By: Bill Cushing – Aug, 2020
Sometimes when writing this column, I come across a series that’s so entertaining and yet so barely watched that I feel I need to write about it. ‘Get Shorty’ is one of those series.
‘Get Shorty’ is loosely based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard and the film adaptation from 1995 starring John Travolta. Created by Davey Holmes, the executive producer of Showtime’s ‘Shameless,’ the series stars Chris O’Dowd as Miles Daley, an enforcer working for a small town Nevada casino owner and drug dealer named Amara De Escalones played by Lidia Porto. Miles is looking for a change in his life. He’s estranged from his wife, and he’s trying to win her back. He knows his job was one of the reasons he and his wife split. Miles thinks that if he gets a less dangerous and more respectable job that would go a long way to convince her that he’s changed. Unfortunately, you can’t just leave the mob by handing in a resignation.
Amara sends Miles and his dim-witted yet devoted partner Louis to Los Angeles to collect a debt from a screenwriter who was gambling to finance a script that he thinks is the best thing he has ever written.
When the screenwriter can’t pay his debt, Louis gets trigger happy and kills him. Miles steals the script and hatches a plan to launder Amara’s illegal drug money through the movie business by turning the script into a big Hollywood production. After some persuasion, Amara agrees. Miles and Louis go to Hollywood where Miles meets Rick Moreweather, a down on his luck B-movie producer, played wonderfully by Ray Romano, and convinces him that the script should be his next project.
‘Get Shorty’ is an outstanding sendup of modern day Hollywood, boasting a terrific ensemble cast, and sharp, witty, writing. O’Dowd is quite impressive and convincing as Miles, and Romano turns in yet another wonderful post-Raymond dramatic performance. The supporting players shouldn’t be overlooked either. Porto as Amara, Bridgers (Deadwood) as Louis and Goya Robles as Amara’s nephew Yago are outstanding. Sarah Stiles (Billions) is a pure delight as Gladys Parrish, Rick’s assistant.
‘Get Shorty’ is not a new show, however, it is highly underappreciated. Most likely the reason for that is that it is broadcast on EPIX, a premium cable channel that not many people have, and if they do, they don’t realize it. I only recently discovered the series myself on a recommendation from friends. If you’re a fan of ‘Fargo’ then you will love ‘Get Shorty.’ The show has 27 episodes, over 3 seasons. While the show has not yet been renewed for a 4th season, it is EPIX highest rated show, so a renewal is almost certainly coming.
These days, many of us are looking for something to binge-watch. Do yourself a favor and check out ‘Get Shorty’ and discover one of TV’s best kept secrets.
You can find Season 1 on Netflix. All seasons can also be found on EPIX On Demand.
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