The term “Florida man” comes from a meme. The joke is that all the unbelievable news headlines that come out of the Sunshine State (“Florida Man In His Underwear Hits Deputy In Face With Bible, Screams ‘I CONDEMN YOU,’ Poops Himself”) are all the work of one man, Florida Man, “the world’s worst superhero.” As any Floridian (or ex-Floridian) will tell you, Florida is a special place. Nowhere else in America has the specific combination of traits – warm weather, easily navigable ports, favorable tax laws – that creates the conditions for lunacy to flourish.
Netflix’s limited series “Florida Man,” for which the streaming service released a premiere date and teaser trailer on Friday, taps into the Florida Man phenomenon. It isn’t about the Florida Man, but it is about a Florida man fighting against his nature. He thought he had escaped Florida, but the swamp is hard to get out of. Florida has its own gravitational pull.
“Florida Man” follows a down-on-his-luck ex-cop (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace” star Edgar Ramírez) who is forced to return to his home state of Florida to find a Philadelphia mobster’s runaway girlfriend (“Lovecraft Country” star Abbey Lee). (Not a lot of people realize this, but Pennsylvania is the Florida of the north.) What’s supposed to be an easy job turns into an out-of-control journey into the Sunshine State’s heart of darkness. Judging by the trailer, there are gators, gambling, gold, guns, and a guy wielding a samurai sword in a convenience store.
The series comes from creator and showrunner Donald Todd (“This Is Us”) and looks to be a crime comedy in the vein of great Florida novelists like Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan (“Ozark”) are executive producers. In addition to Ramírez and Lee, the cast includes Anthony LaPaglia, Otmara Marrero, Lex Scott Davis, Emory Cohen, Clark Gregg, Isaiah Johnson, Paul Schneider, and Lauren Buglioli.
All seven episodes premiere on Netflix on Thursday, April 13.
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