Reservation Dogs: F*ckin' Rez Dogs
August 10, 2021 12:00 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

A year after the death of a friend, four Indigenous teens in small town Oklahoma turn to petty crime in style influenced by the last few decades of media. Trailer [youtube].

Kylie Cheung: "No more 'Indian in the Cupboard'": "Reservation Dogs" is the new direction of Native storytelling" [salon]

Daniel D'Addario: "‘Reservation Dogs’ Is a Slice-of-Life Triumph From Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi: TV Review" [variety]

Inkoo Kang: "‘Reservation Dogs’ is an unforgettable (and caper-filled) portrait of a modern-day Native American community" [washpo]
posted by porpoise (12 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Second episode was released simultaneously.
posted by porpoise at 12:04 AM on August 10, 2021

Haven't watched it yet but wanted to add the NYTimes article: ‘Reservation Dogs’ Uses Humor, Not Magic, to Conjure Native Culture. It's quite detailed and has quotes from an extensive interview with one of the creators, Sterlin Harjo.
posted by Nelson at 7:04 AM on August 10, 2021

I gobbled it all up immediately. When is the next one?
posted by Don Pepino at 1:31 PM on August 10, 2021

I believe they drop Mondays, the next is on the 16th.

Enjoyed this a lot, and the ... kids didn't bother me at all. Felt authentic rather than forced. Got a little bit of the 'Kids' (1995) vibe there. The portrayal of modern small (mixed) town Indigenous life felt verisimilitudinous.

Haven't looked hard, but haven't run across any overly negative reviews.

There's certainly levity, but looks like they aren't afraid to explore darker themes. And regarding themes, the range is pretty broad too.

Like I said, I actually like the principle cast of kids so far. Zahn McClarnon gets a turn playing something more than just a stereotypical stoic hardass. Some real gems in the supporting cast - like the jaded hospital receptionist or the scrap yard dudes.

Bobby Lee (Dr. Kang) is deadpan hilarious and an under represented archetype. He reminds me a bit of a goofy highschool socials studies (history, civics) teacher of mine in highschool; descendant of Chinese railroad worker and labourers, grew up and taught highschool in rural Northern BC before moving to North Van to finish his teaching career in the late 80's through the 90s. Was more often mistaken for First Nations than not when he was up North.

I'm hooked.
posted by porpoise at 7:33 PM on August 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

I felt very seen by the fact that they could not get the ramp unhooked from the van. Those things are handy, but always so much easier to get in place than to remove.

Great show with such a unique perspective. This show demonstrates exactly why having a wider range of voices in the entertainment industry is to everyone's benefit. Even discounting the incredibly important aspects of representation, it is so great to see shows and movies that come from outside the monoculture.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:28 AM on August 13, 2021 [3 favorites]

I've only watched the first episode so far, but it was great.

Loved the mom singing Waterfalls as she primped, though I hope that is just to establish her age and doesn't turn out to be too thematically appropriate.
posted by the primroses were over at 2:58 PM on August 14, 2021

So good.

Elora Danan is the best name evar.
posted by BrashTech at 4:27 PM on August 14, 2021 [3 favorites]

I loved the first episode! Strong Atlanta vibes. I feel a little shallow saying that but I mean it as a compliment. Excellent writing, slightly disorienting documentaryish filming, struggles of young people trying to make life work for them on their terms. Very different in many other ways too, from Waititi's directorial stamp to (obviously) the setting. Good stuff.

Haven't listened yet but a friend recommended a podcast episode: Marc Maron's interview with Sterlin Harjo.
posted by Nelson at 7:56 AM on August 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

I love this show so much!! Fucking hilarious, excellent music, and wonderful characters.
posted by stellaluna at 10:20 PM on August 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

I assume we're talking about eps 1 & 2 here?

In general I like the way each of the 4 gets their moment to be sensitive and vulnerable. They give each other some grief but it seems like they give each other a lot of grace even if the way they do it isn't especially poetic.

Dr. Kang's reaction to how many Flaming Flames (is that what the chips were called?) that Elora is eating was so funny. Also, him telling Bear that he can fight again if he wants to.
posted by Emmy Rae at 7:37 PM on August 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

They're not just exaggerating for comic effect. Eat Xxtra Flamin' Hot Cheetos or Fuego Takis for 2-3 days in a row and your stomach will indeed feel like you've been eating rocks and broken glass!
posted by lefty lucky cat at 8:52 PM on August 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

If you got as big of a kick out of the doofy vision of the ancestor on the horse as I did, check out more Dallas Goldtooth with his comedy troupe the 1491s on youtube. My favorites:

Slapping Medicine Man
Singing Lessons
The Indian Store
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 2:14 PM on August 26, 2021 [3 favorites]

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