Gang Related
weavers   fandango
Verdict: Skip It!     
Zorianna's Review
The show is created by Chris Morgan, who was a writer on the last five of The Fast and the Furious films.
However, movies like FF have never been big on plot and character.
Unfortunately that's the same with Gang Related.
And if you want your show to be on TV long term, you need strong writing.
The selling point of this show is that our lead, a cop, is essentially a double agent for his Hispanic gang.
He's working both sides and he's in total conflict.
The problem is, we never feel the threat, or the danger that he'll be discovered.
There is no tension.
A show like Alias, for example, (which, granted, was about CIA agent) - you always had butterflies in your stomach thinking our lead was going to get caught.
You never feel that threat on this show, so from that standpoint, they've lost me.

FINAL VERDICT: SKIP IT!

Leah's Review
With an attractive mix of fresh and familiar, largely Latino faces, Gang Related will find an audience if for no other reason than the fact that there isn't anything currently on network, cable, or VOD like it. But true fans of cops-and-gangsters television may quickly grow tired of the show, disappointed in its highly derivative nature. Show creators Chris Morgan (Fast and the Furious, Wanted) and Scott Rosenbaum (The Shield) demonstrate little restraint as it appears that they have unabashedly ripped content and form from seminal films such as The Godfather and Infernal Affairs; and television shows including New York Undercover, The Shield, The Wire, and NBC's critically acclaimed miniseries Kingpin. The reliance upon previous works makes for lazy writing. Save for the eldest crime family son Carlos, our protagonist Ryan's deliciously loathsome adopted brother, played by Sons of Anarchy's Reynaldo Gallegos, all other characters are thinly drawn 'types' that fail to engage and connect with audiences on any kind of substantive level. Equally predictable are the story elements: who knows what, who will hook up with whom, etc. It is as if the writers assume that audiences will "get it" because we've seen these characters and situations before. Ramon Rodriguez (Battle: Los Angeles) plays a far too-idealized Ryan and is unfortunately the least interesting character in the show: as the lead, this is a problem. Cliff Curtis (Once Were Warriors, Live Free or Die Hard), as the crime family patriarch, strains believability here by showing us his 'acting' which is exacerbated by ill-fitting suits and too much grey makeup. Shantal VanSanten as the assistant District Attorney and predictable love interest for Ryan, grasps at Law and Order's Stephanie March and utterly misses the mark. Inbar Lavi is written as such an uber-badass chick, but she is interesting to watch as she does her thing. And, it is enjoyable to see the panoply of working Latino/a actors! Set in Los Angeles, Gang Related labors very hard at being "urban," frequently mistaking gruesome and graphic for grit. But its excessive use of close ups, shaky-cam aesthetic, and melodramatic acting/underscore, are a futile attempt to infuse the show with energy and actual drama that instead constantly pull the viewer out of the story. In the final analysis, Gang Related is typical Fox fair that can stimulate the senses and effectively entertain the masses...that is until a better cops-and-gangsters show comes along.

FINAL VERDICT: STREAM IT.

Salim's Review
Gang Related is created by Chris Morgan from the Fast & Furious reboot - meaning 5, 6 and the newest 7 that's coming out.
His terrible, cringe-worthy dialogue and contrived plots are okay in a movie that supplements the stupidity with amazing action, but here there is no action to help you forget that you are hearing surface dialogue with pedantic characters.
Essentially the show is the Mexican equivalent of The Departed, unabashedly similar, and infinitely more frustrating.
Everything felt CONTRIVED: relationships, people, situations, and dialogue.
It's all on the surface and feels like someone was hired simply to bring in the Latino demographic, as well as exploit the location of Los Angeles.
It quickly becomes a caricature of itself, a wannabe Training Day meets The Departed.
Ramon Rodriguez as our lead is okay, essentially playing the Matt Damon role from The Departed, meaning he needs to be able to play to different people, leading two different lives as an plant for a Mexican gang.
It just comes off as lukewarm, nothing special, nothing really nuanced.
He is the same person in each environment he is in.
The first three episodes all include somewhat exciting action set pieces, though they feel surprisingly sparse in terms of production values as compared to the bevy of new shows we have seen that rival features in terms of aesthetic.

FINAL VERDICT: SKIP IT!

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