With all of the streaming networks creating original content and all of the networks steadily releasing content, it can be extremely difficult to watch everything. Even more than that: it can be extremely hard to even hear about everything. Things often fall through the cracks and then when you find them randomly, you wonder how, in fact, you missed them in the first place. Such was the case with Hulu's The Ignorant Angels.
An Italian series (if you watch it on Hulu under the name Le Fate Ignoranti, you can view it in Italian with English subtitles,) the show is on its face one about loss and grieving. Massimo (Luca Argentero,) a handsome married man of 15 years, dies in a motorcycle accident. He leaves behind his wife Antonia (Cristiana Capotondi), his secret lover and boyfriend Michele (Eduardo Scarpetta), and the chosen family that Michele built and welcomed him into. The resulting series is one of loss and grieving, yes, but it's also about family, sexuality, relationships, and, more importantly, the fluidity of it all.
Make no mistake: The Ignorant Angels is not necessarily some revelation in screenwriting. I don't necessarily find it disruptive, historic, or even boundary-pushing to be frank — maybe it was when the original movie came out in 2001, but not so much for the series which came out earlier this year. But, then again good television doesn't have to be. I would venture to say that most aren't. The Ignorant Angels provides a cast of imperfect characters living imperfect lives finding their joys where they can. The result is charming, loveable even, and they provide scenes and small comments that you could extrapolate into your own life.
Through Michele's chosen family, who often find their way through his always-open front door and onto his patio, we encounter storylines that are familiar. There's the friend who is in love with the other friend that, instead of returning their affection, is otherwise busy chasing after someone unattainable — Sandro (Samuel Garofalo) is one of the cutest permutations of this yet. There's also the couple dealing with infidelity and how that changes them, while another wrestles with the next step of their relationship. There's even a presumed sex kitten, here in the case of Luisella (Paola Minaccioni) she doubles as a sort of token ally who is always going after the wrong guy. It's a full house — never without the blunt and often comical commentary of Valter (Edoardo Siravo), a retiree that lives vicariously through his friends while spinning tales of his wilder days — one where true secrets are few and the care is plentiful.
When we find out that Vera (Lilith Primavera) is trans and fled her home, this isn't the first time we've seen this storyline. It's not the first time a mother could not accept their trans child for who they are. But still, watching it play out, to someone we've fallen in love with as she's laughed, consoled, and even physically defended her family of friends, it's moving. And that's what is addictive about it.
Over eight episodes in its first season, we are invited into the home of this family, sometimes through the eyes of Antonia who finds even herself under the house's seductive gravitational pull. While watching you will find yourself laughing, throwing up your hands at the choices being made, and maybe even shedding a tear or two. In the end, there's a chance you may ask if you're an ignorant angel too.