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  • Forrest Lonefight Writes

Reservation Dogs EP 01 & 02: "Fuckin' Rez Dogs" & "NDN Clinic" Review


Reservation Dogs, the new Native American Comedy that premiered on Hulu FX on 8/9 is one that I was waiting for.

As a youth, I've always wondered if a gritty Native American comedy show would fly with mainstream audiences. Growing up on "The Sett," (AKA The Meskwaki Settlement of the Mississippi in Iowa) I've written ideas down and sketched out scenes in my head that made me laugh out loud; as if I were ever to develop a show like that in my lifetime.

But in 2021, a show like that has finally arrived!

Now, despite the downtrodden portrayal of Natives that plays out as pensive poverty porn in usual mainstream media, Natives (like me) love to laugh! Especially at YOU! (Aye! Just kiddin'!)

Growing up, we didn't have much we could relate to. I remember The Brady Bunch (The Whitest Show on TV for many years) and watched the episode where the family was on vacation in the American Southwest. The kids are split up (I think) and they meet a Native boy in the middle of nowhere. The golden-haired girls recoiled in fear and little Bobby Brady, used his Boy Scout superpower and said, "I'll handle this!" He walks up to the Native boy and puts his right hand up in an open palm gesture and greets him, "How."

"How what?"

"Uhh...How are you doing?" (Cue laughter)

This was my first Native American comedy TV moment.

Around the time that the movie, Dances With Wolves, came out, there was a light renaissance of Natives onscreen in shows like Twin Peaks, and Northern Exposure. Then nothing. Full-on Native American comedy shows ripe with material to be brought to the American experience was lacking.



Now, I know NBC Peacock's, Rutherford Falls premiered first this year. I haven't finished the season and haven't decided on reviewing it. I've been following the press about it, and it seems the big Peacock is dipping it's toes into uncharted waters. They're scared the advertisers and investors would bail if they didn't give Ed Helms 60% of the screen time. To me, the jokes are garbled-up by no comedic timing just so they can cut to commercial. Sadly, that is the state of modern mainstream network comedy.

On the FX network, showrunners Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi (Korg in Thor 3) can get rough and edgy with a full authentically Native/Indigenous cast! Do these two episodes deliver?

Fuckin' A. They fuck dat shit up! From the opening shot of our gang of teenagers stealing a potato chip van to the tune of The Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog", this sets the tone for what's to come: a kick-ass authentic Oklahoma Reservation coming of age story!

The actors are on point and have that Oklahoma Rez style down. I know these munchkins!

You viewers looking to see some old time NDN's have one in an old Warrior dressed in breech cloth and choker that visits our main character, Bear, in dream sequences that are top-shelf comedic gold.

From the ludicrous antics of the lone Tribal Cop, to the wannabe NDN's at the chop shop, to the rude clinic receptionist, (Who makes a guest appearance from ANOTHER show!) I am looking forward to seeing what my crazy little cousins, I mean, the rest of the Rez Dogs are gonna get into in later episodes! Stoo Dis!

Fuh! S'Pretty Fuckin' Good! Got choked up and shit on that one part...(*sniff)-FL




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