Ted Lasso, Fargo, The Stylist and the renaissance of KC on screen
We’re in a surprise Golden Age of movies, TV, and film celebrating Kansas City. Why did this influx align for all these releases to hit at the same time? We’re just lucky I guess.
Or perhaps we’ve earned it.
KC has been a mecca of fantastic, alternative talent in the comedy world for years now. You combine that with the wildly bizarre (and underexplored) history and community of this town, and you’ve got a perfect storm of reasons to dive into the metro as an entertainment setting.
Maybe it’s just our time because we’ve been ignored for too long. Save a few historic examples.
Let’s kick off with Ted Lasso, maybe the best TV show of 2020 that you haven’t watched yet. And I understand why. Lasso is only available on Apple TV+, the network whose app we all have installed on our computer, but we aren’t about to sign-up for. Because we’ve got enough streaming services that we don’t use. Yes, I use CBS All Access once per year. I don’t need anything else to clutter up my life.
But you should sign up for the Apple TV+ trial period this coming weekend, and knock out this incredible show for free.
Good nice local kid Jason Sudeikis (of SNL and THUNDERGONG! fame) stars as a Kansas City area college football coach, who is hired to take over a UK soccer team. Despite knowing nothing about soccer. Made by Bill Lawrence, who you know from Scrubs, Clone High, and Cougar Town, this show just exudes heart and soul in a way that instilled the rare concept of “hope” in me, in 2020. These 30-minute episodes of TV are equally rib-crackingly funny, while always so human I cried through the last few minutes of most of them. It’s been such a huge success that Apple renewed it for TWO more seasons already.
THUNDERGONG! has gone digital for 2020, airing on Nov. 14 with Sudeikis as host, and they’ve promised Ted will also be making an appearance. Which rules, because the show was already action-packed with small, KC-centric jokes, just for us.
This is certainly the best TV show to ever be adapted from an NBC ad from a decade ago.
While Ted Lasso shows what a KC character does when pulled from their home, the latest season of FX’s Fargo series shows what happens when you dive into the bloodlines of our city’s complicated history. The Fargo series has been setting up a tie-in for the KC world for several years now, but the anthology show’s ability to jump time periods and such meant we never knew when we’d get it. Now, we’re just about to finish out a nearly perfect season of TV, where Chris Rock fronts the local Black mob fighting to find their standing in America against the Mafia.
It’s complicated and funny and bizarre and I’m not sure what else we could have wanted.
That brings us to the new horror film The Stylist. The Stylist is the brainchild of Jill Gevargizian, a local director who has been fighting to bring more movies to KC for a while. While collaborator Brea Grant, they’ve made something wildly exciting that is also shot here in KC. Come for the nightmare sequences of social satire set on the balcony of recordBar; stay for 150+ local residents as extras—guaranteeing you’ll see someone you know.
Are there other upcoming or current KC-centric projects you’ve heard about? Let us know.