HBO Max does it again: where Amazon and Apple both launched very expensive yet disappointing espionage franchises in recent weeks, the streaming service now scores with a gem of a miniseries: Spy/Master. The numbers don’t lie.
Both Amazon and Apple have been trying to score in recent weeks with a spy story chock full of big names. Amazon delivered Citadel off, a new show from the directors behind Avengers: Endgame. The kick-off of a large-scale, international espionage franchise. Apple dropped the movie Ghosted, starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas and the creators of the Deadpool movies at the helm.
Amazon and Apple are bumbling
In both cases, the result was unfortunately very disappointing. Giving well-known names a big budget may yield ratings, but strip the famous faces and you are often (and in this case) left with soulless action franchises. sure, they are technically about spies, but that approach is more an excuse for James Bond-like action than serving you real espionage intrigue.
HBO presents Spy/Master
Fortunately, we still have HBO Max. The streaming service lives up to its reputation again this week with Spy/Master, a quality series about a KBG spy who has infiltrated the Romanian government. You can already stream the first two episodes on HBO Max since last week. The miniseries will eventually consist of six episodes.
First some numbers: scores on IMDb Spy/Master a solid 8.9. It’s too early for a Rotten Tomatoes rating, but the reviews that have already appeared are very positive. De Volkskrant writes that the makers “bring a delightfully complex history (…) to life in an intelligent and playful way.” Mashable calls Spy/Master “An enthralling Cold War thriller. So. Much. suspense.”
KGB agent in trouble
Nice all that praise, but what is the spy series about? Director Christopher Smith takes you back to 1978. We follow the Romanian spy Victor Godeanu, practically the right-hand man of Nicolae Ceaușescu, the president of Romania. However, Godeanu has been secretly passing sensitive information from the Romanian government to the KGB, the main secret service of the Soviet Union, for fifteen years.
Gradually, however, the spy’s Romanian colleagues are discovering his practices. Godeanu is warned by a KGB agent that it is time to come back to the Soviet Union. To escape. However, Godeanu has very different plans. He is convinced that it is time to defect. We will not reveal the rest, but with that intrigue as a starting point, you already know that you can count on a wonderfully exciting espionage story.
A story that is partly based on real events, and has apparently also been transformed into a series in an excellent way. In other words: from now on there is a quality espionage series ready for you with which you can get rid of the bad aftertaste of Ghosted and Citadel wash away quickly and effectively. Make your own judgment: Spy/Master is now available to stream on HBO Max.
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