The fact is the 10-episode series from Davey Holmes, based in part on the prolific crime writer’s 1990 novel of the same name, does not equal the sum of its parts, as I say in my video review above.
The math fails in part because of the changes in the backdrop and the origin stories that turn the Miami-based Chili Palmer of the book and the 1995 Get Shorty movie into Nevada-set and matrimonially challenged enforcer Miles Daly, played by Bridesmaids alum O’Dowd. Trying to find a way out of his professional and personal rut, Daly convinces his John Stamos loving and casino owning boss Amara De Escalones (Lidia Porto) to invest millions in the movie business in L.A. in an effort to launder dirty cash.
After a collection with a frustrated screenwriter goes wrong, Daly inserts himself into the world of the way down on his luck producer Rick Moreweather, portrayed by Romano, who is nailing it on the big screen right now in The Big Sick. As anyone who has read Leonard’s book or seen the John Travolta and Gene Hackman-led pic directed by Barry Sonnenfeld knows, there is magic to be found in the clash between the criminal world and the illusions of Hollywood.
Fact is, not a lot of that magic ends up in this Get Shorty, despite the caliber of its cast, which also includes Power alum Lucy Walters as Daly’s estranged wife. Maybe it is all that tinkering with the solid foundations of the original book, or the overwhelming desire to go dark where the Sonnenfeld movie went SoCal sunshine bright, but this Get Shorty, at least from what I’ve seen, really doesn’t get Leonard, in part or at all.
You can get more of my take on the MGM TV-produced Get Shorty by clicking on the video review above. You can also actually check out the first three episodes of the new Get Shorty online, which Epix put up on July 24. Will you be watching? Tell us.