Comedy/Drama Series: ‘Murders at BarLume’

John Thomas

“Italians traditionally enjoy cappuccinos only in the morning.” Massimo Viviani (Filippo Timi) is trying to explain to a young Asian couple one afternoon at his BarLume in Pineta, Italy. Actually the couple want two cappuccinos – that’s the only Italian they know. They are eventually served something similar. Cashing in a winning lottery ticket, Massimo was able to fulfill his dream of opening his own traditional Italian bar – i.e. no cappuccinos served after noon.

Among Massimo’s other customers are his retired uncle, Ampelio (Ludovico Fiorentini) and the later’s three pensioned buddies. The four seniors come to the bar for card games, drinks, camaraderie and gossip. The hot news item of the day is the automobile accident that happened earlier, sending the driver and her son to the hospital. The woman is a well-liked journalist in town – once married to a wealthy older man. News updates mention that despite heroic efforts on the part of the hospital staff, the son did not survive.

Over a card game and beers, the four pals decide there is something amiss regarding the crash. They decide to take it upon themselves to investigate. Massimo has no luck discouraging them. Attending the boy’s funeral, they notice, from a memorial photo, the boy’s striking resemblance to a local politician soon to be running for office. Could the politician have been the boy’s biological father and blackmailed by the journalist? They feel there’s a connection between the two adults.

Days later the journalist also succumbs. At her funeral, the four begin to expand their list of suspects for the perpetrator of the two untimely deaths. Further investigation of her death by the hospital staff disclose that she did not die as a result of the crash but by an air bubble injected into her veins. Now the death is murder and the police are called in – Commisario Vittoria Fusco’s (Lucia Mascino) first step is to stop the four pals from meddling in her investigation. She has no luck.

With the journalist being a wealthy heiress from her first marriage, the four decide that the late husband’s family might benefit from her death. There are also her blood relatives who are likely mentioned in her will – more investigating is needed. One of the attending physicians is found dead by his own hand. Was he complicit in her death the four speculate? But the main question is, who had access to her room at the hospital? One least likely suspect, with access, is her brother, the local priest.

Created by Marco Malvaldi, “Murders at BarLume” is an 18-episode Italian comedy/drama series and is a “see” for light, cheerful entertainment set in a charming beach-side community. The various criminals are all brought to justice, each in a different way.

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