Reservation Dogs
Hollywood TV Show Reviews

Reservation Dogs Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew

Loading...

 474 total views,  6 views today

Reservation Dogs Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew

Creators: Sterlin Harjo, Taika Waititi

Stars: D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Elva Guerra, Sarah Podemski

The first episode of Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi’s coming-of-age dramedy Reservation Dogs concludes with the titular quartet of indigenous teens from rural Oklahoma dressed in black-on-white suits, recalling Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. But these kids are hardly seasoned criminals, as evinced by an early sequence where they inelegantly, if still successfully, hijack a delivery truck, losing some of the bags of chips that it carries and never figuring out how to retract its cargo ramp.

The teens later don the suits when they attend a makeshift memorial, which is being held in a dilapidated building in honor of a deceased friend, Daniel. “This place killed him,” says Bear Smallhill (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai) while documenting the Rez Dogs’s day-to-day existence for a class project. The four episodes provided to press ahead of the show’s premiere don’t elaborate on the details of Daniel’s death, but Bear’s words establish the Oklahoma reservation that he and his friends call home as a symbol of all that’s gone wrong in their lives.

Bear likes to think of himself as the leader of the Rez Dogs, as they come to be known, though the idea draws snickers from his cohorts. Elora Danan (Devery Jacobs) is the most daring and in control, the one who drives the stolen truck and scoffs at the suggestion that she buckle her seatbelt. Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis) is more or less the muscle, always wearing a hat and ready to take out her earrings at the first sign of a fight, while Cheese (Lane Factor) is the most docile, seemingly just along for the ride. They sell the truck to a white-run salvage yard and hawk the stolen chips on the lawn of one of their cheap, single-story houses, because every little bit helps. Selling food, scavenging for copper wire, and committing grand theft auto are intended to fund an escape westward, to California.

The first episode of Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi’s coming-of-age dramedy Reservation Dogs concludes with the titular quartet of indigenous teens from rural Oklahoma dressed in black-on-white suits, recalling Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. But these kids are hardly seasoned criminals, as evinced by an early sequence where they inelegantly, if still successfully, hijack a delivery truck, losing some of the bags of chips that it carries and never figuring out how to retract its cargo ramp.

The teens later don the suits when they attend a makeshift memorial, which is being held in a dilapidated building in honor of a deceased friend, Daniel. “This place killed him,” says Bear Smallhill (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai) while documenting the Rez Dogs’s day-to-day existence for a class project. The four episodes provided to press ahead of the show’s premiere don’t elaborate on the details of Daniel’s death, but Bear’s words establish the Oklahoma reservation that he and his friends call home as a symbol of all that’s gone wrong in their lives.

Bear likes to think of himself as the leader of the Rez Dogs, as they come to be known, though the idea draws snickers from his cohorts. Elora Danan (Devery Jacobs) is the most daring and in control, the one who drives the stolen truck and scoffs at the suggestion that she buckle her seatbelt. Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis) is more or less the muscle, always wearing a hat and ready to take out her earrings at the first sign of a fight, while Cheese (Lane Factor) is the most docile, seemingly just along for the ride. They sell the truck to a white-run salvage yard and hawk the stolen chips on the lawn of one of their cheap, single-story houses, because every little bit helps. Selling food, scavenging for copper wire, and committing grand theft auto are intended to fund an escape westward, to California.

What could have been a thin and familiar premise is elevated by a striking sense of authenticity, as Reservation Dogs was shot, in part, on location in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, as well as conceived by indigenous writers and directors. Throughout, the series uses rusted buildings and decaying rural streets to explore the geography of its characters’ lives in all its prickly, go-nowhere ennui, which makes unmistakably clear why these kids want to get out of Dodge. But they want out on their own terms: When a rival “gang” shows up like an invading force, they hesitate because they don’t want to seem like they’re being chased away.

The resulting skirmishes manifest one of the show’s funniest elements: a warrior (Dallas Goldtooth) who appears to Bear whenever the teenager falls in battle, either by fist or by paintball. Bear seems to float in the air while the frame’s aspect ratio constricts and a washed-out filter takes over the screen, the warrior’s stately appearance atop a horse juxtaposed with his loose improv-esque ramblings about how he once saw General Armstrong Custer from a distance or how the frigid spirit realm affects his nipples. The other Rez Dogs also have somewhat hazy grasps of their native heritage: Willie Jack intends to curse a member of the rival gang, but she isn’t really sure what to do beyond acquiring a bag of the target’s hair.

Where outside culture is concerned, Reservation Dogs is marked by a curious sense of remove: The Tarantino references, the old Godzilla movie that the kids buy at the general store, the grainy analog video that Bear plays for his class, and the Wu-Tang shirt that he wears might have marked the series as a period piece if not for the sparing use of smartphones. Even the opening truck heist is set to the Stooges’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” It isn’t clear whether this tour of pop culture spanning several decades is intentional or just the natural result of the show’s creators projecting their nostalgia onto not just their adult characters, but it does effectively highlight the characters’ sense of isolation and apartness.

The show’s homage to Tarantino, who so frequently works in pastiche, is both funny in its deployment and a clear and sturdy statement of intent. Indeed, the Rez Dogs’ upbringing is informed by the vestiges of popular culture, and Reservation Dogs sees them as fusions of native and outside influences. The kids’ speech and style of dress has clear roots in black culture, to say nothing of how Bear’s father attempts to convey staples of native culture through rap. The series captures a feeling more successfully than it develops its characters, but there’s a thematic power to that aimlessness: Even if the kids run away, where can they share these specific, mashed-up values except among themselves?

Reservation Dogs Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew