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Mad Dogs US - S01E03

Crime . Drama . Comedy

When a group of underachieving 40-something friends gather in Belize to celebrate the early retirement of an old friend, a series of wild, comedic events unfold, exposing dark secrets and a web of lies, deception and murder. Starring Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Billy Zane (Twin Peaks), Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club), Romany Malco (Weeds) and Ben Chaplin. Written by Cris Cole, directed by Charles McDougall, and executive produced by Shawn Ryan (The Shield).

Episode Title: Well
Airs: 2016-01-22 at 12:00 AM
  • Alan Sepinwall

    The repetitive nature of the guys' dilemma--it's essentially "Gilligan's Island" as serialized cable drama--becomes even harder to ignore when watched all in a row.... Yet for all this, it's never boring. The four leads have terrific chemistry, and play the roles with energy that belie their characters' suburban complacency. And the show continually throws interesting guest actors at them.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Vicki Hyman

    [Mad Dogs] is perfect escapist fare--by turns funny, frank, and frightening, with terrific, color-saturated cinematography and a central foursome whose long history feels immediately palpable.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    It moves along at a thriller’s pace, as the men’s troubles accumulate, and there are a lot of satisfying plot turns, blackly comic moments, and guest appearances along the way.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    Ryan’s writing, collaborating with Cris Cole, is typically razor-sharp, but the real draw here is the cast, all of whom find ways to stand out in a show that’s very plot-driven. Neither do they blend together into one character nor feel like they’re trying too hard when they get their chance in the spotlight. And that subtle dynamic is really why the show work. Full Review
  • Sam Woolf

    It’s easy to think of Mad Dogs as of a piece with the blackly comic first seasons of Breaking Bad and Fargo, just with 9,000 square miles of tropical jungle on display instead of the Albuquerque desert or Minnesota ice. ... While Mad Dogs doesn’t quite have the precision plotting or bravado of the above-mentioned shows, what helps separate it from the pack is its willingness to be the first to laugh at its characters.

    We Got This Covered Full Review
  • Todd VanDerWerff

    Mad Dogs, in other words, is trying something that's really complicated and ambitious and failing as often as it's succeeding. But in my book, you get at least a few points for effort. It might not be great television, but at least it's not content to do the same thing everybody else is. Full Review
  • Jonathan Dornbush

    Pacing issues abound, and the treatment of native Belizeans, particularly the women, can feel jarring. Yet the gorgeous landscapes, strong central performances and twists could make Dogs worth a binge. [22 Jan 2016, p.66]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Heidi Patalano

    It’s frustrating to watch these four men fumble every opportunity to straighten out the mess they descend ever deeper into.... But it’s worth giving Mad Dogs a chance to prove itself to the end of season one. If the action ramps up and the bickering dies down, these dogs could have a few more miles in them.

    The Wrap Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    The tropical backdrop looks great--it’s like watching an episode of Survivor with a bunch of hyped-up macho actors (in other words, exactly like an episode of Survivor, minus Jeff Probst). But you have to put up with a lot of macho bluster and silliness, with dialogue that sometimes shades over into Three Stooges territory. (“Why were you running?” “I was running because you were running!”) If your tolerance for tough-guy bravado with flashes of violence is high, you might enjoy running with these mad dogs.

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    It’s a familiar theme, but thrillingly executed in the early going.... Like many streaming series, though, it seems to be marking time in the middle (Amazon previewed six of 10 episodes for critics), as the characters try to escape Belize and the plot tosses them among so many frying pans and fires that the whole thing threatens to overcook.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    It doesn’t really work out well enough as a concoction, unfortunately, as characters continuously choose one bad option after another, further complicating their already troubling situation and thus creating more pandemonium.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    Six of 10 episodes were made available for review; and over their course the truth-telling gets a little repetitious, a little annoying, a little dull; there are only so many bandages you can rip off to reveal other bandages you can rip off to get down to the skin you can peel back to get down to the bone.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    After that relatively engrossing first episode, however, things quickly becomes repetitive, and despite the actors’ game investment in the material, it’s difficult to care much about a group of middle-aged men who constantly snipe at each other and do a fine job of getting themselves in deeper trouble every time they try to dig themselves out of a bad situation.

    Variety Full Review
  • Dennis Perkins

    Mad Dogs does [stall], frequently and interminably, as the quartet repeatedly makes groaningly dumb choices between boggy respites where they can grouse both about each other and their mundane disappointments.

    The A.V. Club Full Review