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9 binge-worthy gangster series

2018-01-26 13:50

Cape Town - Showmax, DStv Now, Amazon Prime and Netflix invite you into the irresistible underworld of crime, drugs, murder and money (lots of it), where the lines between innocence and guilt, culpability and blamelessness, good and bad, are forever blurred.

Binge these series for a gripping weekend.

1. Kingpin, Season 1 (Showmax)

To take down a drug kingpin, fearless agents infiltrate his cartel. But it turns into a dangerous cat-and-mouse game. Trust is not a luxury anyone can afford in this mini-series, which has been described as a Mexican answer to The Sopranos.

2. Fargo, Seasons 1-3 (Showmax)

In Season 3, Ewan McGregor, in his Golden Globe-winning role, plays brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy in this tale about a plan so good, it can't go wrong. Or can it? As you’ve come to expect from this brilliant dark comedy series, there’s an intrepid cop who’s on the trail of a bizarre chain of events, and Emmit and Ray are running both from the law and the lawless.

3. The Deuce (Showmax)

Enter New York City's Times Square in the 1970s, a world of sex, dreams and danger in this drama series featuring an amazing cast and jaw-dropping style. In another case of one actor playing brothers, James Franco plays both Vincent and Frankie Martino, who end up becoming a front for the Mafia against the backdrop of the emerging, recently legalised porn industry.

4. The Sopranos, Seasons 1-6 (Showmax)

Tony Soprano is a mob boss with the legacy of his father to live up to, a nephew to mentor, a mistress to hide, a wife to keep in jewels, the Feds to evade, a pair of kids to raise, and a shrink to vent to - which no Soprano has ever had before. Showmax has the full boxset of this critically acclaimed series which should seriously be on everybody’s TV bucket list.

5. iNumber Number (Showmax)

Both Mzansi Magic and Showmax co-produced the series and the 2013 movie on which it was based are available on Showmax, about disgruntled undercover cops Chilli and Shoes, who infiltrate a gang on the eve of a high-risk hijacking so that they can take a cut of the loot for themselves. 

6. Gangland Undercover, Seasons 1-2 (Showmax)

Former drug dealer Charles Falco is the only person who’s managed to infiltrate the most dangerous and notorious biker gangs in the United States. This series is based on his memoir, about the dark, dangerous and dirty work undertaken by members of the Vagos gang, who wield authority through fear, and carry guns, deal drugs and commit murder without a second thought.

7. Better Call Saul, Season 3 (DStv Now)

Jimmy McGill - or, as you might know him, Saul Goodman from the award-winning series Breaking Bad - is back in a new season about hard-working, good-natured attorney Jimmy’s transformation into jaded, morally bereft criminal lawyer Saul. Expect more familiar faces from Breaking Bad (well, hello there, drug lord Gus Fring) in the latest season.

8. Narcos, Seasons 1-3 (Netflix)

Seasons 1 and 2 of this hugely popular Netflix Original series follow the story of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar as he comes up against DEA agents and rival cartels. But Season 3, recently released on Netflix, with the consensus that it’s the most gripping season yet, picks up after the fall of Escobar, and sees the rise of the newly powerful Cali Cartel.

9. McMafia, Season 1 (Amazon Prime)

This BBC eight-part series, now available on Amazon Prime, stars James Norton as Alex, the British son of a Russian mob boss. When Alex’s father decides to leave organised crime, he opens Alex and his family up to retaliation from the mob, and exposes them to all kinds of danger.

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