Okay, it’s June. It’s hot and sticky outside and it’s going to stay that way for a few more months. There’s probably a little sweat forming on your lower back right now as you’re reading this. You can be forgiven if, while you’re trying to watch Chernobyl or some other very heavy and bleak television show that feels like the visual equivalent of February, your mind starts to wander a bit. Maybe you’re thinking about hot dogs. I usually am. Or maybe it goes something like this…
Man, you know what I could go for right now? A show about a thief. But, like, not just any thief. A master thief. One who just got out of jail and is trying to go straight but gets roped back in — one last job, “because you’re the best, that’s why,” etc. — by some sort of crime boss, preferably played by Gus Fring from Breaking Bad. And it all spirals from there, with the fallout from one theft requiring an immediate second theft, and the crossing of one shady character resulting in the double-crossing of one or more other shady characters.
Oh! And everything should be very steamy, too. So steamy. All the characters should be glistening as often as possible. Maybe there’s a safecracking in Cuba and a heist in a fancy nightclub and at least one of them is set to funky 70s bow-chicka-wowow music. I’m talking about the kind of show where everyone has the perfect one-liner and knows each other’s very elaborate drink order and everything — sex, violence, dialogue — is dialed up so high that the needle on the Too Much Meter has swung way over into the red and is starting to shake. And the thief is very cool and always knows the right move in the moment and is played by… by… Carla Gugino! Hell yeah, Carla Gugino. I could go for a show like that right now. It’s June, after all.
Great news, my friend. This hyper-specific idea of a show that you dreamed-up now exists. It’s called Jett and the first episode aired last weekend on Cinemax. Look at that. You did it.
Jett is the brainchild of writer-director Sebastian Gutierrez, who writes the series as though he just read a bunch of Elmore Leonard novels and directs like he just binged all three John Wick movies. Gugino — Gutierrez’s real-life partner and frequent collaborator — plays Daisy “Jett” Kowalski, the aforementioned recently-imprisoned master thief. Jett has a young daughter and a mysterious live-in friend named Maria who is not her lover or nanny. She is planning — trying — to go straight. Giancarlo Esposito, the aforementioned crime boss who ropes her back into a life of crime, uh, ropes her back into a life of crime. He has a violent and ambitious son who appears to be framing Jett for something and is also the subject of an investigation by a detective who is Jett’s former lover, much to the chagrin of his new partner on the force, who is his current lover. By the end of the first episode, Jett has stolen a ring from a Havana mansion and slept with a few people and a couple of guys have been shot in the head, some while nude. Jett is very much that type of show.