So, a confession. When I first stumbled upon My Brilliant Friend – a terrific scene in the third episode of Season 1, being re-aired this Spring, I thought, Wow!, what a captivating little Brazilian show, or at least, a show obviously in Portuguese. It wasn’t until the girls were being quizzed on Italian history that it began to dawn on me, is this Italian? Well, yes and no. Officially it’s in Italian and Neapolitan, but I believe everything I’ve seen so far is Neapolitan, a variant of Italian that still sounds more like Portuguese to me than Italian.
Example: when the girls say “Arrivederci,” they say it in a, to me, very Italian inflection and thrust, but with a “rounded” end, specifically as “Arrivederch” – that last syllable is not pronounced. The entire dialog, at least so far in Season 1, is spoken with that “rounded,” Portuguese-like pronunciation.
Another confession: yes, I’m still in Season 1. I’ve been very lazy watching this show (required reading of subtitles does not make it easier), despite the show being among the most compelling television I’ve ever seen. It’s nothing against My Brilliant Friend: I can’t focus on watching any drama show these days, nor any movie in the last month or so.
A dance scene in Ep. 4, “Dissolving Boundaries,” is full of tension and magnificently compelling. It’s that feeling you often have in Better Call Saul, or for that matter the Twin Peaks reboot, that anything could possibly happen at any point. The scene could end benignly enough, but it probably won’t. There could be an explosion, small or large, such as the ones that pop off at the end of that episode.
Oh and the music too. Oh yes. My only ding: I’m a big fan of narrative, but not of narration. The narration in My Brilliant Friend hurts more than it helps, but overall this is a small quibble. I believe there are 3 seasons so far, and a fourth and final on the way; I intend to watch all of it. Based on what I’ve seen so far: highly recommended.
Comparison Notes: Roma