The new TV series Mad Dogs is based on the U.K. series of the same name. The original British black comedy aired on Sky1 from February 10th, 2011, to December 29th, 2013, concluding after 14 episodes. The plot revolved around 4 middle-aged long-time friends: Baxter, Quinn, Rick, and Woody. The friends unite on a vacation with another one of their friends named Alvo. Alvo is eventually killed and before long the four friends find themselves increasingly deeper in a network of criminal offenses.
After Alvo is murdered the three begin cleaning a drug boat that is connected to Alvo’s death, so as to protect their own names. During this process they are mistaken as being drug dealers and paid a small fortune. The group of friends learn that they are a part of a Servian mafia drug operation which Alvo was involved in. The series continues on with corrupt police, kidnapping, explosions, more drugs, violence, money, and much more.
The original Mad Dogs was relatively popular and garnered a few different spin-offs. In 2011 Mad Cats was imagined which would feature a very similar plot, except instead of men the primary characters would be women. What everyone is talking about right now, of course, is the 2015-2016 new American version of Mad Dogs. Last year on January 15th the pilot episode was released by Amazon, and the season finally aired again this last January.
The pilot was written by Cris Cole who was also the creator of the original series. Shawn Ryan, creator of The Shield, worked together with Cole on the pilot episode. Additional executive producers include Marney Hochman, Suzanne Mackie, Andy Harries, and Charles McDougall. Directors include: John David Coles, Uta Briesewitz, Randall Einhorn, Craig Zisk, Guy Ferland, Ted Griffin, Charles McDougall, Mark Piznarski, Clark Johnson, and Alex Graves. Sony Pictures TV and Amazon Studios gave the series life.
The American Mad Dogs stars Billy Zane, Michael Imperioli, Romany Malco, and Steve Zahn. Other members of the cast include: Allison Tolman, Maria Botto, Rachael Holmes, Phil Davis, and Adria Tennor. Ben Chaplin is another star in the show, and he played Alvo in the original British series. In the American version Chaplin will have the role of Zane. Although the two versions may have a lot of things in common the American pilot takes a different turn at the end of the episode.
Mad Dogs, the American version, also follows a group of friends all in their forties. All of the men feel like they are at a crossroads where they must make important life-decisions. Married, single, and recently divorced, the friends are all at different stages in their lives. The characters from the British Mad Dogs had been friends since high school, and those from the American Mad Dogs were friends since college. In the new series the group again go on an exotic and exciting vacation which leads them on an adventure of sorts. They unite together as part of a celebration for their friend Milo as he retires early. The celebration quickly turns sour and becomes quite dark.
Soon lies, deception, and even murder infiltrate the friends’ lives. The shocking voyage leads to a roller coaster ride that puts their friendships and identities to the test. Now the group will be forced to trust one another, even though they perhaps shouldn’t. Anyone who has had a long-time friendship–and who knows the evolution and challenges associated with such a relationship–will be able to relate to Mad Dogs.
The original series was given a rating of 15 and the new pilot episode was rated 18. The American version was given a rating of 7.6/10 stars on IMDb. So far it seems to be doing fairly well and has been retrieving a lot of interested fans. A few different reviews have said that this TV show provides everything when it comes to entertainment. Some individuals call it realistic and believable. It has also been called intriguing, mysterious, unpredictable, excellent, and even a masterpiece. The actors, writing, plot, location, and virtually everything else have been praised in regards to the series. Although the series is set forth in a beautiful area some who have actually been to Belize were slightly upset that it was not filmed there—but this seems to be a minor issue. The show promises violence, sex, dark comedy, drama, and mystery. The characters are also praised and it has been said that they are multidimensional. According to some reviews the series gives the audience an opportunity to connect with the characters rather than jumping straight into action sequences.
There is no doubt that the original and the new version will be compared with one another, especially by those who have already seen the British version. Some individuals scoff at the fact that Amazon calls the series an “original” when it is so tightly based off of another show. There are quite a few people who seem to like them both especially if they liked one or the other. It is important to keep in mind that they were each made for a different audience and that they also have set distinctions. There are other people, however, who claim that the new version isn’t nearly as good as the original and that it didn’t need to be remade. Many people claim that “it’s never as good as the original” and they are “sick of the remakes” which is understandable.
Some of those who disliked the series didn’t like the characters and didn’t think the events which took place were believable. All of the characters seem prone to making extremely unwise decisions which in turn lead to horrible outcomes. According to some this seems very unrealistic, especially considering the fact that the men are middle-aged and have decent jobs. It has also been said that they are trying “too hard” to be young and reclaim their earlier years, which also prompts them to make bad choices. If you enjoy dark comedies like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul chances are slanted in your favor that you will enjoy Mad Dogs–unless you would rather just stick to the original.