Sunday, December 8, 2013

Too Cool for School

I am a Frank Darabont fan.  But watching "Mob City" I suspect he might be better at adapting material than creating it (although "L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City," a non-fiction book by John Buntin, is allegedly the inspiration for "Mob City"). Darabont wants to capture the flavor of post War War II  LA but it is all seasoning and little meat.  And the voice-over, rather than adding another layer to the narrative, is used for unnecessary info dumping.  We see the guy with the garish tie so we don't need the narrator to comment on it.  The whole early business with the liquor heist is too busy, too "look ma, no hands!" and way too cute - without the requisite pay-off. The show needs to be more measured and less self conscious.  The one bit I liked was the smoky Jungle Club banter between detective Joe Teague and Anya, the drop-dead gorgeous head bartender played by Mekia Cox.  Mob City needs less cool and more of this heat.