Comedy series about four Native American teenagers growing up on a reservation in eastern Oklahoma.Comedy series about four Native American teenagers growing up on a reservation in eastern Oklahoma.Comedy series about four Native American teenagers growing up on a reservation in eastern Oklahoma.
That being said, I very much enjoyed the first season of this show. It's a coming of age story about 4 teenagers living on a Native American reservation in Oklahoma. We not only watch them experience the typical angst and dilemmas that come with adolescence, but we also see them discover their roots and find their respective places within their community. The teens are not of the cookie cutter variation, they commit petty crimes and grand theft auto (if the stealing of the truck in the first episode can count as that) for the sake of making enough money to go and live out a California dream, that their late friend had thought of. A simple storyline, but it's told in a very engaging way that not only serves as representation for the Native American/ Indigenous communities but also reminds viewers of all backgrounds that regardless of skin tone, religion, or ethnic backgrounds - we're all humans experiencing the same issues. The only thing that differs is our settings.
Take for example the episode where we are introduced to Bear's estranged relationship with his father. This is a dynamic that can, unfortunately, be found in any household of people from any background. The story is told in a very thoughtful and natural way as well so that anyone watching who has gone through something similar can relate to it. The show also tackles issues that are exclusive to the Native/Indigenous experience as well and it does so in a comedic but still serious manner. An example of that being the episode where Bear's mother meets a man at a local bar and goes home with him only to find out his attraction to Native women is not as innocent as it initially seemed. This is something that does happen within the Native/Indigenous community, unfortunately, and it's why there is a high number of Native/Indigenous women missing.
But, again, the shows takes on these subjects in a way that is not forceful or patronizing, it's all integrated into the story so that the message comes across naturally and not preachy. This is also seen in how the adult characters like the local reservation sheriff Big, Uncle Smoke, and Leon teach the kids about their Native/Indigenous roots without having to be cheesy about it; in a "Full House" moral of the day kind of way. When the adults pass on advice or cultural lessons to the teenagers, it's done so in a natural way and that goes back to good writing. Most importantly that it's being written by people who have actually experienced what they're writing about.
The acting is great, the characters are all memorable, however some of the jokes can be hit or miss. This is why I rated it at a 8/10, there were times where the jokes fell flat but considering how good the rest of the show is, this is something that can be overlooked.
I look forward to season 2 and hope the excellent writing keeps up. This is a great example of representation done right ! Thank you Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi !
- Oct 18, 2021