How to Become a Mob Boss Season 1 Review – A generic docuseries reuses universally-known information

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: November 15, 2023
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How to Become a Mob Boss Season 1 Review
How to Become a Mob Boss | Image via Netflix


A mediocre satirical docuseries that uses common information about these mobsters but in a uniquely structured six-part series.

In How to Become a Mob Boss, we go through the motions of becoming an actual crime lord by exploring each crime boss who became successful. They all started from somewhere, and this Netflix docuseries breaks down the business aspect of being a mobster. It is a hard life, but you need to be ruthless, and the playbook developed in this docuseries explains a lot.

The mafia has been around for a long time, and it’s not only based in Italy. There have been mafia bosses worldwide who have become world-renowned heads of operations. A mob boss is someone who knows how to beat the system. They run an organized crime ring and always keep a low profile. In all honesty, the mafia protect their own and are incredibly loyal to people they keep in their circle.

Ever since The Godfather, more and more films have captured the very essence of what it means to be a mob boss. There are actual crime lords like Al Capone, John Gotti, and Whitey Bulger that have been mafia heads who have been explored because of their tactics.

How to Become a Mob Boss Season 1 review and plot summary

If you want to brush up on your mob bosses then How to Become a Mob Boss goes through all the main ones that have succeeded throughout history. In the first episode, they explore the life of Al Capone, who goes from a barber’s son in Brooklyn to the King of Chicago. Even though Capone was a ruthless man and his methods were very aggressive, there is always something to learn from men who work their way into power. They know how to unlock your full potential.

In Episodes 2-4, Frank Lucas shows you how to build a better operation with the right people so the crimes you’re committing help you make a profit. Then Salvatore “Toto” Riina’s episode shows how to dominate through terror. He knew how to put the fear of God in anyone, and that’s why he worked up the ranks in the Sicilian mafia. In Episode 4, familiar face John Gotti gets the spotlight because he is considered one of the worst mobsters in history due to his spiraling downfall.

Lastly, in the final two episodes, Whitey Bulger knew how to cover his tracks and spent 16 years on the run from the FBI. That takes some serious skill. And in the final episode narcoterrorist, drug lord, and politician, Pablo Escobar, became one of the most famous criminals known to man. This series goes through a certain satirical guideline on how to become a mob boss by dissecting every single aspect of their lives.

In any other industry, their tactics would be emulated because of how successful they became, but because their livelihoods centered around gambling, murder, and drug running, it is not acceptable whatsoever, but it is fascinating.

Is this worth the watch? 

How to Be a Mob Boss doesn’t really give any new information about these famous mob bosses. It’s just structured in a way that would make it interesting to watch given that they go through a checklist of what to do and what not to do. If you’ve never heard of these men, then it is rather insightful, but there are better films and documentaries to get your information from.

On top of that, it’s interesting to see that actual members of these crime organizations were interviewed. Normally, they would be in the shadows, so to see them present and discuss what they did when working with certain mob bosses was definitely a choice. The reason this didn’t work is because of the laughable voiceover that’s so clearly used to make a mockery of the people being explored in the docuseries.

It feels like a very mediocre docuseries because of the voiceover and the common knowledge of these mobsters throughout history.

What did you think of How to Be a Mob Boss? Comment below.

READ: Criminal Code Season 1 Review

Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Reviews
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