The Offer TV Review

Plot: The Offer is based on Oscar®-winning producer Albert S. Ruddy’s extraordinary, never-before-seen experiences of making The Godfather.

Review: If there is one type of story that Hollywood loves to tell more than any other, it is stories about movies themselves. Some of the best big-screen tales have been about the journey of actors, writers, and filmmakers from obscurity to the big screen. Paramount+ limited series The Offer is exactly the type of chronicle that keeps movie buffs and cinephiles glued to the screen. It also is the type of production that bores the hell out of the average viewer. Despite the iconic legacy of The Godfather, this television series is too long and too bereft of any stakes to make it worth seeing for anyone other than the most ardent of fans. While there is a lot of intriguing elements to this story, the overlong The Offer is good but not impossible to refuse.

Set over ten hour-long episodes, The Offer features a lot of filler to pad its running time. The opening episode spends a great deal of time orienting us to the various players in this tale including Paramount head honcho Robert Evans (Matthew Goode), Godfather author Mario Puzo (Patrick Gallo), Gulf & Western executives Barry Lapidus (Colin Hanks) and Charles Bludhorn (Burn Gorman), gangster Joe Colombo (Giovanni Ribisi), and rookie producer Albert S. Ruddy (Miles Teller). Seeing as The Offer is based on Ruddy’s life and perspective, you would expect him to be a suave and intriguing lead character. But, as good of an actor as Miles Teller is, his performance as Ruddy is overshadowed by the far more engaging performances around him, especially Goode as the legendary Evans as well as Dan Fogler as director Francis Ford Coppola.

Because Teller’s performance is the most grounded and normal of all the cast, he comes across as one of the least interesting people in his own story. But, the rest of the cast feels like they are playing caricatures of famous names which also include minor roles for actors playing everyone from Ann-Margret and Ally McGraw to Robert Redford and Frank Sinatra. Often, The Offer ends up feeling like a costume party rather than a historical record of the making of The Godfather and that is what ultimately holds this series back from feeling like a serious endeavor. Within the first five minutes of the premiere episode, an actual Mafia gangster utters the legendary line “leave the cannoli” and it feels contrite and a little silly.

The best part of the series, which seems to be a trend in her career, is Juno Temple. Playing Ruddy’s assistant/associate Bettye McCart, Temple owns every scene she is in as she professes her love of the movies and being involved in the creation of big-screen magic. Much like her turn in the series Ted Lasso, Temple plays McCart as a character that has often been dismissed based on her gender and attractiveness but is representative of the strongest talents in the industry that have gone overlooked for decades. Temple also plays one of the few characters, like Miles Teller’s lead, who are grounded in more of a realistic story that is under the surface of the more glossy and reverential costume parade that makes up the rest of the series. For every Temple and Teller, we have multiple scenery-chewing performances from everyone else. It should also be noted that as this series airs on Paramount+, the name of that studio is uttered countless times every episode as this series provides acknowledgment for the famous studio for credit in The Godfather as much as the creative talent themselves.

Created by Michael Tolkin (Gleaming the Cube, Escape at Dannemora), The Offer‘s first episode is helmed by Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher, who also directs two other episodes. The remaining seven are directed by Alan Arkin and Colin Bucksey. All three directors keep the period-specific visuals in line with the early 1970s and, despite some anachronistic moments, the illusion of recreating the aura of what the set must have been like is still far more sanitized and safe than it actually was. The ultimate problem with making this series is that despite the low budget risk it took to bring The Godfather to the big screen, there is never a moment where it feels like it wasn’t going to become a classic film. With no real threat to the characters, The Offer ends up serving as no more meaty than a Ryan Murphy series depicting the bygone era of Hollywood excess.

The Offer is not a bad series but it is also not nearly as good as I was hoping it would be. I would not recommend that the casual fan invest too much into this series as it feels about eight hours longer than it needs to be. Had The Offer been made into a streamlined feature-length film, it could have had the potential to be an Oscar-nominee in its own right. Instead, there is so much padding here that only the most dedicated movie buff is going to find more than a superficial interest in this story. Every one of the cast looks the part and does an admirable job of playing their roles, but there just isn’t enough content to make this worth the amount of time it takes to watch. I enjoyed what I saw but I had much higher expectations.

The Offer premieres on April 28th on Paramount+.

The Offer




About the Author

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Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.