Ah, Rome. The eternal city, where Fiats speed past ancient ruins, where hordes of tourists gaze up at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, where delicious food is a fact of life. But let’s stop ourselves before we wax poetic. The show Suburra, an Italian-language Netflix original dropping on October 6, is here to shatter any preconceptions you may have of Rome. In Suburra, beautiful, stunning Rome is the setting for political corruption, mafia scandals, violence — and plot stakes so high you’ll be racing towards the next episode.
Suburra begins with the negotiations for something the three primary families in the show all want: A small plot of land in the port neighborhood of Ostia, which is being rezoned for construction. This land offers an opportunity to construct a Vegas-like gambling paradise, and have control over the port for their drug trade. But before that can happen, each family will have to negotiate channels in the government and the Vatican, and that won’t be easy.
In Suburra, fans of the show Narcos will recognize themes of government corruption, large families of drug traders, shocking violence, and a cast so sprawling and confusing you’ll need an explainer like this one to figure it out.
Fear not: here’s what you need to know before watching Suburra.
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