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Series / Good Behavior

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Good Behavior is a 2016 TV series airing on TNT starring Michelle Dockery and Juan Diego Botto and co-created by Blake Crouch and Chad Hodge, based on the former Letty Dobesh novellas.

The story is centered on Letty Raines (Dockery), an ex-con recently released for Good Behavior who's newly out of a job after having been fired from a janitorial job in a dive for refusing to sleep with her boss.

She decides to resort back to a con in order to start making a living and during one in a hotel, she overhears a man paying a contract killer, Javier Pereira (Botto) to kill his wife, and decides to thwart the killing.


In a surprising turn of events, Letty and Javier end up starting to cross paths and eventually grow to care for each other, while Letty tries to turn her life around in order to gain custody of her 11-year-old son Jacob.

The show was cancelled after two seasons on December 17, 2017.

Good Behavior provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Javier's father, who treats Javier like a monster ever since a tragic accident when he was a kid that resulted in the death of his younger brother Santino, and feels outright vindicated when he reveals Javier's actual job during a tense (because of him) family dinner, resulting in Ava outright refusing to see Javier again.
  • Adaptational Badass: Javier is able to get rid of his victim in the pilot much more easily than his book counterpart, who ends up tied up and tortured, and is only saved when Letty comes back to check if Sheila is alive and saves him, killing the woman.
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  • Adaptation Name Change: Letty Dobesh from the novel becomes Letty Raines in the show.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Letty is a master of this. All it takes is putting on a certain outfit with a certain item and she can be treated like she belong there.
    • Needing money to bail out her mom while at a local diner, Letty puts on a dark shirt, does up her hair and asks another waitress if she needs help. Assuming she's a new hire, the woman lets Letty take over with Letty soon taking in enough tip money to afford bail.
  • Black Sheep: Javier, to his father.
  • Call-Back: Episode 4 of season 1 ends with Javier coming to pick up Letty in front of the bank in her hometown. Episode 4 of season 2 ends with Letty coming to pick up Javier in the very same place.
  • Christmas Episode: "Because I'm Mrs. Claus" from season 2.
  • Con Man: Letty, obviously.
    • In season 2, Letty brings Javier to meet her grandmother, Alice, who lives on a massive plantation with a rich husband, speaking in a crisp British accent. As soon as they're alone, Letty laughs "that accent is terrible!" It turns out besides her grandmother, Alice is the veteran con artist who taught Letty the ropes.
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  • Dark and Troubled Past: Both Javier and Letty have a pretty damn dark past.
  • Double Standard: Letty is jarred when her ex's long judgemental Christian girlfriend is chastising her for her language...right after Letty has discovered the pair are producing Christian-themed porn movies in their home.
  • Gray-and-Gray Morality: Javier is a contract killer (although one with a code of honor of sorts) and Letty's a thief, and every single character around them is a shade of grey, apart from Jacob. And Rob.
  • Idiot Ball: Rob, so often.
    • In season 2, he treats the group to a Christmas weekend at a five-star resort. It's after he says they don't need to wait for the check for a $900 meal that Letty realizes Rob is under the impression this place is "all-inclusive" like Club Med and Letty has to break it to him this "fun little trip" is going to run at least ten grand.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode is named after a line from its dialogue.
  • Indy Ploy: Letty and Javier have a whole conversation on this. Javier always plans ahead and thinks things through and prepares answers for questions anyone might ask while Letty always makes it up as she goes along because she really is that good at thinking on her feet. As the story progresses, the two work in a more Xanatos Speed Chessy way.
  • Master of Disguise: Letty uses elaborate outfits, sunglasses, make up and her high quality wigs to make herself pretty much unrecognizable when stealing stuff.
  • Race Lift: Javier's counterpart in the Letty Dobesh short story that the pilot is based on is a white man named Arnold.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: In season 2, Letty tries to help grandmother (and con artist) Alice prove her rich husband is cheating on her so she can divorce him for a big payday. Letty tries to seduce the man, only for him to reveal he knows all along about Alice and who she is (openly mocking her terrible "British" accent) and yet he truly loves her and is willing to play this game to spend more time before she inevitably leaves him.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: In a great "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Agent Lashever's rookie snaps on how her career is all about going after low-level crooks (and often failing) yet continues to brag as if she's one of the top agents in the FBI.
  • Spotting the Thread: Thanks to her experience, Letty is often able to spot small details on things which aid her cons.
    • When she and Javier are arrested by Lashever, Letty wonders how it's odd the woman, rather than a full-on SWAT team, has one rookie agent fresh out of the academy and taking them to a local office in her own special limo jeep rather than an official vehicle. This lets her realize Lashever is doing this on her own and the opening for a great con that lets her and Javier escape.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: A variation in season 2 as Letty poses as a drag queen as part of a con and is surprised how easily people think she's a man pretending to be a woman.