Comedy / TV Series 20 minutes ~ Color
The Mamaluke – Episode 1: Sleeping With The Fishes
The Mamaluke – Episode 2: A Bump In The Road
The Mamaluke – Episode 3: You Dirty Rat!
“The Mamaluke” is a single camera situation comedy about a bumbling but likable guy named Lou, who tries to make his friends and neighbors believe he’s a mafioso. But, in reality, he’s merely a schlep down at the local social club frequented by the real wiseguys. And, with his sharp-witted, sardonic wife, Marie, two grown kids and a wacky live-in mother-in-law who constantly remind him that he’s not ‘Don Corleone’, it’s the perfect recipe for an original, fresh and enjoyable TV series concept!
In the pilot episode, “Sleeping with the Fishes”, Lou is asked by mobster Joey ‘Spuds’ to drive him to his girlfriend’s house using Joey’s shiny Cadillac. After dropping Joey off, Lou picks up some baccala for the night’s dinner at the fish store. Then, the fish is inadvertently placed into the trunk on top of Joey’s bullet proof vest and a careless pizza delivery boy accidentally bumps the car in the parking lot, causing Lou to ‘rub it out’. When Joey fails to show up for a meeting with the Boss, Lou is suspected of whacking him as a hilarious play on words ensues and Lou is almost fitted for cement shoes!
Directed By: Mark Riccardi
Writer: Ben Fiore
Stars: Johnny Williams, Veronica Alicino, Nicole Cinaglia
Film Review: “The Mamaluke”
“The Mamaluke” is one of the best Mafia-themed TV series concepts to date. Director Mark Riccardi takes us on a fun filled trip down memory lane with this hilarious sit-com which is reminiscent of “The Sopranos” and “The Godfather”, but with a comedic twist. Johnny ‘Roastbeef’ Williams (of Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” fame) gives a great performance as Lou, a hapless Mafioso ‘wanna-be’, and seriously, I couldn’t stop laughing. He’s brilliant, complete with all of the facial expressions of a true master. The series is co-created by Ben Fiore and Mark Riccardi and the show’s executive producer is Glenn Callahan. Writers Ben Fiore and Rick Bailey presented and excellent pilot script, “Sleeping with the Fishes”, which sets the tone perfectly.
While “The Mamaluke” has some emotional neurosis, it also makes this fresh, new TV series for some interesting fun. Lou has a live-in mother-in-law (played by Lois Weiss) who wouldn’t mind seeing him get ‘whacked’ and a nagging wife, Marie (Veronica Alicino) who is more interested in the perks she gets from local businesses who believe her husband Lou’s charade. Their two grown children, Paulie (played by Gregg Guardino) and Gina (Nikki Cinaglia) show no ambition to hold down a job or move out of the house anytime soon. What they all share in common, though, is the knowledge that Lou isn’t quite what he’s purporting to be and they never cease to remind him about it. Halfway through, you cannot help but fall in love with “The Mamaluke”. It has all the elements of a transplanted Brooklyn ‘Mafia’ family now living in the Los Angeles suburbs. There’s no rhyme or reason as to their existence in the suburbs, but the middle aged Mafia ‘wanna-be’ tries desperately to impress the boss down at the local social club, so exist, they do.
Interestingly enough, the script was smartly played by all, without the usual Mafioso whackings and bullets. Lost in the ‘almost drama’ of it all, you will find yourself laughing out loud at every sticky situation and scene. I would watch this show again and again. ! “The Mamaluke” will soon go worldwide wherever you live, so if you happen to turn on your television and are lucky enough to tune in, this three part (and growing) TV series will get you laughing. All I have left to say is, “You’ve gotta see ‘The Mamaluke’. It’s an offer you can’t refuse!”
From the desk of Sylvia Smith: Film Review Writer for Echelon Studios in Los Angeles, California.