This is the Polish series on Netflix that I referenced. It is not the slam dunk of “Silk,” then again although it’s got classic genre underpinnings, i.e. woman wants to choose her own life, it’s really quite different.

What we’ve got here is Romani people. In case you missed the memo, these are the people previously called “Gypsies.” A derided group which was decimated by Hitler, the Romani are burdened with negative stereotypes.

So the series begins with an exiled Romani family moving back from the U.K. to Poland. They’re allowing the father back, but he must pay his debt. The parents want to return to the family, in the Romani world it is all about family, but teenage Gita does not want to leave her friends. But the journey is made.

You won’t know exactly what is happening at all times, but it definitely adds up. It’s not that it’s really confusing, but the storylines have to play out for the viewer to understand what is at stake.

Now the twist, what makes “Infamy” interesting to viewers who might be turned off by the premise, is that Gita is a thoroughly modern girl, who aspires to be a successful rapper. This is not TV fantasy, you can relate. That’s one thing about rap, the barrier to entry is low. People all over the world are making beats and rapping on top of them, irrelevant of their ultimate commercial success. It’s akin to the garage bands the baby boomers formed after the Beatles broke.

So what you’ve got here is a contrast between tradition and free-thinking, between yesterday and today. And mixed in is the Romani business, in this case drug-dealing.

And then there are the kids Gita goes to school with. She tells them she is from Brazil, so they don’t judge her negatively as Romani. Kids can be cruel. And there is a dependence on the church, on the priest, in this very Catholic country. Outside the family home everybody is living a modern life, yet they are thousands of miles away from America. But they’ve been influenced by America.

So Gita’s father, Marko, is warm but weak, he wants to satiate Gita, not step on her hopes and dreams, but he is hamstrung by his debt to the family.

As for Gita’s mother…she’s burdened by the fact that Marko rescued her from the poor Romani, and she doesn’t want to go back to a life of little.

And the grandmother has the ultimate say, but as warm as she can be, she is not going to sacrifice her Romani traditions.

And Marko’s brother Stefan runs the family business, with an iron fist.


“Infamy” is somewhat impressionistic. In that the narrative does not plot out perfectly, as in the story does not necessarily go from A to B to C. Or let me just say there are musical interludes.

I found “Infamy” through the “New York Times,” it’s now got an 86 on the audience TomatoMeter, but when I started watching it the series was unrated. Meanwhile, that 86 number is based on only seven reviews.

I thought with the promo in the “Times” and the Netflix imprimatur that “Infamy” would get more traction, but that does not appear to be the case.

I don’t recommend “Infamy” absolutely. I don’t think everybody will watch it and love it. But if you are the kind of person who believes foreign series are usually more authentic than American ones, who wants their horizons expanded, who wants a series they can tell their friends about…watch it.

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