TNT’s Good Behavior Gives As Good As It Gets

goodbehavior02-533x400TNT’s dark and filthy drama Good Behavior ― aka “Lady Mary’s Come Undone” ― wrapped its high-tension 10-episode run with the same heart, black humor and shenanigans that made its pilot so compelling.

Michelle Dockery’s explosive breakaway from the staid walls of Downton Abbey, as an alcoholic con artist with more wigs than Sydney Bristow, proved worth the binge ― and the hangover! Recently released jailbird Letty Raines, who gets off on stealing, loves to get high, and just wants her biracial son, Jacob, to love her is no scheming noble. She’s painfully honest, unable to be anything but herself, and when she meets a hit man who’s accustomed to wearing dozens of different identities ― played by Argentine hunk-and-a-half Juan Diego Botto ― it’s the catalyst for adventure, growth…and more than a few missteps. All of which make for riveting TV.

Near-perfect first seasons are rare, but Good Behavior pulled it off ― somehow making the gritty, unflinching, but often hilarious antics root-worthy. Whether it was Javier killing a man on a golf course while Letty sings “Blue Skies” in the hotel restaurant or the world’s most awkward family dinner offering insight into the hit man’s past, the show consistently delivered. Right up until the end, where our train-wreck protagonist ends up getting the keys to her dream ― much to her surprise and our delight!

But getting what she’s always wanted doesn’t mean she’s going to reform ― especially when the key to her titular “good behavior” is in trouble. It was absolutely gleeful, and a wonderful payoff, when Letty did what she does best in order to save Javier. Here’s the gal who used a motel room lightbulb to smoke meth in the season premiere coming into her own as a strong, unshakable heroine fighting for her man ― but Good Behavior didn’t let us forget that Letty’s no saint, keeping her dressed in form-fitting black while angel-faced killer Javier wore spotless white. And as far as seduction scenes go…putting his hand on her throat in a chokehold is hardly hearts-and-flowers territory, but damn does it work for them! And the best thing about Letty is that she lives in shades of gray.

Jacob: “Do you trust her?”
Javier: “I do trust her.”
Jacob: “Even though she’s not always honest?”
Javier: “She is always honest. I don’t mean with words. Words are easy.”
Jacob: “Then what is she honest with?”
Javier: “With her actions. The way she lives her life.”

One simple conversation in the finale sums up why TNT bet on the right actress and the right show. Letty Raines’ 10-episode journey, from one life-changing hotel room encounter to another, from one emotionally charged elevator scene to the next, is so worth it. Should the series get a second season, you know that Letty, Javier and her son still have a lot of growing up to do and many more good behaviors to learn, but the ride won’t be boring!

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