Amazon's 'Z' Only Has So Much Material To Adapt


It sounds romantic, to be someone's muse. But in the case of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the reality was much more complicated and burdensome. Christina Ricci stars as Fitzgerald in the Amazon series Z: The Beginning Of Everything, premiering on Jan. 27. The first season of the show, which Ricci also produces, chronicles the meeting, courtship, and first explosive conflicts in the love affair of Zelda and jazz age novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Fitzgeralds were an early 20th century power couple and led a life together that's ripe for adaptation after adaptation. So, will there be a second season of Z: The Beginning Of Everything?

Amazon has not announced plans for a Season 2, nor has it confirmed that Z: The Beginning Of Everything is a limited run series ending with Season 1. The show's renewal will depend largely on the audience it can draw. The entire first season will be available at the same time, so it won't take long for Amazon to get the data it needs to determine the viability of ordering a Season 2. An unfortunate case study to look at is the Amazon series Good Girls Revolt. The '60s-set show about a real discrimination case leveled at their bosses by a group of young feminists premiered on Oct. 26. Deadline reported on Dec. 2 that Good Girls Revolt had been canceled. Amazon has been quick on the draw to renew success too. The second season of The Man In The High Castle premiered Dec. 16; it was renewed for a third on Jan. 3, per Deadline.

Biopics are also limited by the amount of material available, and Zelda Fitzgerald's life was a flame that burned too hot and too fast. Z: The Beginning Of Everything is loosely based on the biography Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler and shows the Fitzgeralds' rise to literati fame and fall to notoriety from the vantage point of Zelda. Her beauty, wit, and vivaciousness contributed hugely to her husband's celebrity and made her quite the desirable party guest on her own. Ricci's take on her character is that her modernity made her misunderstood. "I think we’re finally in a place where women see themselves in her, and I think before it was just sort of this woman and her behavior is a mystery," Ricci told Refinery29.

Season 1 of Z: The Beginning Of Everything begins with a teenage Zelda meeting a dashing young novelist at a dance and progresses quickly from there. The synopsis of the season finale describes a married couple who are past their honeymoon phase and trying to recapture what they used to have. If the goal were to have 10 seasons of Z, I'd imagine that the show would have stretched out these events instead of condensing the passage of time. According to PBS, Zelda Fitzgerald died in a fire at the age of 48. There's material for a few more seasons, but eventually, the show will run out of biography.

Whether the series is renewed for Season 2 or not, its star hopes that Z: The Beginning Of Everything will give new insight into a famously decadent figure from a famously decadent time. "I realized that so much of what I thought about Zelda was incorrect and actually incredibly defamatory," Ricci said to The Guardian. A headstrong, independent woman misrepresented by history? Zelda's story is a unique yet too familiar tale.