“Monterossi” – TV series review – We Are Movie Geeks


“Monterossi” – TV series review

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Fabrizio Bentivoglio as Carlo Monterossi, in Italian TV’s “Monterossi – The Series.” Courtesy of MHz Choice

Italian TV gives us “Monterossi – The Series,” an unusual light-crime package. Lead character Carlo Monterossi (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) is the creator of a highly popular, sleazy tabloid series called “Crazy Love.” He’s disgusted by the voyeuristic monster they’ve unleashed on the public, and desperately wants out. His agent and the producers are doing all they can to keep him on board. That bit of conflict suddenly shifts to Carlo’s back burner when a masked guy with a gun comes to the door to kill him. Fortunately, the gunman misses. Otherwise, the series either would have just been a short, or they’d have needed a new star and title. You’ll be quite pleased to have spent the time getting to know the eponymous gent we’re given.

The 2022 season’s six 45-minute episodes are equally split between two miniseries, turning our mild-mannered hero into a sleuth for separate sets of crimes. The scripts are well-written but it’s Bentivoglio’s charm that makes it all work as effectively as it does. There’s some wry humor in the undertones, largely from the business about the show he’s trying to escape and the pressures to do otherwise. Cops are a relatively small factor, unlike the many series pairing one with an amateur (usually reluctantly for either or both). Instead, Monterossi pursues his solutions with a couple of young recruits (Martina Sammarco, Luca Nucera) from the TV series’ staff, starting with trying to figure out why the attacker left a jar containing someone’s finger on his steps, and who it belonged to.

Both sets of cases become surprisingly complex, with multiple players and possibilities swirling throughout. The first seems to have mushroomed from dirty tactics in a real-estate deal; the other begins with the killing of a car dealer who’d catered to a star-studded clientele. The scripts artfully blend the crimes with Monterossi’s love-hate relationship for the show he now regrets, including ways to slyly use the latter to assist in solving the former. In Monterossi, Bentivoglio has inhabited a character with plenty of cozy appeal, somewhat akin to France’s retired judge Mongeville (in a show previously reviewed here), and worthy of as long a run as Jessica Fletcher enjoyed on our side of the Atlantic.

“Monterrosi – The Series,” mostly in Italian with English subtitles, streams on MHz Choice starting on June 6.

RATING: 3 out of 4 stars