- 2 Seasons
Raven is a Polish crime thriller series produced by Canal+ Cyfrowy that premiered in 2018 and ran through 2022. The show centers around the titular character, Raven, played by Michal Zurawski, a gifted computer hacker who serves as an informant for the police. Along with his partner, the investigator Aleksander Szarek, played by Tomasz Wlosok, Raven operates in the shadows of the criminal underworld to provide information that could take down high-profile criminals.
The series begins with a dramatic sequence in which Raven's wife is killed in a car explosion, making him turn against the criminal organization he had previously been working with. From here on, the storyline follows his quest for vengeance and justice in the memory of his wife. Despite being the protagonist, Raven is a morally ambiguous character, who sometimes takes drastic measures to achieve his end goal.
The series is set in present-day Warsaw, and the high production value and cinematography set it apart from many other Polish crime dramas. The city serves as a backdrop for the often dark and violent scenes, reflecting the harsh realities of the criminal underworld. However, the series also highlights the beauty of the city, with its grand architecture and cobblestone streets.
Apart from the main storyline, there are several secondary narratives that add depth and complexity to the show. One of these is the complicated relationship between Raven and Szarek. While they work together, the two men come from different worlds and have vastly different personalities. Szarek is a by-the-book detective, while Raven is a maverick who goes outside the law to get results. Their interactions provide some of the show's more lighthearted moments, but also showcase the tension that exists between them.
The series also explores the complex world of Polish politics and corruption. Through the character of the prosecutor Magda Majkowska, played by Katarzyna Wajda, the show delves into how the corrupt influence of organized crime can seep into the highest levels of government. Majkowska is a character who is caught between her ideals and the reality of the power structures that exist within the legal system.
The show's pacing is deliberately slow at times, focusing on character development and thematic exploration rather than action set pieces. This allows the actors to shine in their roles, especially Zurawski, who gives a nuanced and powerful performance as Raven. Wlosok's portrayal of Szarek also deserves recognition, being the perfect foil to Raven's personality, offering a grounded view of the cases they are working on.
As the series progresses, the focus shifts from more isolated criminal cases to deeper investigation into the criminal underworld. Raven's motivations become more complex, and the consequences of his actions start to weigh heavily on him. The stakes also become higher as individuals tied to Raven's past start to intersect with his current operations.
Raven is a series that is not afraid to address difficult themes, from topics such as sex trafficking and exploitation of minors to the ethics of vigilantism. While the show is not always easy to watch, it does offer a compelling and realistic view of the criminal underworld in modern-day Warsaw.
In conclusion, Raven is a well-crafted series that offers an immersive and engaging narrative that grips its audience from beginning to end. It is a crime thriller that balances character development with complex storylines, resulting in a show that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. With its expertly crafted storyline, Raven is a must-watch series for anyone who enjoys crime dramas.
Raven is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (77 episodes). The series first aired on March 18, 2018.