These impressions contain spoilers for the first episode of ‘Sneaky Pete’ Season One.
No, not Stinky Pete, as I keep referring to it. Sneaky Pete. Sneaky Pete was created for Amazon by David Shore and Bryan Cranston (yes, Hal & Walter White). It stars Giovanni Ribisi as conman Marius Josipovic. After hearing about his cellmate’s upbringing on his grandparent’s farm, Marius pretends to be Pete Murphy to hide from thugs that want him to pay up large.
So, funny thing about Sneaky Pete. This episode was largely shot as a pilot for CBS in 2015. You could say I’m a little behind the ball on this one. But the rest of the episodes went to air on Amazon on January 13, 2017. And there was the switching of showrunners to Graham Yost. TV development – it’s a wild world out there.
While there are serial elements, judging solely from the first episode it looks like Sneaky Pete will be largely procedural, with Pete hunting down court jumpers as part of the family’s work in bail bonds. Now, not being American, I had to look that thing up. It’s crazy. They’re literally bounty hunters. But as the show’s development shows with such a large time gap after the pilot, things could have changed for the rest of the season.
Apart from criminal chasing, there’s Pete’s whole situation with his brother being threatened by Bryan Cranston, also here as a guest star. And that minor case of identity theft when he pretends to be cousin Pete. I’m just going to call him Pete, okay? Cos fictional names are hard enough as it is, without adding additional fictional identities. So Pete’s now living with a family that isn’t his. And they believe he is Pete, for now… It should create an interesting tension throughout the season. Already someone might know Pete’s lying, but the writers are pretty coy about it. It could just as likely be a red herring.
Pete teams up with cousin Julia (Marin Ireland) to catch a slippery criminal. Pete is obviously attracted to her which should create some interesting tension / awkward hilarity. Arrested Development anyone? They’re not technically cousins but for all intents and purposes they are. Now the one-off procedural criminal chase of this episode made me grind my teeth.
The whole thing feels rather goofy, like it belongs on a low stakes stakeout on something like Castle. Pete steal his laptop, they find him at the races, then meet at some high class charity event. Pete even dresses up as a valet for a minute. There’s a kidnapped elderly mother and they get out of a jam by pushing a kitchen trolley onto the bad guy. I was cringing something fierce.
Verdict: Chasing down bail jumpers is cheesy as heck, but the identity theft peaks my interest. I will cautiously undertake this binge.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video
Side-note: Sneaky Pete has been renewed for a second season.