"When a liar gets caught in a lie, they don't come clean. They build a bigger lie."
This line comes from Marius Josipovic/Pete Murphy, portrayed by Giovanni Ribisi ("Boiler Room"), in Amazon's newly released original series "Sneaky Pete."
"Sneaky Pete" was brought to life by Bryan Cranston, Graham Yost ("Justified") and David Shore. The opening theme song by The Bright Light Social Hour that's guaranteed to be stuck in your head, is just one of the many ways this show brings about an infectious quality that will make viewers want to keep watching.
Over the course of 10 episodes, "Sneaky Pete" shows viewers a nicely paced timeline of life for con artist Marius Josipovic after he's released from prison and assumes the identity of his cellmate, Pete Murphy. Upon being released from prison, Marius goes to a bar where he performs several "short" cons quickly and seamlessly.
This goes on throughout the season, and what makes it so intriguing to watch is that the victims are so trusting, and the con artist is so skilled. Marius then travels to Connecticut to stay with Pete's grandparents, who conveniently haven't seen him in 20 years. He attempts to shy away from his past life that includes a $100,000 debt owed to ex-cop-turned-gangster Vince, portrayed by Cranston, ("Breaking Bad"), who just happens to be holding Marius' brother hostage.
By the end of the first episode, Marius realizes the debt owed to Vince can't be ignored, as his brother's welfare is on the line. This is Cranston's first return to a television series in three years as a villain, not because his character has to be, but wants to be.
Marius is able to weasel his way easily into Murphy's family by recalling stories from Pete's childhood and using his con artist ways to create lies he can build on. Between keeping his real identity under wraps, forging a genuine, feeling connection with Pete's family and figuring out a way to steal $100,000, an unexpected con gets in the way.
With a cast that includes "Justified" alum Jacob Pitts, Margo Martindale, Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Ben Vereen, and a season finale twist that'll have viewers wishing the best for Marius, "Sneaky Pete" is surely a hit.