Gomorrah, the Italian mafia series that proved to be a huge hit for Sky Italia, premiered in the U.K. on Monday with a view to rolling out ‘Sky Europe’ following a deal with Fox. And the initial reactions are positive.

GomorrahGomorroah season 1 (Sky Atlantic)

When Sky Atlantic hit the U.K, the aim was to bring HBO-quality television to Europe, that is to say Sky Atlantic aired many HBO shows in Europe. But now original programing is starting to comprise a large part of the project, with shows like Gomorrah – a TV version of Matteo Garrone’s critically acclaimed 2008 movie – expanding Sky Europe’s push for high quality content. 

And, according to the critics, that content is of the highest quality. “You don’t see much of Naples but you do see a lot of dying – via arson, drive-by bombings, shootouts and what have you,” wrote Jasper Rees of The Telegraph. “So far there’s no sign of the famous bay, just shakycam visits to sleazy backstreets, no-hope tenements and luxury apartments luridly furnished with ill-gotten gains. Vesuvius, star of the postcards, was the wintry backdrop to a rooftop convocation of killers.”

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Commenting on the show’s gloomy aesthetic, Bim Adewunmi of The Guardian said: “The colour palette of the show is dark, full of inky greens, blues and blacks, and bright, shocking ambers. There are a further 11 episodes to go, but it's not too much to assume that the narrative structure will follow this palette. That's the thing with cliches: they're pleasingly reliable. The interesting thing will be the journey.”

Gomorroah season 1 (Sky Atlantic)

And finally, Ellen E Jones of The Independent wrote: “Those familiar with the Italian-American take on the gangster genre might find the novelty of gritty realism is reason enough to stay tuned. In Gomorrah, even the don's gaudy mansion is overlooked by a concrete housing blocks, while the sharp suits have been replaced by stained vests and crumpled tracksuits. It's more Rab C Nesbitt than Tony Soprano.”

Ep 2 of Gomorrah hits Sky Atlantic HD on Mon 11 Aug, 9:00pm