I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I have a love affair with Key West. I can’t tell anyone why or what it is about the place. I try to describe it’s quirks, the characters that live there, the unusual history, but words just don’t do it.
Hummmm… “unusual history.” I guess the word “unusual” doesn’t give a good picture. From the early pirates… to the rum runners and bootleggers of prohibition… from the artists and writers like Hemingway & Tennessee Williams… to the Mayor of Margaritaville himself, Jimmy Buffett… they have all combined to give Bone Island some of its character.
Unusual can’t possibly describe all the weird stuff that happens… and all the weirdos that live there. I use “weirdos” lovingly. People from all walks of life live there from lawyers to lawbreakers hiding down at the end of the world.
Yesterday while trolling the internet for something interesting… using search words, “Key West”… I came across a 1990s TV series named, “Key West.” It was on Fox in 1993 and ran for 13 episodes. I found it on YouTube and of course, I had to watch. The first episode opens up with a distorted twist on an Irish proverb:
“ May the wind at your back never be your own”
It opens with our factory worker hero, Shaun O’Riley played by Fisher Stevens, winning the lottery. It fades into a scene with Shaun driving a 1970s Pontiac convertible down the Overseas Highway… the Seven Mile Bridge… with dolphins jumping in the water. Before the opening credits are run Shaun drives by the Lighthouse (On Whitehead street catty-cornered from the Hemingway house), the famous “buoy” at the Southernmost Point, down Duval and an aerial view of Smathers Beach.
Then our hero drives past a phony-baloney “mile marker 0” (MM0) sign, across the beach and into the ocean. Anyone knowing anything about Key West knows MM0 isn’t at the beach. But that doesn’t matter to me… I’m hooked, and I’ll allow them the “poetic license” with MM0.
I watched the whole episode. That’s 45 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. The whole thing is poorly acted… overacted. It’s poorly written with dialogue no one would say. And if I knew anything about directing I would say it was poorly directed. They did keep my attention with “dancers” in skimpy… very skimpy bikinis, but then hey, I’m just a guy. The skimpy bikini dancers didn’t seem to have anything to do with the plot.
There’s a reason it only lasted 13 episodes. If it hadn’t been on Fox back in the day, it wouldn’t have lasted that long. Sure, Fisher Stevens (our hero) has become an accomplished actor, director, and producer… but not back then. Perhaps he did the best that could be done with the script.
With all the stuff I just said… no matter how bad it is… somehow it manages to capture the essence of Cayo Hueso. Its characters are unbelievable, but maybe no more improbable than real characters of Key West. When you first hear the story of the real-life Capt’n Tony you might not believe it… nor that Jimmy Buffett was his campaign manager when he (Capt’n Tony) ran for Mayor of Key West. So although the characters of this show are not realistic, they do show just how quirky The Rock can be.
A sub-plotline has politics of the town that might also be unbelievable, but it’s amazing how close the 1993 show reflects the politics of today… not only the Key West politics but also the current National politics.
I can’t in good consciousness recommend you watch this show. Besides how bad it is, the quality of the video and audio on YouTube are poor owing to an umpteenth generation copy. I searched and couldn’t find a better version on Netflix or the like. So just in case you want to see for yourself, here’s the link:
That’s all I’ve got time for today. I’ve got to go watch next episode.