Ice: Season One

| May 18, 2017

I know what you’re thinking.  How can an AT&T original series be anything but amazing?  Or maybe you’re thinking that you didn’t know AT&T made original programming.  I sure didn’t know.  It raises a lot of questions for me in terms of where this airs?  On AT&T DVR boxes exclusively?  Has anyone ever seen this series besides Jeremy Sisto’s mother?

Ice is a series about a family of diamond dealers.  They acquire diamonds through less than savory means, process them, and sell them in their high end jewelry store.  The whole thing has a very mafia feel to it as brothers Jake (Cam Gigandet; Easy A) and Freddy (Jeremy Sisto; Waitress) run the diamond business for their father Isaac (Raymond J. Berry; Training Day) with the help of their uncle Cam (Ray Winstone; The Departed).

Really what got me wanting to check this show out was the attachment of Antoine Fuqua as executive producer.  I tend to really enjoy Fuqua’s work, from Training Day to The Equalizer to The Magnificent Seven.  This show has a lot of great Fuqua tropes as well.  Characters jumping rope with morality, crime, sex, greed, high stakes, and action.  The characters aren’t bad either; Fuqua does a good job of establishing what people want and what their role within this family business is.  I even like the idea that the family stays mostly on the right side of the law until things go south and they’re forced to work for a local crime boss (Donald Southerland; The Hunger Games).  Something was just missing for me, and I think honestly it may be the common other half of Fuqua’s artistic expression: Denzel Washington, who has done all of the aforementioned films with Fuqua and the director really knows how to bring the best out of an already terrific actor.

The themes are maybe a bit obvious being that we’re centering around diamonds, which are tough and the result of huge amounts of pressure over a long period of time.  That is a perfect metaphor for the series and the characters that populate it.  They’re faced with enormous amounts of pressure over time and it’s all a question of how long it will take them to crack.

I also really like the Jeremy Sisto character, even though I found him to be a tad inconsistent throughout.  The series opens with him covered in somebody else’s blood and borderline catatonic.  A later scene sees him playing chess with an unsavory character and keeping his cool.  A later scene sees him perfectly examining a diamond without the use of any machinery and remaining completely cool despite the presence of a couple of dozen guns.  That’s all in one episode, and while I like these individual elements, they feel like different characters.  Perhaps if I finish this entire first season, this chaotic nature Freddy seems to bare to his bones will become even more intriguing and purposeful, but just watching some of the episodes to get a sense for this review, it was more distracting than anything.

Available now on DVD from Entertainment One.

About the Author:

Joe Ketchum Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
Filed in: TV on DVD

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