Friday, June 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'Jett' - Jett Breaks Her Partner Out of Prison to Pull Off a Precarious Heist in Cuba in 'Daisy'

Cinemax's Jett - Episode 1.01 "Daisy"

Hoping to go straight, recently paroled master thief Daisy "Jett" Kowalski is enlisted by crime boss Charlie Baudelaire to steal a ring from Miljan Bestic, an Eastern European crime overlord living in Cuba.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the series premiere of Cinemax's Jett.

"Daisy" was written by Sebastian Gutierrez and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez

There is an insane amount of plot going on in this premiere. The second half of the hour is very concise though. As soon as Jett and Quinn land in Havana, the focus is very clear on the mission to steal this very lucrative ring. That's the job they are hired to do. It's the most consistent part of this premiere. However, the show also makes it clear that the energy from that portion of things probably won't be the main feature moving forward. That's odd and makes it slightly concerning to think about what could happen in the future. The first half of this hour focuses solely on introducing a bunch of characters. That is true of any series premiere. However, this one goes off on several different tangents to explain how Jett and Quinn eventually get to Havana together. So, there is an elaborate plot to break Quinn out of prison because he's the only person Jett trusts to do this job with. Plus, there is Jett's loyalty being put to the test by Charlie who wants to know if she is the right person to pull this job off for him. Some of the supporting characters have the potential of being amusing constructs in this specific criminal world. Right now though, it's all about the buildup to that central heist that Jett is hired to do. Sure, there are elements introduced in the early going that are likely to be important later on. Jett runs into a friend who used to be an undercover cop. He details this whole backstory for Jett and the crime lord they took down together ten years ago. Because all of that plays out on the screen when Jackie has no other importance whatsoever makes it seem as if that particular story isn't as done as everyone was led to believe. Plus, the show wants to keep the audience on its toes. It doesn't want us to relax into any comfortable positions. That's why it seems to shake things up every ten minutes or so. Jett believes that she has saved Charlie's life from two men who want to use her to get to him. But then, they are revealed to be working for him just to see if she can be trusted. Jett has been to prison and got out for good behavior but doesn't seem to have changed her ways all that much. In fact, she may be more open and willing to breaking her rule of no sex on the job. That's what seems to drive her entire connection with Quinn. She appears to use sex in order to get exactly what she wants from this world. At times, she knows it's just a vital distraction to achieve her ultimate goals. Other times though, she sees it as a persuasion tool in order to pull off any elaborate job she is pulling. She teases Charlie, Quinn and her target Miljan along with it. She wields it as a weapon. That makes her a very active character in this story. She is the central focus and Carla Gugino absolutely rises to the occasion. Of course, it all comes crashing to an end with the heist going awry with Miljan not buying the cover story. Quinn suspected that the feud between Miljan and the Baudelaire family was more intense than it initially seemed. Miljan has blackmail material on Junior after all. And now, he effectively turns Jett into a spy simply by killing Quinn. That is a very unexpected way to close out the story here. It should make the audience curious to see what else will occur this season. That gunshot makes it apparent right away that this show never wants the audience to get too comfortable. The dynamics that may seem familiar aren't going to play out here the same way they have in many similar stories. It just remains up for debate whether or not that storytelling deconstruction will actually lead to a cohesive and engaging narrative. Right now, the show is mostly just good as a delivery vehicle for Gugino.