Reservation Dogs (2021-Present) | Discussion and Recommendations | Television Shows
Reservation Dogs (2021) is an Indigenous American teen-comedy series, created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi for FX Productions. It is notable that the series is created by Indigenous American creators and features a cast of almost entirely Indigenous American actors and production team.
The series stars D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Deverey Jacobs, Lane Factor, Paula Alexis, Sarah Podemski, Zahn McClarnon and Dallas Goldtooth. The series was distributed Disney Platform Distribution and Disney-ABC Domestic Television and aired on FX on Hulu on August 9, 2021. The second season is currently being aired on Hulu.
In the first episode of Reservation Dogs (2021), we are introduced to four teenagers, Bear Smallhill (D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), Elora Danon Postoak (Deverey Jacobs), Cheese (Lane Factor) and Willie Jack (Paula Alexis). They like to think of themselves as a gang who commit small crimes in order to secure enough money for their escape from their reservation in Oklahoma to Los Angeles. They steal a truck filled with a chip version of Hot Cheetos, take the truck to a scrapyard, sell it, then negotiate a few boxes of fake Hot Cheetos to take with them. We soon see that they also start to sell the fake Hot Cheetos to make even more money.
We learn about their relationships with each other and their relationships with other people, such as different neighborhood friends, foes and family members. As the series continues, we see that although they are desperate to leave Oklahoma, some of the teenagers feel bad about stealing and want to try to do the right thing instead of committing crimes, although they are not sure how. Along the way, we are introduced to a plethora of hilarious characters.
There are a lot of themes covered in this show, which I thought made it even more interesting instead of a straight comedy series. I've lived in towns/states where it seems like nothing is happening, nothing will ever happen and my husband and I couldn't wait to leave as soon as we could. We didn't resort to crime, but I understand how someone could get to that level if they felt there was no other way.
There are a lot of nods to Indigenous American culture and jokes about how different the Indigenous American culture is from other cultures. I never felt like I couldn't understand where the characters were coming from or their motivations; I felt like every episode was relatable and I liked how they kept the jokes and serious situations fresh throughout the series. I liked each and every character and how you get to know each character slowly throughout the series, so it always kept me wanting to know more about each person.
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I really love this series and I hope it continues to be renewed. This is one of my favorite television shows and reminds me a lot of Welcome to Flatch (2022), which I also love. I really enjoy how different each episode is and how I never know what is going to happen or who I will learn more about.
Have you seen this series? Are you currently watching it on Hulu? Does it sound like something you'd be interested in? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!