Chouette! It’s a muti-cultural crime drama weekend here in the US. And across the pond, the Italians are coming, the Italians are coming!
Here in the States, two fan favorites are returning to the small screen and the third began airing Thursday night. But since the latter is still available to watch via streaming for a limited time, let’s start there.
The French police procedural Frank Riva hasn’t been on telly in the US since November, so for viewers who didn’t catch it then (including me), here’s you chance.
Acclaimed French actor Alain Delon (Monsieur Klein, Notre Histoire) stars as the titular Frank Riva, a retired detective who is called back to active duty to investigate the murder of Crime Squad superintendent Marc-Antoine Rezzoni in “The Man from Nowhere.”
Riva returns to Paris with professional and personal reasons for taking the case. What he doesn’t count on is seeing his former lover Catherine Sinclair (Mireille Darc, Galia), who still isn’t over her feelings for him.
Another face from the past is Norbert Loggia of the infamous Loggia crime syndicate that Riva had infiltrated and busted up 25 years ago. Norbert’s mafioso brother has also been killed, and Riva suspects that the two murders are linked.
Which brings us to the second episode, “Star-Crossed,” in which the Loggia arc continues when three men connected to the crime gang are shot. Two die and the third is injured, saved from sure death when the assassin recognizes the tattoo on his wrist. Riva must find Norbert in order to find the killer, but before he does, he learns about Nina Rizzi, a mysterious young woman from Riva’s past.
Stateside viewers can catch up on “The Man from Nowhere” until 8 August 2014 and “Star-Crossed” until 9 August at the MHz website. The last four episodes of Frank Riva will screen on the MHz Worldview channel and MHz Online at 9 PM ET on Thursday and Friday evenings for the next two weeks. All episodes are in French with English subtitles.
Tonight MHz Networks takes viewers back to the days of Il Duce and war-torn Fascist Italy when it brings the mystery series Detective De Luca back to telly.
Based on the “De Luca” trilogy of novels by Carlo Lucarelli, the eponymous TV series stars Alessandro Preziosi (Loose Cannons) as Achille De Luca, a stubborn and by-the-book cop who keeps his being neither Fascist nor corrupt under his hat.
The series opens with the prequel “An Unauthorized Investigation,” the only “De Luca” story not adapted from a Lucarelli book. It’s 1938, and De Luca is the youngest detective in Italy. Local Fascisti are aflutter because Mussolini is on holiday in their town, an inconvenient matter for the police when a prostitute is found dead in front of Il Duce’s vacation home. What De Luca finds too convenient is the case being solved so quickly, so he conducts his own investigation and discovers that the murder is linked to individuals in high Fascist society.
MHz Networks will screen all four Detective De Luca episodes, shown in Italian with English subtitles, tonight and on subsequent Saturday evenings starting at 9 PM ET.
Tomorrow night brings another program not seen on US telly for a while: Swedish crime drama Sebastian Bergman, starring Rolf Lassgård (the first Wallander).
Bergman is a psychologist, criminal profiler, and author with a thing for the ladies but no sense of political correctness on or off the job. Since he lost his wife and young daughter in the 2004 tsunami, he has been grieving their loss and tormented by nightmares.
In the first of the two-part “The Cursed One” (“Den Fördömde“), Bergman has another loss: his mother has died, and he returns to Stockholm to sell her house. Upon learning of a 15-year-old boy’s murder, he asks his former boss to put him on the case.
In Part 2, Bergman demands to again be put on the Stockholm police team to help stop a serial killer before more women become victims. While trying to save lives, Bergman’s is forever altered after he discovers that his late mother had hidden something from him.
If you didn’t catch “The Cursed One: Part 1” last Sunday, you have until 4 August 2014 to stream it at MHz Online. Part 2 screens tomorrow at 9 PM on telly and online at MHz Networks. Both parts are shown in Swedish with English subtitles.
For Euro TV fans in the UK, BBC Four has brought the hit Italian crime drama Inspector Montalbano back to telly, and has been screening episodes from the first four series.
In tonight’s episode, “The Artist’s Touch,” an electrician has been shot to death and a goldsmith appears to have committed suicide. Deputy Inspector Augello (Cesare Bocci, Giovanni Falcone) works to find the killer of the first victim, while Inspector Salvo Montalbano (Luca Zingaretti, Borsellino: The 57 Days) investigates the second victim’s death by wheelchair-turned-electric chair. Montalbano discovers that the dead man’s will had been forged in favor of his brother, who insists that he is not his brother’s killer.
“The Artist’s Touch” airs on BBC Four at 21:00, and will be available for streaming on BBC’s iPlayer through next Saturday, when “The Sense of Touch,” the seventh of the ten episodes, is broadcast. All episodes are in Italian with English subtitles.
Gomorrah takes a no-holds-barred look at the Camorra, the notorious crime syndicate in Naples, from the perspective of a loyal mafia member. The series debuts at 9 PM local time in the UK on Monday, 4 August 2014, on the premium Sky Atlantic channel.