ByKathy A. Bugajsky, writer at
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Kathy A. Bugajsky

Marius Josipovic (Giovanni Ribisi) is a "confidence man" who finds himself fresh out of prison and deep in debt to gangster (Bryan Cranston). To buy himself some time, Marius assumes his cellmate's identity and moves in with his estranged family. Sneaky Pete is an original series distributed by Amazon Studios.

Why Should You Let A Con Man Into Your Life?

You probably shouldn't. Yet, this one seems safe enough and he has a good explanation for everything.

The great thing about watching a good con man story is seeing how all the pieces come together. There are so many moving parts that if one is out of place, the whole thing can come crashing down. Audiences are along for the ride, seeing how each lie, misdirection and action taken leads up to the big finish.

With Sneaky Pete, there are a lot of little cons going, talk of the past, and the planning of a bigger, future con. Ribisi does a great job of conveying how fast his character is trying to figure out the next move every time something changes. Things often go wrong for him. Audiences hold their breath or cursing with him. The last two episodes of the season are total nail-biters.

Who Dragged These Characters Into This Mess?

The series creators are David Shore (House) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), who brought in Graham Yost (Justified, The Americans) to oversee the writing. All three are known for well-written characters, engaging plot lines, and attracting top of the line actors to put together an addictive program. They do not disappoint.

Much like with Breaking Bad, there are moments where you have no idea how they are going to get themselves out of their situation. The writing is fantastic. The characters' behavior feel organic, and they don't make decisions based on what moves the plot along. The characters don't try to con the audience so you can't figure things out without key information.

The structure of the series follows closely to how Justified handled each season. There is one main plot line, but the characters and the repercussions of their past actions bleed into the next season. The showrunners do an excellent job setting up everything for Season 2, and you won't want to wait to see how everything will unfold.

The Mess They Find Themselves In

When Marius assumes Pete's life, he has no idea what he is getting himself into. Pete's family hasn't seen him in 20 years, which is why Marius is able to convince them he is family. It turns out that the family are bail bondsmen, a police officer, and the daughter is dating a lawyer — not the ideal situation. Even worse, the family is struggling financially, so he can't even con them out of any money, either.

Meanwhile, Marius is given seven days to come up with $100,000 or else Vince (Cranston) is going to start removing fingers from Marius' brother, Eddie. That is, unless Vince's people find Marius first.

The Cast Is Outstanding

Margo Martindale (The Americans), Peter Gerety (The Wire), Marin Ireland (Girls), Jacob Pitts (Justified), Shane McRae (The Following) and Libe Barer (Parenthood) make up Pete's family. The writing gives them all the chance to show their acting chops.

Michael Drayer (Mr. Robot), Karolina Wydra (True Blood), Michael O'Keefe (Homeland), and Victor Williams (The King of Queens) make up the criminal element from Marius's past. Both Ribisi and Cranston knock their performances out of the park. Cranston gives a monologue that should be performed on a Broadway stage it so engaging.

Picking Up Sneaky Pete

Season 1 is available on with a total of 10 episodes. Season 2 will begin production this year, with an anticipated release in early 2018.

What did you think of Sneaky Pete?


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