. Finally, Carlo & Malik characters are extremely human, women get pregnant, work colleagues fall in love with each other, and Italian society struggles to come to terms with immigration and racism. Can’t wait for season 2!

  11. Are you kidding me! I belong to the international audience and have my hopes set on Season 2!

  12. Your details and review are very negative and I do not agree with them. I enjoyed season 1 of Carlo & Malik and actually rewatched it to focus on details that I might have not noticed. It was intriguing and different. Carlo’s and Alba’s family story was mysterious and effected their personalities and their relationship. Carlo is an middle-aged policeman with lots of experience and great intuition .He is fiercely protective
    of his daughter and is having a difficult time adapting to her moving out. He does have a relationship, but how does that work out. The loneliness the characters deal with is very touching and portrayed in realistic ways. Also, immigrants are part of world today and how people deal with them is shown. We are all affected by this. Corruption is woven into the plot.
    I definitely hope that we will see Season 2 in 2020!

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