If you were of movie-going age in the early-to-mid-2000s, you probably have a highly-relatable obsession with Kirsten Dunst. This is a cheerocracy, after all, so it’s pretty likely that you’re very into the actress and her cool-girl persona, not to mention her ability to play any and every type of character.
Get ready for her to Bring it On with her latest series, Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida. The dark comedy debuts August 25 (the first two episodes are available on Crave now) and after having watched a handful, we’re happy to report that we can’t get enough. Dunst has played plenty of roles in her lifetime (a vampire, a cheerleader, a small-town hairdresser and even Marie Antoinette to name a few) but her role as Krystal Stubbs is unlike anything else she’s ever done and we’ve got seven reasons you’re going to want to tune in.
7. Retro and relevant
To break it down into a single sentence, the series revolves around a pyramid scheme called FAM and those trying to climb the ladder in order to make their “American dreams” come true. Krystal is at the heart of that scheme, having lost everything to it, including her husband (played by a very toned down Alexander Skarsgård). Sure, it’s all very Amway and people are much savvier to the multi-level-marketing game these days, but given how our Facebook feeds are now dominated with Sweet Legs, Jamberry nails, Beachbody shakes and Thirty-One Gifts (to name only a few), the material still feels as relevant as ever.
6. Lots of nostalgic feels
Becoming a God is set in the ’90s, which means there are plenty of ah-mah-zing fashion moments and iconic beauty looks, like jean jackets and bangs and yes, even some blue eyeshadow. It’s not all about the costumes though; the way the series is shot definitely gives it retro vibes, while the writers were equally crafty in nailing the of-the-times dialogue.
5. Dunst is relatable AF
When we meet Krystal, she’s a new mom who isn’t afraid to call her husband out on his BS. She’s honest enough and tries to make ends meet the only ways that she knows how, which basically involves clocking into her minimum-wage gig at a waterpark and looking for side hustles. She’s not a perfect mom—the trailer has a memorable shot of her cruising on a motorcycle and smoking while her babe (named Destiny) is snuggled up to her in a cloth carrier. She also has hard moments of truth. We’re talking breakdowns, taking advantage of other people’s vulnerabilities to get ahead, and moments where she delivers all the swears. She’s also the kind of character who will rip her own braces out with pliers and a bottle of booze, which we think says A LOT.
4. There’s a female anti-hero
As the series progresses, we dive deeper into the FAM world with Krystal as she basically sells her soul to provide for her family and becomes addicted to the power that comes with her new gig. Even when we know what she’s doing is wrong, you can’t help but root for her—highlighting how rare it still is to see a female antihero. We’ve had tons of male antiheroes (Walter White, Don Draper, Tony Soprano, Dexter Morgan, the list goes on) but the women in those worlds have typically been relegated to moral nags who ruin the lead characters’ “fun.” Well, times are a-changing, and we fully embrace this badass, flawed, but oh-so-powerful character that just happens to be played by a woman.
3. Florida, man
In terms of backdrops, you couldn’t ask for a more ‘Murica setting than Florida. There are gators and wacky characters to be sure, but where this show shines is in the fact that those characters are colourful without being over-the-top. That means we can still relate to them and want to go on journeys with them, which is kind of an essential thing when it comes to TV shows and our desire to keep watching.
2. There’s a waterpark
Remember how we mentioned Krystal’s full-time gig? You can bet the park plays a big part in the story during the first few episodes. It’s one of the most creative—if not potentially nightmarish—places to set a series, and we love some of the interesting shots the cameras capture as a result. There’s a particularly deep and meaningful jaunt down a waterslide in episode two that sat with us, and while we don’t want to spoil anything, we will say that you may never look at an amusement park in the same lighthearted way again.
1. Things get dark
Like many of our favourite shows, this is a drama with dark comedic undertones, which means no highly comedic set-ups but lots of ironic shots, snappy one-liners, and actors (including Canadian Théodore Pellerin) who aren’t afraid to push boundaries. The first season tackles everything from depression and wealth to motherhood, marriage, and self-worth, and it isn’t always predictable where things will go next.
So obviously, we just can’t stop watching.
The first two episodes of On Becoming a God in Central Florida are available to stream now on Crave.