Amazon Prime Review: Sneaky Pete (Seasons 1-3)

Speaking of sneaky…Amazon Prime just cancelled this show, seemingly out of nowhere. I planned to write this review today to end a recent streaming reviews drought, so I started to pull up my typical slew of internet tabs to help me gather my thoughts and provide some insightful information for you readers, and low and behold the first headline I read is “Sneaky Pete canceled at Amazon.” Not only is this hugely disappointing for me as a fan of the series, but the news is also very surprising for how well Amazon reported the show doing with viewership. But since a review is what you came here expecting, I guess I can get to one…in a minute, for anyone who is maybe still interested in watching a good show without a proper ending. First let me break down some of this whole “canceled” talk for you.
According to Amazon, Sneaky Pete is a very popular show. They announced a second season just a few days after premiering and Amazon has reported it as it’s second highest watched original show. And I believe them, because other than The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, it typically also receives the most marketing and recognition. Rotten Tomatoes’ critical response even has the three seasons sitting at 97%, 92%, and 100% respectively (still missing critical consensus on season 3 though). So if you haven’t seen the show, I want to say “go watch a few episodes and let me know what you think”, but starting a show that you know was canceled early is not an easy life decision to make because you know the devestation you’re in for once you’re attached and come to the final episode (e.g. Firefly). So I understand if you just feel like sitting this one out, no judgment. (‘Tis better to have loved and lost than nev…..ermind)
So back to a show being canceled, there are obviously many reasons like low viewership, expired contracts/no agreed salary renegotiation, and death of a producer or cast member to name a few. From what I’ve now read, the news just isn’t in yet for why Sneaky Pete didn’t make the cut. But it is curious that such a well-regarded show would go out in it’s prime, unless something happened behind the scenes or Amazon wasn’t as honest with their reporting? Amazon, like Netflix, doesn’t have to publicly report their viewership numbers, so they generally just make “big shows” a big story and leave it at that. Whatever the cause, this news is simply a big bummer.
The show stars Giovanni Ribisi as Marius Josipovic, a crafty con man who upon being released from prison borrows the identity of his cell mate to escape the clutches of a New York gangster he had attempted to con before going to prison. From there, Marius “re-connects” with “his” long-estranged family in Connecticut in an attempt to gather some funds to repay his debts. After conning his new family into believing that he is actually their grandson and cousin, Pete Murphy, what he doesn’t expect is to genuinely begin to care for their well-being. He stumbles from one problem to the next trying to always stay two steps ahead of anyone in his way, but every time he seems to have broken free of his past there is something or someone that pulls him right back in. The show is witty, creative, and incredibly addicting. Ribisi is a first class actor in my book, also known for his roles in Gone in 60 Seconds, Saving Private Ryan, Avatar, and as Phoebe’s little brother in Friends. And he’s not alone in the category of great acting on this show, because I could make a solid case for literally everyone in the main cast, which also includes Marin Ireland (Hell or High Water), Shane McRae (Still Alice), Libe Barer (Parenthood), Margo Martindale (The Americans), and Peter Gerety (Flight, A Most Violent Year). I’m telling you, the show is that good.
So give it a try if you want, and I’ll keep an ear open for any news of getting picked up somewhere else or a change in cancellation (quite rare though). I also heard that Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle is done after it’s next season, so hopefully that show ends well. You can check out my review if you click on “March” in the Archives dropdown menu. And I have just a few other shows that I really wanted to review when I started adding in streaming series to the blog posts, so I’m getting close to catching up. I’ll try to finish off my relevant list first once my wife and I finish Netflix’s debut original dark-comedy Dead to Me (disturbingly funny so far, and a great plot), and then I’m in the home stretch. Thanks for following along in the journey and stay tuned for upcoming movie reviews for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Rocketman, and the so-far-only-receiving-terrible-reviews Dark Phoenix. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s