• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 18, 2018
My Brilliant Friend Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 45 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Italian-language adaptation of Elena Ferrante's novels begins a coming-of-age story about childhood friends Elena (Elisa Del Genio) and Lila (Ludovica Nasti) in 1950s Naples.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Nov 19, 2018
    100
    My Brilliant Friend is presented in Italian with subtitles. Don’t let that scare you off. Take the journey. Amid the brutality, an intimacy and honesty unlike any other flourishes.
  2. 100
    The casting is exceptional. Every face and body is credible as one that might actually have lived in that period. The performances are alert and sensitive without seeming studied. ... This is a late-breaking candidate for show of the year, a drama about the place where aspiration and reality intersect.
  3. Reviewed by: Darren Franich
    Nov 15, 2018
    91
    Around the lead characters, we start to see a whole generation come of age. I mean it as a compliment when I say that My Brilliant Friend is the year’s best teen drama, drawing you into the lives, loves, and struggles of a group of children cusping on adulthood.
  4. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Nov 14, 2018
    90
    Throughout, we see the world the way the girls see it, knowing what they know. The world seems bigger to them, and thus their emotions always feel bigger, in ways that can make My Brilliant Friend acutely thrilling or devastating. ... This is a great show with a huge heart. Just be prepared for it to break yours every now and then.
  5. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    Nov 16, 2018
    80
    The story is easy to get swept up into, in regards to the rhythms of its language and the cyclical nature of its challenges. Their struggles feel both relatable and totally foreign all at once.
  6. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Nov 14, 2018
    80
    The adaptation has a sharp sense of time and place without nostalgia or sentimentality. Costanzo’s attention to period detail helps; it can feel as if you’re watching a lost postwar Italian film about postwar Italy.
  7. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Nov 15, 2018
    67
    So many individual pieces are intriguing, and some even prove rewarding over hours of consideration. Still, even the most introspective series doesn’t need to be such a slog.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Dec 14, 2018
    10
    Brilliant immersive television. Beautifully shot, scripted, directed and acted - this is exceptional and like nothing else currently on offer.
  2. Nov 18, 2018
    10
    What an incredible beginning to a series.... it just feels incredibly authentic. It's remarkable that 2 of my 3 or 4 favorite shows areWhat an incredible beginning to a series.... it just feels incredibly authentic. It's remarkable that 2 of my 3 or 4 favorite shows are Italian (this and Gomorrah). Expand
  3. Dec 12, 2018
    10
    the innocence, the rawness, the passion, the despair... everything feels honest and yet marvelous, as if we were watching not a TV series, butthe innocence, the rawness, the passion, the despair... everything feels honest and yet marvelous, as if we were watching not a TV series, but a pièce (the debt towards the beloved De Filippo is huge).
    the beauty isn't much in the dialogues (and the voice-over is often irritating, but for a RAI series, hélas, necessary) but in the silences, and the looks of the characters-- in their souls.
    my brilliant friend has some flaws, of course, but it's TV poetry at its best
    Expand
  4. Dec 13, 2018
    10
    Superb. Another example of why we are truly in a second golden age of television. The acting is seamless and authentic. The photography andSuperb. Another example of why we are truly in a second golden age of television. The acting is seamless and authentic. The photography and the sets are so realistic you will truly believe you have been transported to post-war era Italy. I hope HBO will continue this series. Expand
  5. Nov 22, 2018
    10
    Style: 5/5, Music 5/5, Story 5/5, Characters 5/5 Don't shy away from the fact that you have to read subtitles. Engage in listening to ItalianStyle: 5/5, Music 5/5, Story 5/5, Characters 5/5 Don't shy away from the fact that you have to read subtitles. Engage in listening to Italian spoken with a southern accent. (i don't understand it myself but it sounds beautiful, more beautiful than the Italian i was used to) Expand
  6. Nov 24, 2018
    7
    Not sure what all the hype is about. Not nearly as exciting as Gomorrah, the only other Italian-language series I've watched. Overall, theNot sure what all the hype is about. Not nearly as exciting as Gomorrah, the only other Italian-language series I've watched. Overall, the first two episodes were slightly boring but watchable. Expand
  7. Nov 30, 2018
    0
    very disappointed. What's all the hype about? I expected a superior refined cinematography, opulent as some of the recent Italian series or atvery disappointed. What's all the hype about? I expected a superior refined cinematography, opulent as some of the recent Italian series or at least an intricate character development.
    This is just a very linear story, lined with tropes, passing as realistic art....devoid of any charm and poetry with very simplistic one-sided characters. I can only imagine how distraught the original writer must feel of this adaptation.
    If you want Italian realism of the post-world area, better rewatch Rocco and his brothers or any other Visconti or De Sica or Rosselini. There, you can find the poignancy of the Italian working class of the time.
    O tempora, o mores!
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