The Black Donnellys

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Monday 10:00 PM Feb 26, 2007 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (43)

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out of 10
502 votes
  • Amazing episode!

    The pilot was the best pilot that I have ever seen. At first I wasn't sure if I was going to watch the show. But, now I'm glad I did. There's so much action, so much drama. That's what I loved about this episode. As soon as it started I was hooked. One thing that I love about this show is the relationship between the brothers. They may not get along all the time, but the have a great relationship. And will do anything for the other. One storyline that I can't wait to see is the relationship between Tommy and Jenny. Overall, an amazing episode!! I loved every minute of it.
  • Very creative

    This has got to be the best show that nobody talks about. This episode does a good job of introducing the characters. This opens up a good story line for an Irish version of the godfather. This episode has a few surprising parts. The show is also narrated by Keith Nobbs. He throws in alot of unexpected comedy. This one does a good job of throwing all the characters out there. They make a big mess and spend the next several episodes cleaning it up. This is another Pilot that really hooks you into the show. I havnt been able to stop watching since i saw this episode.
  • One of the best shows of this season could only start with one of the best episodes I´ve seen on tv for a long time.

    One of the best shows of this season could only start with one of the best episodes I´ve seen on tv for a long time. I don´t get tired of talking about how much the writting and the setting impressed me, I got hooked right from the begining. The best way to start one of my all time favorite shows.
  • lots of details for the first episode.

    to my excpetional belifes i thin this is my favorite out of all of them, bcasue it goes threw everyones life and how they came to be and that they all ways where crimanals. it shows how jummy got his limp, when jenny first started liking tommy, how sean was the youngest and most good looking, and how kevin was suposidly lucky, and how tommy was the leader of all of them. this show includes almost the rest of the series will be like. they show all kinds of things that will happen in future episodes, like the body in there basement and how that leads to so much inconvienence for everyone.
  • what an AMAZING episode!! i literally was pouring tears by the end, and I only do that on Gray's Anatomy. Never on a pilot episode. I can't wait for more!

    This first episode did a great job at laying the groundwork for a what can definitely be a JUICY season. It also introduced the characters in a way that even in that short 40-45 minutes of an episode, makes you develop a bond with each brother. The depth of this show is quite surprising (not to mention the violence) for what is to be expected of a show on NBC, which makes me want to give kudos to the network for taking it on. I could see it more on FX, but I applaud NBC for actually throwing a good show into the mix. The brother who narrarates, Nicky, talks a little fast, and the cinemetography and move kind quickly to (a la Guy Ritchie movies), but once you get a grasp on who everyone is, it's smooth sailing. I'm really excited to see what this season holds!
  • great first episode!

    tommy is so hot!!!:P
    why i have to write 100 words for a rewiev?!?!
    great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie great serie ciao a tutti!:D
  • great pilot!

    This pilot had everything a pilot episode to get the people that first watch it hooked. It introduces the audience to how the charcters will act throughout the show. It tells how the characters were before the series begins to take place (thanks to the naratar, "Joey Ice Cream").

    It is such an action packed episode. Three of the brothers kidnap a guy, one of the brother's are beaten to a bloody pulp, and two of the brothers go off and kill the leader of the Irish mob, the leader of the Italian mob, and some of their lackys. And with the narratar's crazy story telling it even made you laugh.

    If all the other episodes are even close to this one I will definitely still tuned. And if you're interested on starting to watch a new series you should definitely watch this pilot episode!
  • Good pilot, can't wait for more!

    So, I just watched the pilot episode of The Black Donnellys last night and I really liked it. It's somehow different than any other show I've ever watched and I liked how they did the narrating thing by Joey Ice Cream in this episode. I hope they'll be doing more of that.
    I also really like the music on this show: nice songs and a lot of Irish rhythms, l o v e it!
    I think these characters have a lot more coming and I really can't wait for the next episode which I'll try to get my hands on right away!
  • The black Irish have messed up and someone has to make it right. They have to take it to the Italians and the Irish that made a deal with them.

    I love how there is a lot going on. It is better than watching CSI or some other show where you know what is going to happen all the time. This show keeps you on your feet. There is no way that people should hate this show. The way haggis films this is brilliant. He is a great director and will do more great things than what he has done so far. The story being told through a narrator and the cops hasseling the situation and events is purely genious. I love it and I hope they release this series on DVD.
  • Donnelly brothers get themselves into trouble, and then have to rely on each other to get back out of it.

    I did not expect to like this show. Heck, I'm not even Irish. But I was hooked by the first commercial break. Complex characters, a Machiavellian plot line, and just enough humor and twists to keep me guessing. This show makes me think. And I like shows that make me think. My one concern at this point is the show's potential to become formulaic - every week, the Donnelly brothers get into trouble, and Tommy sacrifices something he cares about to get them back out of it. But hey - at least I'm interested enough to stick around and find out.
  • I don't understand why the ratings for this pilot episode were so low!!!

    This is definately a series i will watch from begining to end. Those four brothers just don't know how to stay out of trouble. I feel so bad for Tommy because he feels like he always has to "save" his brothers. The end of this episode totally threw me a curve ball. I didn't think he'd have the balls to go in that resturant with that knife and kill the two biggest mob bosses in that area. If that is how this series is gonna start, then I cannot wait to see what happens next. It seems like everything has snowballed from Kevin owing money to like six or seven men getting killied in one episode. Gotta love it !!!
  • I don't like this series

    I don't like this series and I have no idea who's writing all these rave reviews. All you have to do is look at the ratings. It follows a No. 2 and No. 1 show, and this show comes in 13th (for a pilot no less!). This is getting the same bogus hype their predessor, Studio 60, received and look where it's at today.

    I don't buy into any of these characters, they're lacking charisma and credibility, and the plot is over-the-top stupid.

    There is no real sense of danger or intrigue as in The Sopranos. They come across as too-young actors going through the motions. That's the main problem with this series. Who takes it seriously that a bunch of punks are running around killing mafia chieftains?

    The pacing is horrible. The viewer never gets the real feel of what's going on. The guys act too smart-alec. They're not witty or interesting or possess any personal charm. And especially the way NBC shoves the excessively long promotions down your throat. So far the series sucks!
  • The story is being told of 4 brothers!

    Four brothers are caught in sort of a family fued. But when one of the brothers Jimmy tries to help another one of the brothers he get in huge trouble and Tommy tries to help them all. Tommy is the one who tries to help everyone of the brothers and the others just get themselves into trouble. But when one of the brothers Sean gets beat up and really hurt. Tommy takes a big step in a direction he did not want to take. He calls the police on Jimmy who is causing the trouble and is doing drugs. While, Kevin and Tommy go and kill all the people who could hurt there family. This is how the story begins.
  • Four brothers get caught up in events, some of their own making, and are forced to make a decision - do what is right or support their family.

    I enjoyed the pilot of this show. I like how it is being narrated by a "friend of the family," and not by one of the Donnelly brothers themselves - it's a nice idea. I also am liking the characters of the brothers, themselves. They seem like real people - screwed up and continuously in trouble, but real.

    It was a bit on the confusing side - with all four brothers introduced at once, I had a hard time keeping names and characters straight. I also thought that events seemed too happen to quickly, get too out of seemed a bit unrealistic. But I haven't watched the Sopranos, so maybe mob stuff *does* happen just like this...

    Overall, a pretty strong pilot episode. I'm looking forward to see where the show goes from here.
  • Pilot episode of what promises to be a great series. This episode details the events leading up to Tommy Donnelly becoming boss of his neighborhood.

    This episode was everything TV should be. It included wicked humor, action, and great emotion. The show has a bit of a Sopranos feel, but it feels like it would be suitable for a younger audience than The Sopranos. The characters are in their early twenties and are easier for a younger generation of viewers to identify with. I liked the fact that the show is about the Irish mob. This is partly due to the fact that I myself am Irish...and also because every other mob movie or TV show ever has featured the Italian mob as the main characters. The directorial quality of the show was excellent from a television standpoint. There was nothing really innovative done from in the direction of the show, but I have seen a lot worse. This episode did a great job of doing everything that a pilot should. It established the important relationships between characters, it caught my attention and did not let it go until the show ended, and it was wll written and well paced. The sequence in which Tommy goes to kill Sal Manetta is superb! They picked a great song to run during the sequence, it fit perfectly. I could continue raving about this episode for another thousand words...but I won't. If you missed it, check the NBC website before next Monday to see it.
  • 4 Brothers, all love each other very dearly. The bound they have. They fight together, cry together, help each other. They Also get into trouble together and kill Together to take over the community as the dons of the town. Great start stay tuned. ......

    This so was somethign i was looking forward to abotu Family and how they get along and what they go through together. This show did start off slow the episode of course started with teh introduction bit of each character and how they are all related. This episode eventually opened up and became what i was waiting for, the love the threats the fun the bound. Great start and Better end to the episode. I cant wait till th next one which will be airing on march 5/2007 this should be better than the first episde as teh series officailly begins.
  • Unexpected turns of event!!!

    I'm glad I watched all this episode, because at first I thought that it was going to be one of those comedy-drama shows...The main characters are 4 Irish brothers: Jimmy, Sean,Tommy and Kevin...It all starts when Jimmy steals a truck in order to help his brother Kevin with his debts...Unfortunately for them the truckload is gone before they can sell it...So they kidnap the guy whom Kevin owes the money...Later they discover that he is the nephew of an Italian mob boss...After Sean takes a beating from the Italians and Jimmy's fate seems to be decided, Tommy goes and kills the Italian boss, and turns Jimmy in to the police in order to save him from the revenge of the enemies...But this episode marks the changing of Tommy and Jimmy...We are revealed that Jimmy is going to become a better person, while Tommy will change for the worse.
  • This pilot combined my favorite elements of The Boondock Saints, The Godfather, and Good Will Hunting. Truly excellent on every level. It's the kind of show you'd expect to see on FX, or one of the premium cable networks

    I'm a bit embarrased that I wasn't the least bit interested in this excellent show, even after the recent NBC marketing blitz. I was however lucky and lazy enough to want to kill an hour between 24/Heros ending and The Daily Show starting. As I said in the summary, The Black Donnellys pilot was both movie quality, and incorporated the qualities of three of my favorite movies. Without giving too much (anything, don‘t worry) away the four Donnelly brother’s past, present, and potential future growing up, living, fighting, and surviving square in the middle of an Irish/Italian turf war over a rough neighborhood is compelling to say the least. If it’s done right, it has the most dramatic potential of anything I’ve seen on TV recently, and that’s saying something with shows like Dexter and The Shield floating around. The timeless themes of brotherhood, loyalty, guilt, and hopelessly yearning for something better, among others were capably handled by the cast. Critical as I am, I can’t even make an acting gripe (that wouldn’t give anything away, I’ve got a single tiny one). Using the, occasionally inaccurate, interrogation of Joey ‘Ice Cream’ as a framing device is effective, entertaining, keeps things moving along at a brisk clip, and adds some great, light, comic relief to what is otherwise, though not humorless, a very dark story. So, if you missed it, but it sounds good, you can catch up at I just hope that the subsequent episodes can maintain the high standards set by the pilot.
  • Lovin' It!

    That’s What I Call A Good Pilot! No, Not Good .. Amazing! I Loved It. It Had An Excellent Introduction On The Characters And The Story. The First Sentence Of The Pilot Was "So, Where Are The Bodies?", You Can Hear It Even Before You Can See Who Said It, And Who He Said It To. I Like That, I Mean It Also Triggers Questions To Your Head, Like What Bodies? Who's Bodies? And Who Killed Them? And Then You Can See A Nervous Guy In An Orange Suit Telling The Cops About The Story Of The Donnelly Brothers. He Says How Close They Were To One Another, And That They Were Always There For Each Other. The City They Live In Is Run By An Irish Man, And The Italians Wanted It, So You Can See That There Was Conflict Between Them In The Past. Irish vs. Italians. The Donnellys (Irish) Steal An Italian Man (The Nephew Of A Mobster) As Ransom (they needed money). Badda Boom, Badda Bing! One Of The Donnelly Brothers (The "Baby Brother") Gets Badly Beaten Up, The Nephew Gets Shot in The Head, And A Couple Of Italians Die (including the mobster and the irish man who ran the city). As For The Bodies, The Donnellys Left Them Where Right Where They Lay. But Wait "Those Aren't The Bodies We [the cops] Were Asking About!", "Oh."
  • Very promising start

    I found the first episode of this series very promising. The story telling reminds me a little of Goodfellas. I love how Joey "Ice Cream" tries to exaggerate and get away with a lie. It's a great touch. The Donnelly brothers seem to be an interesting bunch and the surroundings they live in will hopefully be entertaining to explore. The bound of brotherhood will surely be tested under this "street" environment. I'm a sucker for anything to do with gangsters so I'm immediately hooked on this series. From the first episode, I'm cheering Tommy and Jenny to get together, Jimmy to calm down, Sean to get better, to learn more about Kevin and for Joey to keep talking.

    Hope this promising start does not disappoint!
  • It's the Irish vs. the Italians in an all-out war. Who wins?

    Hm. Hard to know what to say about this pilot episode.

    For most of this episode, I found the plot and characters interesting enough, but honestly I didn't think it was anything all that spectacular. We definitely see this kind of stuff in movies all the time - one brother is the "bad seed," who finds himself entrenched in crime and less-than-honest dealins, and another is the "good seed," who is on the straight track, going to school or working at a nice job or what have you, trying his best to take care of the "bad seed" and keep him out of trouble.

    Interesting, but not overly innovative.

    What caught my interest is the last third or so of the episode. The "bad seed" is taken out of the picture, presumably to get cleaned up, and the "good seed" embraces the life he was trying to get away from. A nice little twist.

    It's still probably not overly original, but I haven't seen too much like it in the past. I'll stick around for a few episodes and see where I stand...
  • Character Development

    I was impressed that a full half hour went by - without commercials. For the first time in a long while, it felt like I was watching a movie, not commercials interrupted by a show.

    The show itself was okay. I enjoyed the tug between good and evil within Tommy, the past reveals and the narrative style, but I'm wondering what is going to make this show special. My interest will strongly depend on how the characters develop over the next few episodes as well as the plot devices. So far, it seems like they're following a "buddy" formula, similar to that used in Entourage.
  • An in-at-the-deep-end introduction into the world of the Irish immigrant family in downtown New York.

    Although somewhat stereotypical, this new series is almost a deeper insight into the similar worldview dealt with in The Departed i.e. the daily lives of an Irish Mob Family. We've had the Sopranos doing it for the Italians, now we've got the Donnellys doing their Irish ancestry proud. Not the greatest of episodes in terms of action, but in terms of an introduction to characters and setting the scene the pilot was satisfactory, dumping us in at the deep end right in the middle of the action. A nice ending to the first episode was rounded off with some good narrative work, giving us only a taster of what's to come in the rest of series... I can't wait!
  • A Can't Miss! The Best of the Year! Didn't NBC say those same things about "Studio 60" in the fall?

    So I'm not really sure how I feel about this show in its first outing. My first thought was "Evil! They Replaced Studio Sixty!" so I wasn't going to watch it. But I watched it despite this fact. then I couldn't keep all the charaters straight. Thre were just too may. I couldn't remember which Donnelly brother as which, and I couldn't keep track of all the other mob-like guys in the neighborhood (many who end up dead at the end so it doesn't really matter). And then the whole narration kind of bugged me. What does Joey "Ice Cream" have to do with all this? Why is he in jail? And is it going to be like this every week? Becasue that could get really annoting.
    So the jury is still out. But I think I may be sucked into watching this just because I want to see if it gets better.

    Plus I love that NBC is touting this a a "can't miss" and "the best of the year." Isn't that the same thing they said about "Studio 60"?
  • Great potential, but a lesser-than-great start.

    I have mixed feelings about this show. I thought that the story has great potential, but the pilot, I felt, wasn't strong enough, and here are my reasons for feeling this way.

    I thought that for the first episode, some of the characters where underdeveloped. Two of the brothers, whose names I can't recall, had barely any lines and did nearly nothing through the entire show until the end. I think that Tommy's childhood friend, whose name I also forgot (yeah...) was interesting but I didn't know enough about her to care where her relationship with Tommy will go. For the entire show I wasn't worried that (minor spoiler) Jimmy would get killed, I was wondering instead if the creators would lose track of the show's "family above all" tag in the first episode. In fact, I didn't care if anybody had died in the show - except for Tommy, because he's very dynamic through the show.

    The ending was very climatic and it did have a wicked twist, but I thought that the song for that part of the episode could have been a lot better, but that's just my taste and people will disagree with that. The show's style also left me with questions. In the beginning the pace is really fast and very cool, ala Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and then, suddenly, it loses all of that cool and its pace slows. I think that this can be justified by saying that at the beginning the narrator was trying to give a brief account of the brothers' pasts in an event that ties in with the end of the pilot, but at the time the viewer isn't trying to justify. I definitely hope that the characters are developed more strongly in the future. Tommy is fine, and I think that this episode was more of a Tommy/Jimmy episode, and that later we'll see the two brothers but even if that is so, a pilot - the very first episode - should concentrate on character establishment, giving us a reason to care. If they could not do that in one hour, make the pilot two hours, or plot the show differently. Even with all of that said, however, I'm going to rate the show on its potential to patch up the misses in the pilot episode.
  • Nicely-woven drama with a comic streak set in New York City. Sort of a "Sopranos" cum "Goodfellas" for the latter part of the decade. Best cinematography I've seen in while.

    Told through the eyes of one of their life-long best friends, Joey Ice Cream (deftly played by Keith Nobbs), this is a fast-moving (and wonderfully shot) drama about four young (all under 30) tightly-knit Irish brothers who operate on both sides of the law. Mostly on the other side. With ties to the Irish mob and very tenuous alliances with "the Italians" with whom they play fast and loose, these proud boys walk a fine line between heaven and dead.

    Having wrought savage vengeance on one of "the Italians" for the death of their father, one of the Donnelly brothers is critically wounded and another is destined for assassination. To avert further calamity to the family, one brother is voluntarily arrested for protection and the other unexpectedly becomes the king of crime in his neighborhood.

    This show proves just how strong family ties can be. And I'm very glad that Joey Ice Cream is telling the story, 'cause this boy, …just has a way with words. With a first-rate cast that includes Kirk Acevedo, Johnny Tucker, Thomas Guiry, Olivia Wilde, and Billy Lush, we are taken on a ride that just doesn't quit. Based on the pilot I watched, this show is going to be a certain hit for NBC.
  • Jimmy's plan to help Kevin out of gambling debt backfires, forcing the two to kidnap local mob boss Sal Minnetta's nephew Louie. When Sal's right-hand-man Nicky Cottero decides to take the matters into his own hands, it's up to Tommy to set things right.

    I thought that for a pilot episode it was very well put together . . . It gives you enough background information to let you know what is going on, but does not drag on so that you lose interest. It was also nice to see the different personalities of each of the brothers . . . Not just your typical mobsters. Also, I love the fact that these boys are IRISH (NOT ITALIEN)!!! Not to mention the love story that is right under the surface . . . I am sure it will lead to some interesting conflict to go along with keeping the neighborhood under control. I cannot wait to see more!
  • Wow! What a way to start a pilot. I loved the first 30 minutes without commercial breaks. I thought it helped pull you further into the story.

    I loved the character development, loved the story line, and loved the over all atmosphere of the episode. I also liked that the story was being told from another characters point of view, Joey Ice Cream, from some time in the future as he sits being questioned by the police. It sets the tone right there, that there is more to this story, more to come. I’m very much looking forward to finding out where this story goes from here.
  • Absolutly amazing!!! I just hope that NBC, and the viewers, are willing to give this gem a chance. I can't wait until next week. This is one show nobody should miss!

    Absolutly amazing!!! I just hope that NBC, and the viewers, are willing to give this gem a chance. I can't wait until next week. This is one show nobody should miss! The characters are compelling and the writing is exquisite. The acting is also good. It is insanely interesting and the excitement keeps building throughout the episode. A lot of thought and effort went into this series and episode and I would hate to see it fail without viewers even giving it a chance. The music score also goes alsong perfectly. This heart- wrenching series is one that everyone should be lucky enough to see, please support this amazing series before it is too late. Hopefully NBC will hang on to this one!
  • WOW! What a great way to start a show.

    I really enjoyed the character developement. The writers did a great job in taking the time to tell a story. I hope the writing continues to be as intriguing. I also like the actors they are believable. The storyline between the diner owner (Jenny) and Tommy is very exciting. She really spoke her heart to him yet he did not respond to her. We as an audience know he is in love with her but it leaves a great opening for drama. Jim, Jim, Jim will be quite the character stong head but interesting. Kevin seems to be Tommy's right hand man, his also very quiet and very dangerous. Sean is definitely the playboy. Great show I am looking foward to next week.
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