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Italian comedy Mafia Only Kills in Summer now streaming exclusively on MHz Choice.

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The Italians have created another gem you don’t want to miss! The pitch-perfect Mafia Only Kills in Summer brings you into the world of ten-year-old Salvatore Giammarresi (Edoardo Buscetta), a keen observer of the adults around him and the ironies of growing up in Palermo in the 1970s. He’s always asking pesky questions – and when he goes at it during the funeral service of a Mafioso, he gets in big trouble with Brother Giacinto, played by Nino Frassica (Don MatteoThe Last GodfatherThe Vanishing of Pato).

The series’ lighthearted tone (a definite palate cleanser after Camorra Connection) will leave you flashing back to your own pre-teen moments with relief that they’re over! Think The Wonder Years against a Palermo/Mafia backdrop. It’s perfectly cast – particularly the kids. Salvatore’s two buddies – the scrappy Sebastiano (Pierangelo Gullo) and laconic Fofò (Enrico Gippetto) provide a great counterpoint to his intellectual tenacity, and the three of them together make up a hilarious, unholy trinity. Their classmate Alice (Andrea Castellana) – she with the limpid blue eyes – has all three on a short leash and does her best at the futile task of civilizing them. Salvatore, of course, is hopelessly smitten.

Mafia Only Kills in Summer also tells the sad story of Palermo under the iron grip of Mafia control. None of it escapes the gaze of the astute, ever observant ten-year-old. Honest policemen and whistleblowers live in jeopardy for their lives. Ordinary citizens live in fear of Mafia reprisal, holding onto crime tips that they could be giving to the police. Each one of Salvatore’s family members is touched by the Mafia in a crippling fashion. He sees it all and the injustice rankles. Speaking of family members, you’ll recognize Salvatore’s father, Lorenzo (Claudio Gioè) from Anti-Mafia Squad.

Despite the sad elements of the story, it’s still predominated by the energy and optimism of youth. Palermo in the 1970s may be messed up, but with the new generation represented by Salvatore, one hopes that change can happen. The city itself still has ancient marvels, and the beauty of the countryside where Arturo’s grandparents live thrills the heart.

Prepare for a glorious ride – Mafia Only Kills in Summer is an exultant, feel-good way to end the summer and slip into fall. The last episode will leave you wistful for more!

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