Sunday, February 19, 2023

Sprung (TV)

Created. Written, and Directed by
Greg Garcia
Starring Garret Dillahunt, Shakira Barrera, Philip Garcia, Clare Gillies, James Earl, Martha Plimpton, Kate Walsh
IMDB Entry

I've been a fan of Greg Garcia since I first discovered My Name Is Earl. I loved his portrayal of quirky characters (usually lower class) with a heart of gold. When I spotted Sprung on Freevee, I was delighted.

The series begins in April 2020. Jack (Garret Dillahunt) has been in prison for almost 30 years for marijuana possession. Suddenly, he and his cellmate Rooster (Philip Garcia) are released to reduce the prison population due to Covid. Jack has nowhere to go, and Rooster offers to let him stay with his mother Barb (Martha Plimpton). Gloria (Shakira Barrera), who was also released and was the prison girlfriend of Jack,* Rooster wants to get back with his stripper girlfriend Wiggles (Clare Gilles), who has moved on to Marvin (James Earl), who is making his fortune selling a hoard of toilet paper he's collected.

Barb suggests they rob Marvin, Jack refuses, not wanting to go back to jail again. But, since he has nowhere to go, he signs on to the plan. Almost three decades in jail lets you learn a lot of tricks on how to commit crimes and Jack knows most of them. The robbery is a success, and Barb is interested in finding other targets. Jack insists that they only rob people who deserve it, and secretly gives away the money to people who need it. Then they set their sights on a local congresswoman (Kate Walsh) who is as shady as they come.

The cast is great.  Garret Dillahunt shines as Jack, who is caring and clever and still funny. There is a subplot where he tries to reconnect with his parents that is just as good drama as it is comedy.  Philip Garcia plays the fool to perfection. Shakira Barrera** is excellent, and Clare Gilles's Wiggles is the ultimate iteration of the dumb blonde trope.

The real standout is Martha Plimpton. Her Barb is just a wonder to see -- vain, treacherous, lying, bossy, but also vulnerable and deadly funny. She worked with Garcia before (as did Dillahunt) and he clearly had her in mind for the role.

The script is filled with laughs. The first episode had plenty of gags about life in the early days of Covid.*** And since this is on a streaming service, there are several very funny running gags that would never be allowed on broadcast.

The show ran for one season.  No word on if they will be another, but it seems unlikely.

*They never met each other, conducting their talk through the toilet pipes.

**Who is a computer whiz.

***"What happened to my curtains?" "There's a toilet paper shortage."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved Sprung. Hope there's gonna be a 2nd season