So this is what happened to Peggy Blumquist: she finally got out of Fargo only to crash land in Florida in the 90s. Kirsten Dunst returns to television, following her stellar performance in Fargo season two, with a new series on Showtime, On Becoming a God in Central Florida. That is quite a title—a little odd, a little esoteric, a little grandiose. But the official trailer for Central Florida is a little odd, a little esoteric, and a little grandiose, so the checks that title is writing, the series appears to be cashing. I feel like this trailer is showing me a lot of stuff but without any context, so it’s not actually giving anything away. More trailers should do this, it’s effective and intriguing. I am effectively intrigued by Central Florida.
Set in the early 90s, Dunst stars as Krystal—a perfect Nineties Florida name—who is apparently down on her luck and hooked into a multi-level marketing scheme. I can’t tell if Alexander Skarsgard is at the top of the MLM pyramid, or just slightly higher up than Krystal, but I am way into everything he is doing in this trailer. Back in the True Blood days, I did not think Skarsgard was this interesting of a performer. He was always one of the more watchable people on that show, but now it is clear True Blood wasted a lot of his potential for weird. I love every minute he is on screen in this trailer—that bit with the pigeons is some straight up Gob Bluth sh-t and I am here for it.
Dunst, however, I am not surprised by. She has always been good at playing women who seem fragile but have spines of steel. That combination of childish vulnerability and aged strength is what made her so compelling in Interview with a Vampire. It’s why we root for Amber Atkins, a Survivor if ever there was one (Drop Dead Gorgeous is on Hulu now, WATCH IT). When she leans over Ted Levine and says, “I’m a businessman.”? Chills. Dunst is SO good at peeling back vulnerability to reveal a toughness you do not want to mess with. I am interested in seeing exactly how Krystal f-cks up these MLM scheme douchebags and gets a piece of her own back. We’ve been very taken with scammers lately, but it’s impossible to root for a scammer in real life, because if you dig deep enough, they always end up hurting someone who did not deserve it. But on TV? Oh hell yes I can root for a scammer to turn the tables on exploitative monsters. Sign me up for Central Florida, I need a vicarious scammer thrill.