New York, USA, 2016 – Earlier this year, cousins Rocco Gioia and Phil LoCastro brought out the first episode of a new independent mafia-based web series entitled Take It Back. The story took place in New York, and saw LoCastro in the role of Mike, a reluctant criminal who became involved in illegal activity in order to finance his ill daughter’s cancer drugs. He found himself unable to afford them with the salary from his union job and turned to his cousin Gino, a member of the Bonetelli crime family (played by Gioia), for help.
This was no average web series episode; it featured cast members who had been in classic movies and series like Scarface, A Bronx Tale, The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire. One of the leads, Nicholas Calhoun, was also a nominee for a Screen Actors Guild Award. Episode 1 of Take It Back was a step up from the typical web series, and had an extremely positive response, with viewers giving a unanimously positive review.
Due to popular demand, Episode 2 is currently being financed via the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The premier episode saw rival mobster Johnny Sonatto causing crime boss Lorenzo Bonetelli to lose territory, money, and respect. In Episode 2, we start to see Lorenzo and his associates launch a bid to ‘Take It Back’. This series will appeal to fans of action-packed, plot-heavy crime flicks. It also deals with relatable issues such as relationship troubles, desperation, and family feuds, revealing the human side of mob members rather than treating them as two-dimensional villains.
Web series are often perceived as being amateur productions, with flimsy plots and lower standards than their TV equivalents. Take It Back seeks to break the mould. Featuring established actors, slick production, and an immersive, engaging storyline, it is easily able to compete with the top television shows. Gioia and LoCastro have high hopes for the series, and aim to eventually bring it to a larger platform that can transport it to a wider audience. They are hoping that Season 1 will be the first of many. Their ambitions are reflected in the quality of their work, and Take It Back seems destined for great things.