'Sneaky Pete,' con-man series from 'Breaking Bad' star Bryan Cranston, premieres on Amazon

Amazon's "Sneaky Pete" stars Giovanni Ribisi (left) in the title role, with Shane McRae.

Breaking fake

A con man (Giovanni Ribisi) newly released from prison assumes his former cellmate Pete's identity and moves in with Pete's long-estranged extended family in Sneaky Pete. The new series from Amazon premieres Friday.

Co-created by Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston, who has included a recurring role for himself as a smiling psychopath who'd like to see "Pete" dead, Sneaky Pete is fun, even if it isn't wildly unpredictable. As faux-Pete - whose real name is Marius - insinuates himself into the family's bail-bond business, hoping for a big score, it doesn't take long to see that he isn't immune to the appeal of his new family, especially his cousin Julia (Homeland's Marin Ireland).

Margo Martindale (The Americans, Justified) exhibits her patented mix of motherliness and menace as Pete's grandmother, the keeper of the family's struggling finances and a woman torn between joy at the prodigal's return and suspicion that he may not be exactly what he seems.

Ribisi is amusing as Marius, whose luck seldom matches his skill as a liar, and Breaking Bad fans won't want to miss Cranston, who's clearly having a ball as a dapper crime boss determined to get even for a con in which he was the mark.     - Ellen Gray
Where to stream: Amazon.

Like this? Binge these: Justified (Amazon), Breaking Bad and its prequel Better Call Saul (Netflix), and White Collar (Netflix).