On Becoming a God in Central Florida: The Gloomy-Zoomies
August 26, 2019 12:05 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Krystal networks her way into an opportunity in the beauty pageant industry. Cody tries to be his own workhorse. Ernie builds a time capsule.

"On Becoming a God in Central Florida" exposes unfettered capitalism as a rigged and failing game -- Kirsten Dunst's excellent new Showtime series skewers the false gospel of capitalism and the American dream (Melanie McFarland for Salon)
Every day Krystal grinds it out at a minimum wage job at a water park while a deeply bored Travis sells insurance at his 9-to-5. Every night she cares for their infant while Travis heads out on the road to move FAM product and sign up more recruits to sell for him. A contractor is only as successful as the number of “downlines” he can get to feed him; his ability to achieve new levels of wealth is controlled by his “upline,” a figure that’s equal parts motivator and slave driver.

“Go Getters Go Get!” is a refrain that transforms in a heartbeat when a terrible reversal clarifies Krystal’s vision, allowing her to see FAM for exactly what it is.

What she does with that information tells the truth of the modern rags-to-riches fairy tale, a story fed by sharp hunger and a roiling fear of being destitute again. As Krystal’s quest to rise gets underway she’s motivated by sheer desperation and the realization of how deep in the red her family is to FAM, but she's determined to get out by any means necessary.

Dunst, not surprisingly, demonstrates a firm grip on this tale and its loopy tone, channeling a beauty queen’s alluring sweetness and a vengeful mother’s tired rage with the same vigor with which creators Robert Funke and Matt Lutsky slather the story in a layer of bizarre not-quite-reality. The actress (an executive producer on the series alongside George Clooney and Grant Heslov) makes her character so naturally earnest and aflame with will that at times the line between the con artist and the savvy business woman is nonexistent.
posted by filthy light thief (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
With the appearance of Josh Fadem as the "Building Bridges" salesman, Pat Stanley, pitching back to Théodore Pellerin (Cody Boner, pronounced bonAR), then together downing some sugary blue drink, I was hoping that this would go full Better Call Saul b-team assembly (Mel Rodriguez was Jimmy's pal, Marco, back in the day).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:10 PM on August 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was having some doubts in e01, but I'm sold. Dunst is so good, and an interesting role.

It's "twist-ey" but completely believable.

Lampooning the con/ MLM industry is marvellous.
posted by porpoise at 9:05 PM on September 9, 2019

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