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Sneaky Pete

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After leaving prison, Marius takes cover from his past by assuming the identity of his cellmate, Pete. He moves in with Pete's long-estranged, unsuspecting family and is roped into the family's bail bond business. He's a criminal taking down other criminals and, in the process, he'll discover the family life he's never had.

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I've been missing my requisite con man show since White Collar went off the air (don't judge me).

I doubt it will live up to Hustle, but I'm hoping for a Leverage-esque crime romp.

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Of all of the shows that have gone through the Amazon Pilot Season this was by far my favorite.  Which is so strange, because this developed for CBS.  An I honestly thing switching out the House guy for the Justified guy is probably a positive move.

I just hope it's not too procedural-y.

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So far, so good.  I'm liking the actors.  The story's not the deepest, but it was under development for broadcast, so that's to be expected.  I hope the future episodes will flesh things out better.

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For those who've seen the pilot - does it seem like they reshot, or at least added a scene? I don't remember seeing Alison Wright (The Americans). I think I would have noticed because one of the things I liked about it in the first place was that it had Margo Martindale - who I loved in The Americans.

I like the cast, and Sneaky Pete's dilemma. I'm not sure how they'll manage to keep it going, but I'm looking forward the other episodes.

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7 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

For those who've seen the pilot - does it seem like they reshot, or at least added a scene?

I haven't seen either pilot yet but from what I've heard, the pilots that they pick up go through some retooling.  I know a few critics who don't review the Amazon pilots because of this.

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As business flags, tensions rise between Pete's grandparents, Otto and Audrey. Marius proposes a risky play to help Julia manage a dangerous client, but when they encounter problems, the "cousins" must rely on Audrey's expertise. While evading a mysterious pursuer, Marius visits former partners Katie and Karolina in NYC and remembers how three years ago, he made a powerful enemy of Vince.

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Marius' exacting parole officer insists that he come into the city for a mandatory appointment. To get there on time, Marius must fend off Pete's curious cousins Julia, Taylor, and Carly, an increasingly suspicious Audrey, and a terrifying ambush. Meanwhile, Eddie becomes desperate in captivity, Vince's lieutenant Winslow hunts for Marius, and a reluctant Katie helps Marius cover his tracks.

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Audrey has totally killed people, hasn't she?

It's darkly amusing to me that the actress who first played Truvy in the original production of Steel Magnolias Off-Broadway has, of late, being playing all these badasses.  Who would have thought that would be her niche?

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8 hours ago, starri said:

Who would have thought that would be her niche?

Margo brings the hammer! I'm not familiar with everything on her IMDB page, but does she ever play a straight-up kindly grandmother? Even when the facade is sweet there's real menace simmering underneath, like the scene gathering eggs in the barn: "Little bastard coming into our house, staking a claim to what isn't his." Totally in reference to a fox, of course.

She goes from jovial to ice cold in a blink. Between this and Mags on Justified, I might step across the street if I saw Margo approaching me.

Edited by lordonia
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The first thing I can remember seeing her in was as a jovial nun in Dead Man Walking.  I think you could count her character on Dexter, although there is the small part about her figuring out Dexter's activities and the only thing she did about it was asking him to kill her when she became terminally ill.

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Hi Martha from The Americans! I almost didn't recognize her in modern clothes! 

I am really interested in this, I hope it lives up to the promise of the pilot!

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 Character Actress Margo Martindale is totally channeling Mags from Justified with this role. No one drink anything she gives you! I love how Margo's niche on TV has become "kindly grandma who can and will cut a bitch".  

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I've only seen the pilot, and Alison Wright is not in it, nor is the parole officer, or any Justified castmembers I recognized other than Margo Martindale. Herk from The Wire had a small part though.

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That's what I thought. I watched the pilot during pilot season, and then when I rewatched the pilot now that it's the first episode of the series, I was surprised to see Alison Wright. The parole officer doesn't show up until later. Oh, I'd forgotten Herk - who I don't remember seeing in the current "pilot."  I never saw Justified, so I have no idea about them.

Edited by Clanstarling

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I watched the pilot again and I really enjoyed it.  I definitely think they've reshot some stuff as I don't remember Allison Wright being in it.  Nice to see a lot of familiar faces and I didn't realize  Michael Drayer (Cisco from Mr. Robot who is going to do a guest shot on Timeless in a little while) is playing "Pete's" brother.

It's certainly not uncommon for them to change around the pilots.  I remember Bosch, also an Amazon series, changed its original pilot when it went to series and added Mimi Rogers lawyer character.

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With all of the pieces in place, Marius sits down at Vince's poker table to make his final moves. Everything is going according to plan, until Vince becomes suspicious that he's seen this play before. When Audrey finds herself at the scene of a bloody crime, she must go against her instincts and trust her family to help her manage the situation. Julia embarks on a dangerous quest to save Lance.

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As they struggle to save the family business, Audrey strategizes with Marius, while Otto insists on doing things his way. Confronted by Carly's discoveries, Marius pays visits to both his old mentor and his former cellmate to backstop his identity as Pete. Taylor gathers evidence about the incident that left him suspended from the force, and Winslow follows Marius' trail to Katie and her family.

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Audrey and Otto argue over Audrey's unilateral decisions, the fallout from which may cost them their business. In the process of helping Otto investigate one of his nagging suspicions, Marius makes a major discovery about Audrey's finances. Meanwhile, Carly quizzes her mysterious cousin about his past, Julia rekindles her relationship with her ex Lance, and Vince has a new job for Eddie.

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Lured by the promise of a big payday in the bail bonds office's safe, Marius tries to work the angles with Pete's family. However, he finds it more difficult than he expected to manipulate Taylor, who harbors both a vicious temper and a dangerous secret of his own. Back in the city, Vince struggles with a difficult client at the poker table and takes his frustrations out on his crew.

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Renewed! - from TVLine

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The con will go on: Amazon has renewed Sneaky Pete for a second season.

The streaming service announced the pick-up on Thursday, less than a week after the debut of Sneaky Pete‘s first season. Giovanni Ribisi stars as a con man who assumes his cellmate’s identity after he’s released from prison; the supporting cast includes Emmy winners Margo Martindale (The Americans) and Bryan Cranston, who also co-created the show and serves as an executive producer.

 

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On 1/15/2017 at 1:55 PM, tennisgurl said:

 Character Actress Margo Martindale is totally channeling Mags from Justified with this role. No one drink anything she gives you! I love how Margo's niche on TV has become "kindly grandma who can and will cut a bitch".  

Excuse me.  I think you mean Esteemed Character Actress Margo Martindale. 

Lord Donia is right though; I can't remember the last role where she was just a sweet grandma, as opposed to a stealth bad ass mammajamma in sweet grandma's clothing- to the point that as tennisgirl observed it's basically a shared cultural in-joke between casting directors and the viewing audience.

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OK episode, but Cranston's tepid, off brand knock off of Mike Ehrmentraut's "half measures" speech went on WAY too long and kind of ruined the episode.

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19 hours ago, hincandenza said:

Excuse me.  I think you mean Esteemed Character Actress Margo Martindale. 

Lord Donia is right though; I can't remember the last role where she was just a sweet grandma, as opposed to a stealth bad ass mammajamma in sweet grandma's clothing- to the point that as tennisgirl observed it's basically a shared cultural in-joke between casting directors and the viewing audience.

Just saw Margo in Secretariat and not one veiled threat in it.  Although she was kinda mean for teasing Lucien about his hat.

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Oof... poor Otto.  I assume his plan is to die, and let his family get the insurance to pay off their debts (not knowing about whatever Audrey and Marius are planning with Lance).  I still can't see him without seeing Judge Phelan from "The Wire".

I'm enjoying this show, but I am definitely expecting some huge "twist" at some point as we still don't know what this "Turk"/"Dirk" is (the close captioning has called it different things) and whether some things we've seen were actually part of a really, really long con.  There's a lot of aggrieved people looking for revenge against people like Vince and Lance, and there's a lot of balls in the air right now as we enter the home stretch: Marius getting Vince off his chest and freeing his brother, Marius paying out the people he's already engaged in his cons, the Bernhardt's resolving their multiple financial issues, whatever is going to happen to the crooked detective, etc.  Presumably most of them will be tidily all resolved by season's end with some clever, crazy shenanigans that ties up the loose ends while leaving a little something for season 2.  I mean, at some point Marius will have to come clean about not being Pete since this show has apparently already been renewed for another season.

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I thought Cranston did a really good job with it even though it was definitely a knock off of Mike's Breaking Bad speech.

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So Marius trying to get into the trunk of the car to retrieve his license was a little ridiculous.  How about just tell his cousin that something fell out of his pocket while he was in the trunk, like a lighter with sentimental value or something?  Then he could grab the license and pretend to find the lighter.  I could handle that and I'm not a world class pickpocket.

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On 1/15/2017 at 9:53 AM, Lord Donia said:

Margo brings the hammer! I'm not familiar with everything on her IMDB page, but does she ever play a straight-up kindly grandmother? Even when the facade is sweet there's real menace simmering underneath, like the scene gathering eggs in the barn: "Little bastard coming into our house, staking a claim to what isn't his." Totally in reference to a fox, of course.

She goes from jovial to ice cold in a blink. Between this and Mags on Justified, I might step across the street if I saw Margo approaching me.

yeah and don't drink any of her whiskey

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yes, I'd say too long.

If he only believes in "full measures" not half, then why did he let the other guy walk out of the casino (the one who had threatened the Indian guy?)

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This episode is where I've lost interest. It was too much wacky sitcom hijinks for me, between the multiple commitments for Marius's time, the faux kidnapping, the getting out of the PO appointment. I half expect Mr. Roper to come in at any minute. I'll take a couple days off and come back to see if I want to continue.

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On 1/24/2017 at 11:18 AM, DoubleUTeeEff said:

Cranston was fine but it was definitely too long of a story.  They could have easily shortened it by at least half.

I find Cranston's Vince to be a bit cartoonish overall.  

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I didn't love the finale.  I guess it wrapped up season 1 OK, but I thought the team of cons working for Marius got too big and there were at least a couple of points that were rather unrealistic.

a) An Indian telecom billionaire is an FBI informant?  And he goes to card games run by middling gangsters with an FBI agent as a bodyguard???

b) A bail bond business is "perfect for money laundering"?  I don't know the business that well, but I would think the opposite is true.  It is not like a nail salon or a car wash where you could just write up a bunch of phony register receipts and deposit the illicit cash along with your real receipts each day.  I would think there would be a detailed paper trail on every bond written, so someone writing up fake ones to launder money would stand a good chance of getting caught.

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I loved the story - it was deliberately long because it was a deiberate part of the threat and torture - not just to Pete's brother, but Vince's right hand man. Whereas IIRC, Mike's was just a story, meaningful by itself but not part of the greater tension of the moment.

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I have to agree with you on point B, but I don't know enough about the business to make a judgment (and as I recall from the show, cash isn't supposed to be part of the collateral anyway- but as I said, I don't understand anything about the business.)

I loved the ending, myself. It's been a wild ride. The team of cons was smaller than The Sting (which is to some extent, imo, the inspiration for the Vince revenge piece). There were points I was confused about, but I'll forgive them because the acting was spectacular, and so far as I can tell, they tied up most of the pieces, but left the ones that will play out in the next season.

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I kind of agree with Bryce; it was fun to watch, but kind of plopped at the end with an Oceans 12 level super double secret con.  The thing is, tricking the audience isn't a clever con, since you as the creator are their only source for information to begin with.  Obviously we all knew/suspected there was some extra level that would come together since the disassembled parts had been laying around all season as "The Turk", but having the details be spelled out after the fact by Pete/Marius doesn't make the viewer admire the prestidigitation (nor the sloppiness of any Hollywood con that depends on the mark figuring it out as part of the plan- that's just insultingly overcomplicated).  I was also confused as to whether Marius even had any money at the end after dumping a bag of cash on the table at the Bernhardts, as no dollar figure was mentioned; he did drop off other stacks as make-good gestures so could have secreted the bulk of his share elsewhere before bringing the cash back, but they sure didn't make that clear.

I'm also bothered by the ease by which the Bernhardts are somehow still "in debt" with the sleazy ex-con who'd given them the cash bond, once they paid him back a mere day late.  He has no leverage other than threats, and his grandpa is the butcher literally next door to the Bail Bonds office (I think it was in this episode, when you see Pete leave and hug his ex Katie on the street, that in the background you can see the butcher in the window of the shop watching Pete run past).  It's lazy writing, and given that plus the absurd instantaneous re-kidnapping with yet another case of mistaken identity (people who think he owes them $11M, but don't even recognize he's not Pete... yeah, that makes sense), I don't think I'll be back for season 2 unless I somehow get really, really bored.  

Then again, "The Man in the High Castle" had a hugely disappointing first season and then redeemed itself in season 2, so who knows?

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8 hours ago, hincandenza said:

I kind of agree with Bryce; it was fun to watch, but kind of plopped at the end with an Oceans 12 level super double secret con.  The thing is, tricking the audience isn't a clever con, since you as the creator are their only source for information to begin with.  Obviously we all knew/suspected there was some extra level that would come together since the disassembled parts had been laying around all season as "The Turk", but having the details be spelled out after the fact by Pete/Marius doesn't make the viewer admire the prestidigitation (nor the sloppiness of any Hollywood con that depends on the mark figuring it out as part of the plan- that's just insultingly overcomplicated).  I was also confused as to whether Marius even had any money at the end after dumping a bag of cash on the table at the Bernhardts, as no dollar figure was mentioned; he did drop off other stacks as make-good gestures so could have secreted the bulk of his share elsewhere before bringing the cash back, but they sure didn't make that clear.

I'm also bothered by the ease by which the Bernhardts are somehow still "in debt" with the sleazy ex-con who'd given them the cash bond, once they paid him back a mere day late.  He has no leverage other than threats, and his grandpa is the butcher literally next door to the Bail Bonds office (I think it was in this episode, when you see Pete leave and hug his ex Katie on the street, that in the background you can see the butcher in the window of the shop watching Pete run past).  It's lazy writing, and given that plus the absurd instantaneous re-kidnapping with yet another case of mistaken identity (people who think he owes them $11M, but don't even recognize he's not Pete... yeah, that makes sense), I don't think I'll be back for season 2 unless I somehow get really, really bored.  

Then again, "The Man in the High Castle" had a hugely disappointing first season and then redeemed itself in season 2, so who knows?

I agree with most of this, except I liked the rekidnapping and the idea that the real Pete had a secret that was perhaps bigger and more dangerous that the fake Pete's.

I took it that the kidnappers knew or knew of Real Pete's mom, but did not know Real Pete, and reasonably assumed Marius was real Pete based upon his fake drivers license and photo in his hacked prison records.

I thought that was a goos setup for Season 2.

Did Gina betray Marius to the kidnappers?  

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There was a short lived show on one of the network channels where Margo Martindale played a kindly grandma. She played Will Arnett's Mom, and was kind of batty. I didn't really like her in that role. 

IMDB says The Millers had 34 episodes. I didn't think it was that long. I watched it originally because of her. She does that soft-spoken but threatening character so well, that I had a bit of a preconceived notion when I saw her in The Millers, and the show wasn't good enough on its own to keep me interested. 

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On 1/21/2017 at 4:31 PM, hincandenza said:

Excuse me.  I think you mean Esteemed Character Actress Margo Martindale. 

Lord Donia is right though; I can't remember the last role where she was just a sweet grandma, as opposed to a stealth bad ass mammajamma in sweet grandma's clothing- to the point that as tennisgirl observed it's basically a shared cultural in-joke between casting directors and the viewing audience.

As a woman only slightly younger than Margo - I love seeing her be a bad ass. Age doesn't turn you into a sweet gramma, unless you were a sweet mama. Age distills the sum of your personality and experience into a complex person who is often dismissed and overlooked due to her wrinkles - which is an advantage and sort of a super power when dealing with assholes.

Edited by Clanstarling
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I thought it was a very enjoyable show. Better season 1 than Justified or The Americans (making the comparison due to all the various alums from both shows). Especially impressive considering the writers had to work off of somebody's else pilot and turn a CBS procedural into an Amazon serialized show. 

Shows can definitely take a step up in season two when they have all the various kinks worked out and the writers find out what worked and what didn't. So I have high hopes for season two. The two mobsters seemed pretty small-time compared to Vince but they're probably step one in a much larger problem. I won't be surprised if Real Pete shows up next season out of jail, quite happy that Marius is taking the fall for him. 

Oddly enough, the biggest surprise I found is that Marius didn't get laid. Sounds weird, but I can't remember any show where the main character didn't have a love interest through an entire season. And hilariously enough, the CBS version of the show seemed to have the quasi-incest hints between Marius and Julia, while Amazon pretty much dropped it completely. 

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I really enjoyed the finale.  I had a feeling that Pete's mother would show up at the end.  She doesn't of course but still, the season does end with Pete's mother coming back into the picture in a much different way.

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Oddly enough, the biggest surprise I found is that Marius didn't get laid. Sounds weird, but I can't remember any show where the main character didn't have a love interest through an entire season. And hilariously enough, the CBS version of the show seemed to have the quasi-incest hints between Marius and Julia, while Amazon pretty much dropped it completely. 

That's an excellent point.  It's a refreshing change of pace.  LOL, very true about CBS and the quasi-incest hints which were completely gone by about the third episode.

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On 1/27/2017 at 7:44 AM, Bryce Lynch said:

Did Gina betray Marius to the kidnappers?  

I don't know for sure but I think they just followed Marius from Pete's family's house.  I noticed the car that was following him twice so I was surprised Marius didn't clock them.

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On 24/01/2017 at 11:18 AM, DoubleUTeeEff said:

Cranston was fine but it was definitely too long of a story.  They could have easily shortened it by at least half.

I also found it a bit long, and maybe it is just me but Cranston seems less threatening with hair. 

Also is the illegal underground casino a real thing or just a trope? I always wonder because you see it all the time in crime shows.  But at the same time legalized gambling is much more prevalent than it was say 20 or 30 years ago. So why would there be demand for an illegal casino?

Also i found the whole license recovery thing a bit too much crazy hijinks for my tastes.

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