Brooklyn looks like Hell. Hell’s Kitchen that is.
At Broadway Studios in Greenpoint, the borough is playing a starring role in “The Black Donnellys,” NBC’s new gangster series — set on a fictitious version of Manhattan’s West Side.
“How could you not like Brooklyn?” asked Bobby Morasco, the show’s writer and producer. “When I was growing up, Manhattan was the epicenter of everything. If you lived in Brooklyn, you lived in Oshkosh. But now, it’s gorgeous and there are great restaurants all over.”
One of five brothers himself, Moresco created the show with Paul Haggis, the Irish-Canadian filmmaker with whom he co-wrote and produced the Oscar-winning 2005 best picture, “Crash.” Moresco also produced the 2004 Academy Award winner, “Million Dollar Baby,” which was based on Haggis’ screenplay.
The show, which follows the brothers Donnelly as they murder and maim their way across the city, is only partially inspired by Moresco’s own life.
“Hell’s Kitchen was an Irish enclave for centuries,” he explained, “and, [there were] the Westies in the 1970s and 1980s — the Irish mob. Many of my friends and some family members were involved. That’s where these stories came from. That’s where it started. You write what you know.”
“The Black Donnellys” airs on NBC Monday nights at 10 pm.