La piovra (1984-1999)

This is a great Italian series about the mafia.

In the first four seasons Michele Placido played commissarion Corrado Cattani. He is send to Palermo to deal with the mafia, but in the end it will cost him his family and even his life.

The mafia is called La piovra in this series, the octopus, because her tentacles stretch everywhere. It is an uneven battle for the police, everytime they think they can talk to somebody who will help the, the mafia beats them and usually murders that person. It also becomes clear how ‘normal’ people like solicitors and bankers and politicians are bound to the mafia.

In series 5 en 6 the leading role is taken over by Vittorio Mezzogiorno who plays Inpector Davide Licata. It must not have been easy to step into the shoes of Michele Placido, but he also did a great job. Other amazing actors were Patricia Millardet who played judge Silvia Conti and of course Remo Girone as banker Tano Carridi. Bruno Cremer played Espinoza and I never could see him in another role again.

I remember when I was young I watched this series with my mother when it was broadcasted on Dutch television. I did not see all of it and I did not understand all of it, I was too young for that, but I do remember the feeling of helplessness everytime the mafia won another fight.

Michele Placido as Corrado Cattani and Patricia Millardet as Silvia Conti
And yes, I named my cats after them!
A couple of years ago I found the entire series on dvd and this was the first series I bought. I knew I had to have it.
And despite the fact the first series is 30 years old, the acting, the excellent storylines and of course the music by Ennio Morricone makes La Piovra amazing to watch, every time again.