Briarpatch: First Time In Saint Disgrace
February 6, 2020 8:36 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

I liked this pilot, though maybe not quite as much as I hoped when I first saw the commercials for a Rosario Dawson led noir mystery. Not sure yet if I care about the main murder, let alone Dill's senatorial investigation. The balance between absurdity/noir might be a little off for me as well - but maybe that's just a pilot problem. I do think it can be a hard balance to strike - Elmore Leonard and the producers of Fargo just make it look easy.

The zoo animals being loose for over a week is a little broad (even if I don't think too hard about what size town St Boniface is supposed to be, that it has a big ass luxury hotel and a zoo). Didn't love the poor kangaroo shot dead, and worried about the fate of the tiger. The giraffes turning out not to be escaped zoo animals was funny though.

I hope we get some flashbacks that delve further into the Dill sisters' relationship. I think I need a little more reason to care than this first episode gave me.

I did like the visuals in this first episode a lot - but I gather Ana Lily Aminpour (of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) only directed this episode, so I'm not sure if the cinematic style is going to continue for further episodes.

Hoping the side characters get interesting - it's a good cast - and the mysteries tighten up a bit, but I'm sure I'll watch the whole thing even if it never quite gels. If only for Rosario Dawson and her character's suits.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:54 AM on February 8, 2020

The balance between absurdity/noir might be a little off for me as well

Yeah, I'm not sure if it'll get to me after awhile, or if I actually really like that this feels off. I'm looking forward to at least the next few episodes.
posted by curious nu at 10:07 PM on February 8, 2020

Yeah, this was a very stylish pilot. It didn't really care about the characters or the mystery, but, it was beautiful to look at.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:48 AM on February 9, 2020

I have real hopes for this adaptation of a favorite novel from a favorite author. And I have high regard for Greenwald. But I'm having real problems with with the casting. Not Dawson, she's fine. But my first reaction is many of the supporting characters are not right in important ways. e.g. "... Colder’s half-smile was back in place—an almost hesitant smile full of diffidence. Or deception, Dill thought, for there was absolutely nothing diffident about Colder other than the smile. It’s his disguise, Dill decided. He wears it like a false beard. The smile failed to hide the true skeptic’s face with its inquisitive nose, wise forehead, cold blue doubting-Thomas eyes, and the chin that almost said, “Prove it.” It was a face that, with a slightly different coloring, might have found happiness in the Inquisition. Dill felt its owner was reasonably content as a homicide captain."
posted by mojohand at 2:55 PM on February 9, 2020

I am loving this as (AFAIK) this is only the second adaptation of any of Ross Thomas’s novels.

The first was the execrable St. Ives, starring Charles Bronson (and Robert Englund and Jeff Goldblum as Hood #1 and Hood #3!), a mix of Thomas’s books written under the pseudonym Oliver Bleek. Man, I watched it as a Ross Thomas Super Fan and it was bad.

But this! There have been some major changes with characters, but the dialog is the same, the absurdity the same (the zoo animals!) and the general sense of fuckery and skullduggery the same.

If you like this in the least, go read any/all Thomas you can get your hands on (some of it is “of its time” so YMMV), and if you have any entertainment connections, help get more adaptations made!

I will pay to watch them 🤩
posted by drfu at 8:30 PM on March 5, 2020

mojohand: I’m not going to disagree with you on that, but I am just so happy that the rest of Thomas’ voice has been well adapted.

I wanna see the Voodoo Ltd. crowd or McCorkle and Padillo in a prestige series!
posted by drfu at 8:43 PM on March 5, 2020

UPDATE: I'm 100% watching this every week, but don't want to backfill a bunch of episodes, so figure I'll do a season post when it's finished. This is so, so engaging.
posted by curious nu at 8:07 PM on March 31, 2020

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