Much of what the charismatic-licked FAM founder Obie Garbeau II preaches and sells to his loyal followers on his thousands of cassettes could also come from the Scientology textbook. The god the FAM family worships is money.
A satire on the American ascension myth
Just like in many sects, there is also a clear hierarchy at FAM. But to rise, Travis must first prove himself as a seller and recruiter. After work he is under enormous pressure to sell toilet paper, cleaning agents, toothpaste, etc. and to get his customers to join FAM as salespeople themselves. Without new customers, no commission. And without a commission, he cannot afford to attend training courses. FAM is a vicious circle! Although it is obvious from the outside that the Garbeau system is not working, front and back, Travis doesn’t want to hear about fraud.
“On Becoming A God In Central Florida” is a satire on the American Dream, the famous myth of the dishwasher that made it a millionaire. The many pyramid schemes are based on this idea: No matter who you are, you can quickly become successful without great effort.
That fits in perfectly with the setting in the brightly colored 1990s, when the USA was booming economically and prosperity seemed just a right decision away. This naive belief leads to many bizarre moments and very funny dialogues in the series.
The neon-bright spirit of “Tiger King”
Without giving away the first shocker: Krystal Stubbs will soon be without a husband and not only have to feed her baby Destiny, but also grapple with Travis’ legacy (and mountain of debt). For Krystal there is only one solution: she has to take care of the final boss – and for her that is Obie Garbeau II, the founder of FAM.
Like the documentary “Tiger King”, “On Becoming A God in Central Florida” lives from the mixture of gloomy Florida charm and the over-the-top megalomania of the protagonists – and this mixture is again a lot of fun.