Looks Can Be Deceiving: Part 1
Looks Can Be Deceiving: Part 2
Once Too Often
A Night Without Stars
A Song For You
A Quiet Family
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.
Verdict - 5/10