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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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This photo provided by TNT shows Jon Bernthal in a scene from the pilot episode, A Guy Walks Into A Bar" in the new TNT drama series, "Mob City." (AP Photo/TNT, Scott Garfield)
Review: Dark, violent 'Mob City' has potential

The new TV noir series Mob City looks great. Set in 1940s Los Angeles, it's darkly beautiful.

And it could turn out to be a pretty great show, given a bit of time.

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Writer/producer/director Frank Darabont knows something about a show with a dark premise. He's the guy behind the first season of "The Walking Dead."

When AMC inexplicably relieved him of his duties on that show, Darabont moved on to this project, which is based on John Buntin's book "L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City."

It should come as no surprise that this is a crime drama. A violent, dark crime drama, filled with violent, dark people and violent, dark plots.

At the center of this ensemble drama is Det. Joe Teague (Jon Bernthal, "Walking Dead"), who's the strong, silent type. As the series begins, we see Teague get hired by mobster Hecky Nash (Simon Peg) to be the muscle at a meeting with other mobsters.

And in 1947, Los Angeles is filled with mobsters like Bugsy Siegel (Ed Burns) and Mickey Cohen (Jeremy Luke).

The head of the L.A. police department's mob unit, Det. Hal Morrison (Jeffrey DeMunn), finds out about Teague's moonlighting and recruits him to join his team. It's a priority for LAPD Chief William Parker (Neal McDonough).

Not surprisingly, there's a good deal of violence in "Mob City." We're not talking "Walking Dead" gore, but it's pretty intense.

There's a lot going on and a lot of characters to keep straight. But give the first two hours a chance and you'll want to see more.

(TNT ordered just six episodes for Season 1, which isn't all that surprising given the obvious big bucks that went into this production. TNT is airing the six episodes in two-hour blocks on three successive Wednesdays.)

Here's hoping the ratings are good enough to warrant a longer second season. "Mob City" has the makings of a very good TV series.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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