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‘Parish’ Review – A Tale Of Loss, Failure And Desperation

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This review was made possible by early screeners of ParishParish premieres on AMC on Sunday, March 31st at 10PM EST and will be available to stream on AMC+.

Giancarlo Esposito, the man widely known as one of the best villainous actors in recent memory. Whether its Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian, The Boys or even Far Cry 6, he sure knows how to make you hate him. Only a testament to his acting acumen. In Esposito’s latest series, Parish, we get to see a new side of him. Gray Parish is a family fan, struggling to keep his house and his cab business afloat. In a desperate attempt to support his family he is lured back to his criminal past for “one last job” by old friend Colin (Skeet Ulrich).

Skeet Ulrich as Colin Broussard – Parish – Photo Credit: Alyssa Moran/AMC

DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES

As you could guess, this one last job doesn’t quite go according to plan. Thrusting Parish back into the world of crime, tangled in a web of corrupt politics and trafficking illegal immigrants. A simple decision that was supposed to save his family, now put has put them in grave danger. A family still reeling from the death of Gray’s son. An already broken home, on the verge of a full collapse from the secrets of the past.

Parish refuses to roll over and be a pawn once again, bringing that patented Esposito ruthlessness to center stage. Parish is a layered character with a vast skill set. It’s truly a delight being able to see Esposito flex all the acting muscles in his arsenal. But the more Parish goes against the grain, the more his house crumbles on itself.

A CROWDED POOL OF ANTAGONISTS

This series excels when Parish is in the limelight, struggling to create a fresh start for both him and his family. It really struggles when it dives deeper and deeper into the crime world. The constant influx of new characters and their vaguely touched upon ties to each other leaving you feeling in the dark. While some light is shined on how everything is tied back to Parish’s past, it’s hard to get invested or honestly feel threatened by this rotating door of crime lords.

Parish’s wife Rose (Paula Malcomson) and daughter Makayla (Arica Himmel) should be the heartbeat of the show, seeing as they are the catalyst for his actions, but the characters don’t get enough meat to chew on other than being mostly upset in their limited screen time. They have every right to be upset and you see the characters have these big emotional beats, but they aren’t felt unfortunately. The series waits too long giving the audience crucial character moments that would have given supporting characters a similar spotlight as the titular character.

Paula Malcolmson as Rose Bourgeois and Arica Himmel as Makayla Bourgeois – Parish – Photo Credit: Alyssa Moran/AMC

While Giancarlo Esposito proves he’s one of the best working actors today giving a vulnerable and nuanced performance of a broken man desperate to prove himself, the story is weighed down with side plots that are either rushed or have zero pay off. The six episode format hinders certain key moments, leaving multiple revelations lacking that emotional punch or narrative shock the series is trying to hammer home. The series premieres on AMC on March 31st, check out the trailer below.

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