Z Is An Okay Beginning

Amazon’s new show ‘Z: The Beginning of Everything’ focuses on the life Zelda Fitzgerald and her tumultuous relationship with famed writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.  It is fine start to the show, but if Amazon wants it to catch on like their other prestige shows they will have to up the ante a little.

The show starts off during World War One with Zelda (Christina Ricci) flirting with the soldiers that come to town for training.  During a high society party she meets the man of her dreams: a struggling writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (David Hoflin).  Of course her parents don’t approve, but when Scott finishes his first book and it is a massive success, Zelda runs off to marry him and live the good life.

My problem with this show is that none of the characters really grow.  Zelda kind of learns that life isn’t going to be what she dreamed it would be, and Scott becomes more of a jerk, but there is no real ark.  The show drifts from one party to another.  I wish it would have gotten deeper in to who the Fitzgeralds are/were.  Part of the problem is the running time.  Each episode is only thirty minutes long, so factoring in beginning credits and ending credits, it is hard tell an interesting story with twenty minutes of screen time.

Christina Ricci is the reason to watch this show.  She puts everything she has in to Zelda.  It is like Zelda Fitzgerald has come to life in your living room.  David Hoffin is not as good.  You believe that he is jealous idiot, but he is just not a compelling one.  The other side actors are very good, and mostly make up for Hoffin’s dull performance.

If you have five hours to kill (less of you skip all the credits), ‘Z: The Beginning of Everything’ is an okay choice.  The 1920s are a fun period, and the Fitzgeralds defined the decade.  However much like the ’20s the show just doesn’t go very deep.  It is a lot of flash without much substance.