AV/TV Club: My Brilliant Friend runs headlong into its teen years

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Sunday, November 25. All times are Eastern. 

On AV/TV Club

Allison Shoemaker – Nov 25, 2018

My Brilliant Friend (HBO, 9 p.m.): My Brilliant Friend is real damn good. Perhaps unsurprising, given the source material, but not all adaptations are created equal. While remaining determinedly faithful to Elena Ferrante’s source material, director Saverio Costanzo somehow creates something utterly cinematic, as his textured, thoughtful worldbuilding makes Naples feel reachable, immediate. One could be forgiven for feeling the need to wash the dust from their shoes or the sweat from their face after spending an hour in the company of Lila and Lenú, and part of that success must be credited to Elisa Del Genio and Ludovica Nasti, the two young actors bringing those unforgettable girls to life.

And now they’re done. Thanks, kids. Bring on the teens.

Lest you fear that the appearance of Gaia Girace and Margherita Mazzucco will mark a drop in the show’s potency and power, let us reassure you, the slightly older Lenú and Lila are every bit as compelling as their predecessors. If you liked the original version, you’ll also dig the remix. Allison Shoemaker has blown the dust off her copy of Little Women and stands ready to be dazzled by both brilliant friends.

Read more