Call Me Fitz: The Complete First Season

Call Me Fitz: The Complete First Season
Following in the grand tradition of Eastbound and Down, the new Jason Priestley-starring TV series, Call Me Fitz, is about a loudmouthed, unrepentant asshole who says funny things, goes on a journey of self-discovery and becomes a slightly less unrepentant asshole, lovable despite all his bad behaviour, who still says funny things. Certainly Call Me Fitz aims to be its own self-contained unit, but much like its HBO cousin, the Canadian-made show takes its potty-mouthed liberties to logical extremes. Priestley (who has been bouncing around the TV schedule trying to land a stable hit since breaking out nearly 20 years ago with Beverly Hills 90210) is Richard Fitzgerald, a completely cartoon-y car salesman who typifies every unctuous impulse of the breed. While Call Me Fitz eschews a series-long unified narrative for more self-contained episodes (13 of them in this three-disc set), Fitz's life journey begins when he winds up in an accident with a comatose client. Slick Fitz is then saddled with a mysterious guardian angel (his "conscience"), in the guise of Larry (Ernie Grunwald), who arrives on the car lot as the forthright yin to Fitz's morally bankrupt yang. It's Larry's job to get the self-destructive Fitz to change his ways, which of course proves to be akin to taking care of an overgrown toddler in a coke rage. One's propensity to enjoy Call Me Fitz is proportional to one's tolerance for jerks, as series creator Sheri Elwood has top loaded the show with them. The Eastbound and Down comparison is apt because, like Kenny Powers, Fitz drinks, fights and fucks his way through life. Yet while Kenny Powers is a psychologically complex character, Fitz is mostly just full of vitriol and one-liners. So while Call Me Fitz hasn't quite transcended its medium, it is thoroughly funny, and while Fitz is the kind of douchebag you'd cross the street to avoid in real life, Priestley, looking all his 40 years, yet still boyishly charming, saves the character from being completely unredeemable. The DVD package includes a few brief making-of docs, a blooper reel and a sneak preview of season two. (eOne)