Everyone else will come away irritated. This series created by Todd Donald will make you giddy. The story turns into the new Dogs Reservoir, embracing the notion of shady behavior and F-bombs, for a Yearning to return to the era of non-linear crime dramas. It puts its own insufferable spin on the mold, stretching it out to nearly seven hours of storytelling, knocking off Quentin Tarantino’s late-1990s style. The new limited series on Netflix, The Florida Man, continues this trend. The modern age of streaming shows has delivered countless programs that boast about “being just long movies” in their press releases.
The story of Man Florida begins in Philadelphia, where Mike Moss, working as an enforcer for Emory Yankov, sends his girlfriend Delly to South Florida to retrieve the tracks that will help pay off his hefty debts. Mike, a former resident of Sunshine State and a former gambling addict, is trying to start a new life in Philadelphia.
The task becomes more complicated as the protagonist, Ron DeSantis, gets ensnared in the secret agenda of the old Spanish family, while he is down in the state of Florida. As he tries to wriggle out, he becomes more trapped, similar to being stuck in quicksand in the state’s lot.
The portrayal of a cartoon character armed with a gun in a cutaway gag from Family Guy resonates with the working class and financially struggling individuals. The writers, Todd and Nikki Toscano, have observed peculiar actions originating from Florida. Depicting Florida as more of a caricature rather than a real location seems to be their primary intention. The portrayal of Florida Man in the writing often leads to numerous significant errors.
Florida Man’s endorsement of sweeping generalizations is evident through all his arrogant presumptions about residents of Florida when Gregg’s remarks fail to serve as a contrasting element. The disdainful attitude and mediocre writing undermine any efforts to counter it, such as the presence of vacationing Deputy Sheriff Ketcher (Clark Gregg), resulting in an overall negative tone to the narrative.
The writing in this dialogue is not better, it can feel provocative and clever. One can strain to feel it. An early comment from Delly about how someone can still be “screwed over” despite being shaped like a flaccid penis sets a precedent for how Florida is. So many lines are aiming for vulgar insight, but it feels tedious to follow. Similarly, the recurring beat with Valentine being fixated on improperly placed apostrophes inexplicably misses the mark. The attempt at “comedic” dissonance only reminds viewers of the mundane rules obsessed gangster culture pop better. Robert Loggia’s passion for tailgating in Lost Highway is not this.
Although it needs to be lit to be seen, this story’s intended grimy aesthetic crime unfolds in the Sunshine State, counteracting the grim tone with bright lighting. The show takes no cues from the visually evocative traits of the noir genre, opting to not take many basic storytelling cues from noirs. However, even though it’s worse in the eyes of many, somehow, Florida Man offers little narrative despite poorly emulating the writing of Raymond Chandler and Tarantino, and taking a caricatured approach to Florida.
A program this poorly paced fails in a lot of ways, especially in being a compelling mystery thriller.
The only one coming out anywhere on top. Not even a reliable actor like Ramirez can magically transform this tin-eared dialogue into something special. All of these issues weigh down a reasonably talented cast. Soon, Yankov leads as a child playing dress-up gangster, and as the show progresses, Cohen, who initially hits all the wrong notes, grows into the roles.
It is a remarkable achievement, particularly when you take into account the extremely flawed production surrounding it. Even if only for a brief moment, Florida Man delves into something that is both relatable and intricate. In the final episode of the show, Cohen brings an authentic sense of credibility to Yankov as he reveals his personal connection with his father.