Z: The Beginning of Everything (Review)
By Heather Beavers
“I’m going to be a famous writer one day, you should know that.”
“Who was that Zelda?”
“Just some boy.”
It was just the beginning.
Based on the book Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Ann Fowler, The Beginning of Everything is a new series on Amazon and it is everything to someone, like myself, who loves the literature or history or the glitz and glamour of the roaring 20’s.
The opening credits are snapshots in black and white but the decadence jumps right off the screen. It’s narrated from Zelda’s point of view as if she were looking back on a particular point in her life. It follows Zelda and her rather tumultuous life and romance with the famed writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story flows fairly smoothly, the pilot lays a good foundation for the subsequent 10 episodes.
The filming locations are spectacular and the costumes are to die for. Not that I am an expert history buff or even a stickler for era appropriate details, but I imagine everything in the south during the 20’s would be the way this show portrays them. The acting is respectable and the cast choices are on point. I am a firm believer in no spoilers but the basics of the show are as follows;
David Hoflin plays a rather pensive F. Scott Fitzgerald. To take on the role of such an acclaimed writer would be very daunting I’m sure. He is intense and well spoken. If ever I pictured F. Scott Fitzgerald, I imagine him to be very like this character.
Actress Christina Ricci is stunning as Zelda Fitzgerald, the woman who seemingly captivated F. Scott Fitzgerald. Clever, beautiful and quite the rule breaker Zelda is, by far, my favorite character, probably because she is the main focus. She’s very complex and if nothing else, I enjoyed watching her character develop, even if the education I got is not entirely accurate.Tradition doesn’t sway her, nor does public opinion. Zelda longs for something more. She finds it.
While her parents push for ballet and country club outings, she grudgingly obliges to their wishes but Zelda seeks out more raucous parties that are alcohol infused and involve their lonely boys going off to war. This is where she finds her more, in the form of Lieutenant Fitzgerald. His role is in the army is not what he really wants and that makes him a great attraction to Zelda and gives them a great thing they have in common.
Their relationship is seemingly more one sided, with F. Scott being more interested than Zelda. She leaves him hanging at the beginning, avoiding his phone calls and brushing off seeing him out in public, but as the show moves on the playing field is leveled more and his affection, which borders on infatuation, is returned with a bit more enthusiasm ad Zelda realizes the potential for more of what she desires, a new place, somewhere not the south. “Somewhere shiny and new, not obsessed with the past.” as Zelda puts it. She gets it all and more. Maybe more than she initially bargained for.
Together they are very volatile. To see her state of mind change over the course of 10 episodes is an adventure in and of itself.To see their struggles individually and as a couple play out on screen is something I did enjoy seeing. Highly recommended show and very excited for something new from Amazon that I can binge watch again.