Posted by: markfender | February 3, 2016

Mad Dogs

I’m not even sure why I started watching this.

maddogsIt’s another in a long line of “vacation from hell” stories (and, have you ever noticed that, if these “vacation from hell” stories involve four guys, they’re always classified as “black comedies”?) with all the dude-shenanigans that always start these particular stories off. It didn’t help that it involved Steve Zahn, who might be my least favorite actor (I don’t know. He’s almost always good in his roles. But something about his general demeanor annoys me. I just find myself wanting to punch his affable face half the time).

But, the weird ending of the first episode kept me around for the second episode. And, wouldn’t you know, it all escalated pretty quickly in an entertaining way. The music is at times a bit too ominous for the action occurring on-screen and there are occasional camera moves that felt like someone saying, “Well, we’ve got Amazon money. Might as well.” But the characters, plot, and acting were all pretty good.

In the tradition of the Coen brothers, of course, everything that can go wrong does through the course of the show. Every episode builds upon the previous ones, introducing another in a long line of odd characters, strange situations, and ratcheting tension. Taking place in a Central American country, you can imagine the obstacles – corrupt officials, drug traffickers, and the CIA (All my media consumption has taught me that Central America is rife with these things). Meanwhile, the four main characters have their own baggage with each other, which explodes at various times.

The pacing at times felt off, but overall, I enjoyed this show. It’s nothing you haven’t already seen on Terriers or Fargo (Assuming you watched Terriers…not many people did), but it’s told in an entertaining way with good acting and some beautiful scenery.

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