Sneaky Pete Review - Sneak Peak at Amazon Prime Video

Sneaky Pete is the enticing story about devious Marius Josapovic, played by Giovanni Ribisi, recently released from jail and a con man by trade, and how he reinvents himself into a world of façade as Pete Murphy, the name of his former cell mate.  Created and written (pilot) by David Shore and Bryan Cranston, Sneaky Pete depicts the life of a deceptive man, Marius, who becomes Pete Murphy in order to dodge a bullet from the man he conned before prison: Vince played by Cranston.  The newly fictitious Pete engages with the Bernhardt/Bowman family and who are just as likely as secretive and alluring as Marius/Pete appears to be. As you get deeply connected to the storyline, you begin to identify with one or all of these complicated characters, and you entwine in the fabrication versus reality plot.

Amazon Original Prime Video

As an infrequent movie and TV viewer, I select what I watch carefully as I need to be tempted by not just interesting characters, but charming, yet mysterious individuals as well. Before investing in a long term goal, such as a series, I often ask myself, “What’s in it for me?”  What am I going to gain?  What insights will manifest?  Executive Producer Graham Yost suggests a tinge of morbid humor as the story lends itself to real life situations. I was instantly attracted by the concept of Sneaky Pete and his double life character Marius/Pete.  His past, present, and his eventual future are brilliantly played by Ribisi,who captivates you immediately by his ability to present himself as good and evil simultaneously.  It is his commitment to this character that you not only become engrossed in, but obsessed by his quick-witted charm.  It goes without saying that David Shore and Bryan Cranston work together ingeniously on the pilot so that you instantaneously remain devoted to Sneaky Pete; the plot and the man.

Margo Martindale as the matriarch of the family Audrey Bernhardt (Courtesy Amazon Prime)

 Sneaky Pete delivers with cunning intrigue as the drama focuses on the stellar cast who are in some fashion trying to reinvent themselves as well.  The most thought-provoking aspect of this drama includes the continual flashbacks of Marius/Pete that reveal a “behind the eyes” viewpoint of how his destiny manifested into a life of con to survive. Underneath the façade is that inner child-like boy who just wants to be loved, and so you fall in love with this “straight out liar.”

Giovanni Ribisi as Marius/Pete (Courtesy Amazon Prime)

 I would like to think that all of us at some point in our lives succumb to a sort of secretive inner self that manifests into this thing called “life” as we struggle to find our way to acceptance.  That is ideally what you’ll discover in Sneaky Pete.  Through all our pain we always envision that somehow a sense of prosperity at the end of that proverbial rainbow will unveil.

Bryan Cranston Behind the Scenes (Courtesy Amazon Prime)

So as we enter into this upcoming season what have we learned?  What insights can we draw upon?  How can we move through this thing called life in a more harmonious fashion?  Well, “the answers are complex,” according to Margo Martindale, yet “what you see is what you get.” Martindale, who plays Audrey Bernhardt, the matriarch of the family Bernhardt, feeds into to the fabricated life. Although pious in nature, she too begins to question herself about living a moral high ground, when her family-run business Bernhardt Bail Bonds becomes threatened with loss through more seemingly capable competition.

Inevitably, by choosing to partake in this complicated, yet mesmerizing drama called Sneaky Pete, you will ultimately find yourself relating to one of these fascinating characters.  And as the story unfolds, you will begin to spiritually or connectedly unfold the parts of you who live in these obscure characters.  So the questions now become, “if you identify with these characters, how will your outcome be different or will it change at all?  More often than not, we have to stumble and fall before we can rise and climb.  Why is life such a battle ground?  Why must we put on such a façade to survive?  Could it be that the pain of being our true selves is too great?  Could it be playing a façade, e.g., Sneaky Pete is safer emotionally than to be authentic?  And if that is true, how do we transition from the fake to factual?

In order to truly answer those questions we must look inward.  Do we really want to do that?  Look at our faults, our failures, and our insecurities?  So we can once again proclaim what losers we all are?  Luckily, we may not have to, as the season of Sneaky Pete unfolds, we may discover that the most tiny piece of ourselves are actually our answers to prosperity if we just stop and pay attention. 

This takes us back to the original question:  Can we really reinvent ourselves? According to Marin Ireland, who plays Marius'/Pete’s long lost cousin, Julia Bowman “there are moments where it is just too hard.”  Julia who comes home begrudgingly after two failed marriages and two children from different fathers to try and reinvent herself as well.  She cannot however escape her colorful past as her Grandmother Audrey Bernhardt, (Martindale) relishes in helping remind her, ever so subtly, of her poor choices of the past. 

The bottom line is this:  To truly survive, there must be someone, somewhere that we truly love.  Otherwise, why live at all?  This is true of Marius/Pete as well.  We come to recognize that Marius’ younger brother Eddie Josapovic, played by Michael Drayer, provides that one piece of connection to life, his life-line to survival.  Unfortunately, Eddie gets caught up in the underground world of high stakes poker and eventually gets taken hostage by his employer Vince, (Bryan Cranston) and to whom Marius owes a great debt; thus, the purpose of his having to become “Sneaky Pete.”

But as most people realize in this lifetime, sometimes loving ourselves is not enough to move on.  We need to find a reason, a purpose for committing to this thing called life.  So as we move through this intense drama, we find this out.  We find out who Sneaky Pete really is and we become addicted to how his con ways are almost justifiable. The intrigue continues as we find ourselves wondering: How too will our life unfold?  Stay connected.

This AMAZON original, Sneaky Pete streams January 13, on Amazon Prime Video.

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