I had high hopes for McMafia and I believe it did set out to do what it intended on doing… which is to illustrate to us, the viewer, how international crime syndicates work. I was so interested in this series initially that I even ordered the non fiction McMafia book that the series is based on, although I have yet to read it.
Spoiler alert…. it turned out that Alex Godman was not a good guy, but then how could he be? He needed to be just a little bit involved in order to show us this world. How it ended was with Alex Godman showing how the ‘old way’ of running an illegal business (the ‘Godfather’ way) of intimidation and violence was over and the new way was in business meeting rooms with criminal organisations appearing to be legitimate businesses. He came out on top, but there was a cost to his family and his relationship with his finance was clearly over.
The series had great international scope and I believe it did show this world but it may have held my attention more as a documentary than as a fictionalised story. James Norton as Alex Godman also was a bit too deadpan. I know we are not supposed to know his intentions until the end of the series and so that may explain his lack of conveyed emotion but his motivations are always unclear. Is he doing this simply to protect his family? This series may have stood out more in a time when there is less good stuff on TV. If it was this year’s alternative to The Night Manager then it didn’t stand out as good.