Giancarlo Esposito is known for playing memorable characters in various projects, including his role as Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. In a new AMC series called Parish, Esposito plays the lead role in a generic crime drama set in New Orleans. The series follows the story of Gracián “Gray” Parish, a taxi company owner who gets involved in criminal activities to keep his business afloat. After facing financial troubles and the loss of his son, Gray reluctantly agrees to help an old friend with a criminal past, leading him into a dangerous world of crime.

The first episode of Parish sets up the story by showing Gray’s struggles with his failing business, financial issues, and the recent death of his son. Despite his initial reluctance to get involved in criminal activities again, Gray ultimately agrees to help his friend Colin make amends with a dangerous gangster named The Horse. As the story unfolds, Gray’s calm and collected demeanor, contrasted with Colin’s impulsiveness, sets the stage for a series of risky and tense situations.

While Esposito’s performance elevates the show, the first episode of Parish lacks depth in its character development. Gray’s motivations for getting involved in criminal activities are hinted at but not fully explored, leaving viewers to speculate about his past and his reasons for taking such risks. Other characters, such as Gray’s wife Rose and daughter Makayla, are portrayed in a somewhat generic manner, with potential for further development in future episodes.

Despite the generic nature of the crime drama genre, Esposito’s portrayal of Gray’s inner turmoil and barely-controlled rage adds layers to the character and keeps viewers engaged. His ability to stay calm under pressure and think ahead in tense situations makes him a valuable asset to The Horse, the gangster he becomes involved with. As the series progresses, it will be interesting to see how Gray navigates the dangerous world of crime while dealing with his personal struggles.

The setting of New Orleans adds a unique backdrop to the series, reminiscent of other crime dramas like David Simon’s HBO series Treme. The city’s atmosphere and culture provide an interesting contrast to the criminal activities depicted in the show, adding depth to the overall storyline. While the first episode sets up the premise of Parish and introduces key characters, there is room for further exploration of the characters’ backgrounds and motivations in future episodes.

Overall, Parish offers a standard crime drama with a compelling lead performance from Giancarlo Esposito. The series has the potential to delve deeper into the characters’ pasts and motivations, particularly Gray’s unresolved grief over his son’s death. While some characters may come across as generic in the first episode, there is hope for more development and complexity as the series progresses. With Esposito’s captivating presence and the intriguing New Orleans setting, Parish is worth watching for fans of crime dramas and character-driven stories.

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