At Last, ‘Gomorrah’ Is the Prestige Drama That HBO Max Needs

At Last, ‘Gomorrah’ Is the Prestige Drama That HBO Max Needs
From launch, critics dogged HBO Max about its higher pricing, the lack of access via Roku — and most of all, the apparent dearth of must-see shows that would make the streamer essential instead of one more platform among so many. Last summer, the complaints were still fresh when HBO Max announced a slate of international acquisitions: There, next to “The Great Pottery Throw Down,” was “Gomorrah.” All four seasons, companion movie “The Immortal,” and a fifth season to come. An Italian mafia drama didn’t get much attention; it wasn’t the stuff of corporate strategy.

But “Gomorrah” is much more than a quirky streamer pickup. For its Italian producer, Cattleya, “Gomorrah” sparked a trend in gritty, real-world storytelling that reshaped Italian TV. Beta Film — a company founded to exploit Federico Fellini’s “La Strada” — licensed “Gomorrah” in nearly 200 countries, and it became one of the most successful properties in its history.
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