Get Shorty is the newest original series on Epix. It is (very loosely) based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard, which was already adapted as a movie in 1995. If you aren’t familiar with the late, great Elmore Leonard please go pick up one of his novels, it will not disappoint. Many of his works have been adapted to movies and TV series already such as Out of Sight, Jackie Brown, Justified, The Big Bounce, and 3:10 to Yuma, to name a few.
This version of Get Shorty is, in my opinion, way better than the original movie version. I did not read the novel, but it is my understanding that the movie version is truer to the book. However, I found the show more interesting. It just has a different tone, still funny but not overly comical. It plays more like a Breaking Bad or Fargo than a straight up comedic series, which I think was a smart change by showrunner Davey Holmes (Shameless). Also, I was impressed with actor Adam Arkin who has stepped behind the camera to direct in recent years (The Americans), as he did 3 episodes here.
The synopsis of the story is a muscle man for a drug cartel who has dreams of moving to Hollywood and becoming a producer. He wants to change his ways to make life better for his (almost ex)wife and daughter.
I honestly was brought into this show by the cast. Ray Romano used to be just a silly comedic actor to me, however in recent years he has started to show some range in roles like Parenthood, HBO’s Vinyl, and the upcoming The Irishman. Chris O’Dowd has been a favorite of mine from his roles in The IT Crowd (great show, if you’ve never watched, please go binge it immediately), and Bridesmaids. They do not disappoint here, both have distinct humor styles that work perfectly for their characters.
If those 2 actors brought me in, I kept watching due to the surprising quality of some of the supporting roles. Sean Bridgers (Deadwood) was a great right hand man to Chris O’Dowd. I wasn’t very familiar with his career but he was great here and almost more of a second lead than Romano. Megan Stevenson was also a nice surprise. Her character had great growth over the season and I look forward to where she will go in the (already announced) second season. Sarah Stiles was also great in a limited role, I hope we can see her used more next year.
Overall Get Shorty was a fantastic surprise of a show. I’m glad I gave it a chance and you should too. It’s only a 10 episode first season so you have plenty of time to catch up before season 2. I just wonder if they will follow Elmore Leonard’s plan of the sequel, Be Cool, which was also already a movie. Time will tell.
Did you watch Get Shorty? Did my write up convince you to check it out? Please comment below and let me know.