TV Review: 'Silver Spoon' Season 1

If you have watched more than one crime procedural, then you know the concept can grow stale rather quickly. The key to one succeeding is for it to have an outrageously engaging hook that combines a clever overarching premise with a captivating central character. “Silver Spoon” (originally titled, “Mazhor”) delivers all of these features in sterling fashion.

Set in modern-day Russia, Igor (Pavel Priluchnyy) is the playboy son of a wealthy business tycoon. When he, his friend and the police are involved in a nasty incident that leaves one of the officers without his service weapon, Igor's fed-up father works out a deal. Igor will put his law degree to use by working with the police force for an entire year, or he will be cut off financially.

Opting for the former, Igor has to try to get along with the guys he got into fisticuffs with as they work together to solve crimes, alongside their introspective captain. Suffice it to say, none of Igor’s new co-workers are his biggest fans, so doing this proves easier said than done.

The Winning Ticket

With colleagues that hate him, Igor is in for a rough ride. A wealthy guy, who is used to winning people over with his money and charm, Igor finds that neither does him any favors with his fellow policemen. While they have a hard time buying what he’s selling, viewers should find themselves far more receptive.

The way in which Igor rapidly finds his way to such affection is a crucial asset to the series. Without actor Pavel Priluchnyy’s charismatic and vivid performance, a character as bold as Igor would not transcend the page. Priluchnyy's dimensional take assures there is no story, be it intensely dramatic or comic in nature, that is off limits to "Silver Spoon," and it is this freedom that gives the series a refined sense of giddy abandon.

Going for Gold

As Season 1 progresses, the story shifts from its crime-of-the-week formula to include the mystery surrounding the death of Igor’s mother, and the subsequent investigation that takes him down a myriad of rabbit holes. “Silver Spoon” could coast on its procedural elements, but it is this risky evolution that sends the story surging.

[Image by Britt Lawrence]

As Igor’s life begins taking unexpected twists and turns, it is easy to remain riveted. Even in its first season, “Silver Spoon” demonstrates an innate sense of self with a decisive direction that takes most series no less than two seasons to develop.

It knows that Igor is the star of the show and it lets him shine front and center, while also allowing its affable supporting characters, ample time to bask in the ensuing rays.

This is possible because Igor plays off of every character brilliantly; whether it is his overly-aggressive colleague Dania (Denis Shvedov), the sweet and relatable Zhenia (Alexandr Oblasov), or the comically frustrated Lieutenant Colonel (Dmitry Shevchenko), his relationship with all of them works.

The Romance

Add to all of these buddy dynamics, Vika (Karina Razumovskaya), the woman in charge of three polar-opposite men and you have a recipe for further greatness. Igor has never met a woman quite like her, and TV hasn’t quite experienced one like her, either. Vika is fierce and contemplative, yet compassionate and emotionally present.

The romantic tension between her and Igor is abundantly evident, and their relationship grows at a thoughtful pace that allows the duo's larger than life connection to feel genuine and rooted in something profoundly deep-seated, instead of shallow.

Will-they-won’t-they couples are always a gamble for any series and for “Silver Spoon” the formula provides a golden payoff. Vika and Igor’s differing energies complement one another, vesting the show with a synergy that drives numerous storylines, without ever feeling forced.
This is thanks in large part to Priluchnyy and Razumovskaya's remarkable screen chemistry, which makes every moment between the characters, authentically awe-worthy. You cannot have a well-rounded series without a central romance and “Silver Spoon” more than delivers on this front and beyond.

Final Thoughts

“Silver Spoon” takes a refreshing concept and runs with it. Armed with a terrific cast, whose chemistry is abundantly apparent, it masterfully maneuvers several intriguing and concisely constructed characters.

All the while, creatively ending every episode with a nail-biting and organically cultivated cliffhanger that ensures you will beat Netflix’s “next episode” prompt to start the following installment. Thankfully, Netflix already has Season 2 ready to stream. “Silver Spoon” Season 1 contains a generous spoonful of spot-on comedy, action, adventure, romance, and drama and it strikes it rich.

Rating: 10/10

Seasons 1 and 2 of "Silver Spoon" are currently streaming on Netflix. Want to see what's in store for "Silver Spoon" in Season 3? Click here.

[Image by Sreda/Background by Britt Lawrence]