Brotherhood Season 1 serves a good base to an inspiring crime story but then belittles itself with little desire to build upon the characters.
This review of Netflix Series Brotherhood Season 1 (otherwise known as Irmandade in its native language) contains no spoilers.
The premise to Brotherhood is all-consuming in itself but fails to hit its target. It follows an attorney called Cristina (Naruna Costa) who accidentally comes into possession of a case file attached to her brother Edson (Seu Jorge), a man who is serving a long time in prison for a petty crime. A small crime has formed him into a leader of a criminal organization from within the prison, tortured and beaten by the warden’s men every day.
Cristina’s objective is to help Edson from suffering from the inhumane treatment he is receiving.
And with that premise, Brotherhood Season 1 serves a story that offers a strong base for greatness. Unfortunately, it falls over itself. It belittles itself with little desire and ambition to build on the characters and instead delivers a depressing story where the characters’ motivations make little sense. Cristina’s evolution is nothing short of nonsensical at times, as the character does not pinpoint the reason for her choices, except for the fact her brother is in prison — a family member she decided to not track down for 20 years.
There are several scene-setters and plenty of moments that provide a sense of drama, but those chapters take too long to arrive. Brotherhood seems to expect the audience to wait around for the juicy moments. In the meantime, it grossly underestimates the need to develop a character in need of reasons to move forward.
The Brazilian series understands the meaning of grittiness and the cogs of the crime world. The Netflix story enjoys laying out the foundations to bad men, subjecting the audience to little good in the world. Cristina is propped to show the light in an otherwise grey community, but it quickly escalates into a new story entirely — Brotherhood is just dark, which will appeal to some but will sag for others.
Putting the criticism aside for one moment, on the surface, Netflix series Brotherhood Season 1 is not a bad roll of the dice for a crime story. Is it worth the watch? Park it on your thumbnails and maybe get to it eventually.
You can read the recap of Episode 1 by clicking these words.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.