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Round One


Big Time in Hollywood, Fl





Florida is a sulfurous hell-hole. It isn’t even prejudiced to hate this awful place. In fact it is your civic duty as an American to feel ashamed to share a federal government with this gigantic, godless swamp. Both of the shows going head-to-head in this round take place in it, what we shall refer to as the holy-crap-it-looks-like-a-penis state. Big Time in Hollywood Florida is about two 30-something-year-old aspiring filmmakers, both brothers and man-children. The pilot episode is all about the hijinks these characters get into after their parents kick them out of the house for being losers. These character’s personalities and story arcs are almost entirely lifted from Step-Brothers, but without the charm and innocent exuberance that made those characters likable. Much of this story seems borrowed from other places. It is as if the people who made this show have seen these kinds of stories done, and done well, and copied what they saw. Only with this show you aren’t left with something that works, you’re left with something that feels like a copy of a copy. Even a cameo from Ben Stiller, one of the funniest on-screen personalities of all time, feels hollow.



The timing of the jokes are off. There is a lack of chemistry between the characters. Nothings jives, nothing fits. It’s a mishmash of things we’ve all seen before. There is no identity, no soul. Just some kind of Frankenstein’s monster masquerading as a sitcom.

Our other Floridian contender is Bloodline. Bloodline is a Netflix original series. It stars Sissy Spacek, Linda Cardellini, and Kyle Chandler (COACH!! IT’S COACH FROM FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, EVERYBODY!*) This is about a family who owns a hotel in the Florida keys and the chaos that ensues when their troubled eldest brother returns. This show is remarkably well-balanced because its individual parts fit  together like a jigsaw puzzle with each piece intimately connected to the whole. It gives the show its soul. It’s not just that these characters have a well-developed connection to each other, their surroundings, or the action of the plot; it’s that it all fits perfectly together to create a larger picture. There is a palatable connection between the members of family, the environment of the keys, and the insanity being foreshadowed by the end of the pilot. This is a great start to what I predict will be a great series. So it shouldn’t come as any shock that Bloodline is moving on. It is the standout of the bottom half of round one, and stands a pretty good chance at taking this entire bracket.





*Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!