The other day, a friend of mine asked if I had watched this show called "Zero Zero Zero", and unlike the extremely long list of shows on my lists, I had never heard of it. "Zero Zero Zero" was released on Amazon Prime back before quarantine even begun, and likely because the biggest name in the show (so far) is Gabriel Byrne, it received zero zero zero marketing. I say "so far" because Andrea Riseborough has received critical acclaim for some of her roles, but she is likely to become a well known star if she wants to.|
There are many things other than no marketing that make Zero Zero Zero an odd duck on television. It is actually an Italian crime drama, written, produced and directed by Italians. Amazon jumped in and helped produce the show, so it is streaming on Prime as an "Amazon Original".
The show is ambitious to say the least: It was shot in Italy, Mexico, Senegal, Morocco and the US. It has corresponding local casts from each location, speaking in their own native languages which makes this a mostly subtitled show a'la Narcos.
The show is similar in theme to Narcos, but that show is mostly based or inspired from real life events. Zero Zero Zero however, is based on a novel by the same name written by Italian Roberto Saviano. It has mafia themes, guns, drugs, guns, trading, guns, tense negotiations and lots of guns. Did I mention there's a lot of guns? Because there's a ton of them. I mean that in a good way. If what happens in the underworld is your cup of tea, then break out the china because there will be plenty of tea to drink.
Production wise, ZZZ is surprisingly great. Outside of Mrs. Maisel, I've been somewhat disappointed with some of the other Amazon efforts. There's a few big ones I have not seen, but Jack Ryan for example could be a tentpole production, and it seems to be "just OK" by today's standards. Zero Zero Zero on the other hand, has at times stunning cinematography and a certain amount of polish that's rare for Amazon in my opinion. While its biggest weakness would be the lack of "name" actors, it is not a weakness in lack of talent.
The acting in this show is simply superb. As mentioned earlier, Andrea Riseborough gives a standout performance and essentially carries the show. While I'm not familiar with the Italian or Mexican actors, I have to assume many of them must be famous in their respective countries because they also provide stellar performances. I'd say that if you have an appreciation for good acting or cinematography, that alone will satisfy you. The story is well put together, the direction is solid, and the score does its job with ease.
There's only eight episodes of this show, so it'll be a relatively quick watch. If you're into guns, the drug trade, the mafia or international actors, I recommend you give this show a try. You will not be disappointed.