Gangs of Oslo Season 1 Review – A crime drama exploring the dark side of friendships and loyalty

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6



Gangs of Oslo is a Norwegian crime drama that explores the story of two childhood friends who, through following two different paths in life, grow up to become arch-enemies; one becoming a police officer and the other a drug cartel leader.

Moaz and Rami grew up together, and they used to mess around doing petty crimes when they were younger with their friends. Rami saves 15-year-old Moaz from possible jail time, making Moaz indebted to his friend. Later, Rami becomes a cartel leader who will stop at nothing to protect his business, and Moaz is a police officer afraid of getting caught in his past crimes. 

The series explores themes of corruption, revenge, power, drugs, teenage bullying racism, and involving minors in the drug business. The twist in the plot is when two childhood friends grow to follow careers in which they are supposedly enemies. However, what choices will these two friends make when reunited and thrown into the midst of a war between their two extremes?

In the case of Moaz, the series explores the effects of a dark past when it comes back to haunt the present. It delves into the dark side of brotherhood, illustrating the two sides of loyalty and making difficult choices for the sake of friendship. Consequently, the series looks into the involvement of teenagers in the drug business. Do circumstances force these teenagers, or do they make a concise choice to become drug dealers? 

Moreover, the series is set during an election period to demonstrate how politicians take advantage of situations to get votes but not to make life better for the citizens. The effects of the drug underworld on communities due to the violence and corruption involved are similarly explored. More importantly, Gangs of Oslo is unrelenting in tackling difficult conversations such as racism and police brutality, making it an intriguing series. 

The characters do a great job, although it’s worth noting that most are underdeveloped. Moaz is a fantastic father and a loyal friend but he is struggling with regrets from his past, and his efforts to hide it make him entangled in a web of lies, making his team and his wife suspicious of his actions.

Rami is a ruthless gang leader, and he’s also manipulative and coercive. Although he treasures his friendship with Moaz, most times he uses that threateningly to force Moaz to do his bidding. Omar is power-hungry, wanting to reach the top of the underground by betraying his friends while India is a good cop determined to do the job right and put Rami behind bars.

She is also loyal and helps Moaz get out of a difficult situation by offering an alternative. Sissel is a good mother and a caring wife but  she does not understand, especially of her husband’s situation. Emine is a caring, loving, and forgiving mother. She cares about what happens in her neighbourhood and does not shy away from asking politicians difficult questions.

Consequently, other support casts, including the members of the Enemiez gang and the Hubro police unit, are essential to the story development. They do a fantastic job supporting the main plot, including the police procedures while chasing a notorious gang leader. The members of the Enemiez gang, especially the aloof and emotionless Shani, are loyal to Rami and do their best to support him and advance the drug cartel. 

Although the series is predictable, the plot is slow most of the time, and some characters are highly underdeveloped. Even with that in mind, the series does  a decent job portraying the complex brotherhood between Moaz and Rami. It makes the series gripping with the suspense of the next choices the two friends will make, making it worth the watch. 

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