As soon as Amara (Lidia Porto) opens her flip phone and switches from flirty older woman eating a the Silver Dust casino to the merciless criminal lordess who suggests cutting a man’s tongue out(!) you know Get Shorty is not going to mess around.
What follows in the 10 episode premiere season is a whole mess of violence, tongue-in-cheek dark humor and a whole host of memorable characters steer headed by Chris O’Dowd as a gang heavy and movie buff Miles Daly.
The story follows the same basic premise as the Leonard’s novel and the subsequent film starring a in-his prime John Travolta. It is full of violence, obviously because Miles and his side kick of sorts Louis played by a hilarious Sean Bridges work for the crime boss and lady boss Amara. They are sent to threaten a script writer, Owen whose roommate, the air-headed and well meaning Nathan, played by an endearing, puppy dogesque Billy Magnussen.
Daly is inspired to begin a new career away from the fringe criminal element and steals a script from the man they were sent to kill, it brings him to tears in a way that brutally murdering the writer did not, and he is determined to become a film producer. Daly goes to meet with Rick Moreweather, in an attempt to strong arm his way into the film industry.
The show has some surprising casts like Alan freaking Arkin. So I call that a win no matter what. The show is a remake of the movie starring Travolta, and at its weakest moments you can see the problems in the pacing and story momentum, but the charm that O’Dowd brings to the table is wonderful is smoothing things over, literally.
Get Shorty was an overall a good remake of the original movie, but the series has a few issues. One of the biggest boons to the show is also one of its most consistent flaws. Chris O’Dowd has got to be one of the most charming ass holes on television. He is effortlessly funny, even when he is supposed to be a menacing muscle for a crime lord. O’Dowd has a charisma that makes you absolutely root for Daly no matter how far he goes to keep his scheme alive. I really, really love Chris, but scary is not one of the top words that comes to mind when I think of him, and the crux of the show lies in his manipulation and intimidation skills, and therefore it falls a little flat. That doesn’t mean that I am not looking forward to another season of Get Shorty so #nospoilers and go to Epix and check it out!