In contrast, Gloria and Shelby. Everyone has one dead parent and one living with a surviving relative who is financially supportive when critical. These friends of Costello do not have a happy family life. But they have parents. Costello does not, and without these most basic safety nets, he suffers.
American viewers may be surprised at the level of support our hero gets from the state—he avoids homelessness thanks to a British government that houses its citizens, however modestly. However, he could not avoid despair.
Part of the problem is that Costello is just being himself. He’s “a little dick,” as a potential employer described him (and he agreed with the label). He is loud and rude, insisting on telling his own story without the filter of a journalist to interview him or social media chatter to define him. “Rain Dogs” showcased her powerful voice—she went viral and caught the attention of a publisher. But the strength of his self-confidence also works against him. He paid a heavy price for not acting “how authors behave” in an important scene while simultaneously defending his credibility as a working-class man.
Costello can’t win. The system is stacked against him, though it’s easy to judge him for trying to build on whatever small fraction he currently balances. Costello’s struggle to try to love and raise a child despite not being fully human is made all the more difficult for reasons beyond his control. Enough to make this critic cry.
There is a lot of injustice in “Rain Dogs” but also a lot of love, cheeky humor, and perseverance. Ultimately this is a show about flawed people trying to do more than survive, and sometimes failing at it.
The entire season was screened for review. “Rain Dogs” premieres on Monday, March 6.