Suburra. La serie as "Patrimonio internazionale / International Patrimony"

Dana Renga

Abstract


This essay investigates fascinations surrounding glamorized criminals by looking at how recent Italian history and queer bodies are represented, negotiated, and received in Italy’s first made-for-Netflix series Suburra. La serie (2017 - ). In many ways, the series is a distinctly Italian production, especially in terms of the popular mafia-corruption plot that is based upon real life events. However, Suburra. La serie is a transnational production that engages viewers outside of Italy. This essay pays attention to the series’ interesting marketing strategy that flagrantly draws attention to fictional/historical consistencies, before addressing the physical allure and charisma of criminal antiheroes who appear trapped in a perpetual adolescence. Most importantly, I address how Suburra. La serie’s singularity as a transnational co-production allows for a unique representation of gender and sexuality on Italian small screens, as it marks an opening up of a mainstream space on the small screen to tell stories from the perspective of a non-normative sexual orientation. Suburra. La serie engages in a representation of queer masculinity that is distinctive in relation to Italian serial drama as a whole and especially in relation to serial dramas that depend upon sympathetic perpetrators to create relationships with viewers. As I argue, Suburra. La serie is a queer text with an address to viewers spanning continents, cultures, and languages.

Keywords


Suburra. La serie; Masculinity; Queer masculinity; Italian serial drama; Sympathetic perpetrators; Mafia

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References


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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2421-454X/7815

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