Sunday, August 25, 2019

REVIEW: 'On Becoming a God in Central Florida' - Travis and Cody Convince Krystal About the Power of FAM in 'The Stinker Thinker'

Showtime's On Becoming a God in Central Florida - Episode 1.01 "The Stinker Thinker"

Krystal Stubbs doubles down on her husband's dreams while he wrestles with leaving his J-O-B. Cody loses a friend, but meets his hero.

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 Showtime's On Becoming a God in Central Florida.

"The Stinker Thinker" was written by Robert Funke & Matt Lutsky and directed by Charlie McDowell

Krystal Stubbs had serious concerns about her husband Travis' devotion to FAM. And yet, the hooks were in way too deep for him to actually listen to her. He came to believe that moving up this pyramid scheme was the only way for him to because successful. He was chasing the American Dream. He wanted to make something of his life. He wanted to provide for his family. He was able to twist all of this around by saying that everything he did was to support Krystal and their baby. And yet, this isn't what Krystal asked for. She told him the one thing she wanted was to never be poor again. She was happy with their current lot in life. Their current economic status may not be impressive but Krystal sees it as a major step up. This is the life she aspired to have. She has it thanks to a husband she loves. Instead, Travis grew too ambitious and too distant. He didn't know how to reckon with what his wife was constantly telling him. He saw her concerns as nagging negativity that could be dismissed in a split second. Krystal is worried about how the family is going to pay their bills. She knows they rely on the health insurance he gets through work. He can't quit his job so that he can devote himself full time to FAM. This is a scam that hasn't turned a profit yet for this family. Travis believes it's the only way that he can move up in life though. He sees his job as the thing holding him back. As soon as he quits it, then the doors will open that will allow him to be even more productive and successful than ever before. Right now, he is doing all of this work at night. He isn't sleeping. He's delirious and delusional. Krystal can see that clearly. She still aspires to help him though. Travis is still the man she loves. She wants to make all of this easier so that he can afford to have more time for his family. That's what she wants. She doesn't want him to do anything reckless. She just wants his love and support. She wants to proudly say that he is a good father. Instead, she is left with nothing but concerns and debt. Travis dies because of his sleep deprivation. Some may argue that he dies because an alligator attacks after he drives his car into a lake. That's the way they can feel good about their consciences. They don't have to mourn this loss knowing that they were partly to blame for it. FAM doesn't see itself as liable. They have shielded themselves from any consequences because their employees are actually independent contractors. It's a business built around the idea of lifting people up and making them feel like they can do it all themselves. They are pushing a specific product that is supplied by FAM. But this is a scam that sees them as individual businessmen instead of caught up in the corporate structure that defines so much of life. In fact, it's framed as if the corporate world is the enemy. That too is a scam because it's a false idea planted by Obie at the top to ensure that people remain motivated at the bottom. It's toxic. It leads to Travis' death and Krystal feeling like all she can do is to try to kill the alligator. No one from FAM sees her as a grieving widow either. Instead, they see her as having to carry the burden of Travis' debt. If she doesn't step up in that way, then others will have their own positions within this scheme compromised. They can't have that because they see it as a structure that must be supported for their own personal benefit. This isn't a blessing for Krystal though. It's a curse because it may achieve the one thing she never wanted to be. She didn't want to be poor again. But now, she may become that once more simply because Travis refused to see things clearly about FAM. It didn't matter that his home was full of product. He was just one big deal away from making it. And yet, that was never going to occur. He was propped up for nothing which makes all of this feel even more unfair and tragic.