New on TV: “Reservation Dogs” by FX

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By Quentin Choy

I usually don’t watch a lot of TV shows as I don’t have the patience to commit to long, drawn-out stories. However, I gave the new show Reservation Dogs by FX a chance.

Streaming on Hulu, Reservation Dogs follows the story of four young Native American teenagers living on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma. The four friends are recovering from the death of their friend Daniel, often saying that “this place” (the reservation) killed him.

Following his death, the group commits small robberies and thefts to raise money to follow their dream of leaving the reservation and moving to California.

The show, while serious includes many aspects of comedy, from two men riding around on bicycles singing songs about chips to a flashback of a Native warrior killed at the Battle of Little Bighorn by his own horse.

Reservation Dogs is unlike any other show, with its simple, yet intriguing story as well as its blend of comedy and drama.

Directed by Taika Waititi, director of Thor: Ragnarok, he discussed how many shows and movies about native and indigenous people are depressing, hardly ever showing aspects of comedy and humor.

Director Taika Waititi

In an interview with Salon, he said:

“There was a time where the content had to be depressing. We don’t want to depress people because there’s so much humor in our communities. There’s so many jokers.”

Taika Waititi, director

With four of the show’s main characters being portrayed by Native Americans (Paulina Alexis, Devery Jacobs, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, and Lane Factor), Reservation Dogs elevates the experience of young indigenous people in the 21st Century.

There’s some vulgar language in the show if that is an issue, but the story and characters of the show are relatable and enjoyable to watch.

I’m glad that indigenous youth have a show that they can see themselves in, and I think I may watch this new show all the way through. If you knew me personally, you’d know how big of a deal that is!

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