Continuing the story of the Neopolitan Novels quartet, the next group of eight episodes will draw from the Elena Ferrante novel “The Story of a New Name.” Published in 2013, the book continues the story of childhood friends Lila and Lenù as they progress further into adulthood and deal with the significant changes in their respective families. The series, which is set to wrap up its debut season this Sunday, is a co-venture with Italian broadcaster RAI.
Margherita Mazzucco and Gaia Girace starred for a majority of the first season as the teenage versions of Lenù and Lila, navigating the challenges of a male-dominated society as the dynamics of their evolving friendships change with each new development in their lives.
Ferrante, a notoriously secretive literary figure, did contribute to this TV adaptation and is listed as a co-writer on the first season, along with Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci, and series director Saverio Costanzo. The series marked a historic production for HBO, the first series for the network entirely in a language other than English.
As Indiewire’s Ben Travers described in his review, “Season 1 is a formative story, and universal because of it. These are the daughters’ whose lives are prioritized behind their brothers’, and the quiet kids in class who learn through silent observation. The world around them is filled with corruption, murder, and betrayal, but the plot hinges on their perseverance through education and friendship. It’s like watching ‘The Godfather,’ but instead of focusing on Michael’s continued corruption, ‘My Brilliant Friend’ dials in on how his daughter might have saved herself.”
“My Brilliant Friend” Season 1 concludes with the final two episodes airing on Sunday, December 9 and Monday, December 10 on HBO.