Sunday, October 13, 2019

REVIEW: 'On Becoming a God in Central Florida' - Obie Teams with Buck Bridges for a Telethon in 'Wham Bam Thank You Fam'

Showtime's On Becoming a God in Central Florida - Episode 1.09 "Wham Bam Thank You Fam"

The Orlando FAM community braces for the Wham Bam Thank You Fam 37th Anniversary Jam. Krystal's loyalties are tested. Obie opens his heart to some orphans. Harold says a cuss word. 

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 next episode of Showtime's On Becoming a God in Central Florida.

"Wham Bam Thank You Fam" was directed by Tricia Brock with story by Pamela Davis and teleplay by Jessica Blaire & Stephanie Riggs

FAM has increasingly come across as an organization full of petty drama amongst the wealthy filling time in their lives at the expense of the economically struggling in the world. It's essentially meaningless that Obie Garbeau II and Buck Bridges are feuding with one another. They are a part of the same corporate entity. They aren't working collectively to spread FAM throughout the country though. Instead, it's a competition where they feel the constant need to one-up each other. Obie has the East Coast and Buck has the West Coast. They come together for this telethon. But they are constantly elbowing each other out of the spotlight. It's glaring and apparent. The same energy extends downward through their organization as well. Roger feels as if Cody is cutting into his dynamic with Obie. As such, he frames him for assault. That means that Cody and Pat are constantly fighting each other in the hopes of getting an edge in this business. That all builds to Pat knocking Cody out when he is trying to follow Krystal at the end of this hour. All of this pettiness can be incredibly silly and distracting as well. It's the luxury of those who have never had to worry about money. They can give time to these emotions and feuds. They can fester and become so destructive. The despair doesn't simply extend to the other person though. It's extended outward where Obie expects everyone who works for him to be against Buck and his people. It's just an empty feud on their part because they see it as what the boss wants from them. If they fulfill that requirement, then they have the potential of moving up in the organization. Moving up is the way that they see a prosperous future for themselves as well. Obie and Louise are constantly putting the people of their downline in competition with one another as well. It's all a battle to impress them. Of course, Obie and Louise have no real and genuine standing in the world. Their influence only means something for those sucked into the world of FAM. It presents as a cult where the leaders have importance and the followers are desperate for that appreciation and acceptance. Ernie wants to view himself as a winner at life. However, he's throwing himself into this world and alienating his family because he doesn't want to deal with the trauma that comes from seeing a man get shot right in front of him. He saw the world full of hope before that moment. And now, his only drive is seeming impressive. It has destroyed his marriage and his family. Those can't easily be replaced. He makes it seem like they are. He can appear on the telethon with a new family talking about how great this organization is for these traditional values. But again, it's all a lie. The deceit defines everything about this world. It's so alienating to the people caught up in this cycle. It has also meant Krystal has repeated the same patterns over and over again. She wants to speak out with everything she has learned about FAM. She has been put in the middle of the various feuds at the top. She can't give any value to those disagreements though. She always has to remain focused on having a steady paycheck. That's what is fueling her decisions at the moment. She takes any job that can guarantee stability for her family. She may not envision a future with Cody. However, he is still around and she is still using him for information. Everything may seemingly be working out for her too. She teams up with Judd to potentially expose the secrets of FAM. But again, it only makes a difference if people care about this shady organization being exposed. That's unlikely because it's still difficult for the audience to be engaged and excited about the various twists the characters have experienced in this world. Krystal has been a bad friend. She takes people for granted. She always needs something when she calls. However, people want her to succeed. That makes her a grounded central figure in the proceedings. But she is surrounded by a life of excess that doesn't seem to be adding up to something significant.