‘Reservation Dogs’ Season 2: Running Home

It is the birthright of every youth to run away from their hometown. In America, betting and hitting the road are built into popular culture – it’s “Go West, Young Man”; this is a Bruce Springsteen Songs,

For some Americans, though — like the four teenagers on an Oklahoma reservation in FX’s fantastic coming-of-age comedy “Reservation Dogs” — the idea of ​​a home, who’s it and who’s it, is more complicated. The romance of the street is, after all, tied to the history of seeing North America as a frontier. When your ancestors lived in what others saw as an empty space to fill themselves, the American myth hits a bit differently.

Pushing and pulling away from home powers “Reservation Dogs,” which emerged last year as one of TV’s most lively, specially crafted comedies out of the box. The terrible first season focused on the urge to go away; The second, which returns to Hulu on Wednesday, is essential to rediscovering your home.

The pilot episode explodes on your screen as if someone is following him. The self-proclaimed gang of four (the show’s title comes from their nickname, a reference to the Quentin Tarantino film “Reservoir Dogs”) are introduced in the middle of jacking up a snack-chips truck. They plan to raise money, move to California, and leave behind a reservation they blame for the suicide of their friend Daniel (Dalton Cramer).

Like many improvisational plans, it takes a few twists, and the season introduces kids to a calm, attentive character. Ellora (Davry Jacobs) is a heartbreaker who feels especially heavy at the loss of Danielle (we eventually learn that it was she who found her body). Bear (D’Phiroh Woon-e-Tai) is a slender boy who stumbles upon being the man he appears to be outwardly. Cheese (Lane Factor) is dead and thoughtful; Willie Jack (instant winner) Paulina Alexis) has a singularly foul mouth and a faithful heart.

California is less a solid destination for them than an idea, a stand-in for “not here.” But deeply in touch with the spirit and taste of the “reservation dog” Here that it portrays.

creator, sterling harjo and Taika Waititi, produced a story about Indigenous peoples, filmed on location in Oklahoma, with the fine texture of great regional TV. (It’s a welcome example of TV’s focus on rural life and a reminder that “rural” is not synonymous with “white.”) It’s steeped in lore, lifestyle, and pop history; The Season 1 episode unravels the myth of the avenging Deer Lady and the career of Native American ’70s band Redbones.

Like “Atlanta,” another magical-realistic comedy from FX, “Reservation Dogs” features heartfelt irreverence and an aversion to romantic clichés. bear is visited by spirit of a Lakota warrior (Dallas Goldtooth), who was at the Battle of Little Big Horn—but not inside, as he died when his horse hit Gopher Hole—and who would provide nuggets of wisdom in a torrent of bro-speak Is. In a new episode, he tells Baer, ​​”Come on, my wayward son, there will be peace when you’re done,” a blessing from the classic rock band Kansas.

The eight-episode first season happily leads nowhere, building a cast of world and local eccentricities. Zahn McClarnon, who anchored the AMC crime drama “Dark Winds,” gives a strange performance with screwball insight as Big, a hapless tribal police officer; The sufferings of reservation and the support systems are portrayed in miniature in an episode set in an Indian Health Service clinic.

As in many teen romances, the things dogs hate about their home (insularity, money problems, bad memories) give you access to the things, admit it or not, they love about it ( relationships, interdependence, better memories).

One by one, the friends get cold feet about to leave, and Elora leaves for California alone, taking her grandmother’s car with her hard-nosed frenzy, Jackie (Elva Guerra, also of “Dark Winds”). Is. She is finally freed, but the farther west she travels, the more immaculate she seems. Meanwhile, his friends are trying to find ways to make the house at home, make amends for the past and process Daniel’s loss.

The new season is a few notches closer to the drama side of dramedy, but there’s still plenty of cool humor. In the second episode, Willie Jack and Cheese turn to Uncle Brownie (Gary Farmer) for help lifting a curse, which removes advice and decades-old weed. He stumbles his way through a ceremony he says needs to end with “an old song”. He stops and summons the music from within – “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty. (“It’s like 30 years old. He’s old!”)

The miraculous and mundane are always elbowing in “reservation dogs”. Jackie receives a prophecy in the form of a souvenir card from the “Medicine Man” fortunetelling machine at a gas station gift shop. (“You must get off the path you’re on.”) The bear spirit visits guide Uncle Brownie, who performed a ritual to ward off a tornado in the Season 1 finale and now believes he is a holy person. Atma says this is nonsense. “That turned out to be a hurricane,” he says, but “whatever, everybody can do it.”

Like Spirit, “Reservation Dogs” believe any of its characters are capable of magic, not just literal, meteorological ones. Everyone, even a screw-up, has power and responsibility as part of a larger community. You can make predictions from the drunkard sitting at the bar or get wisdom from the guy cutting his hair on the porch.

You can sometimes catch a glimpse of enlightenment even while doing a day’s work. In the new season, Bear takes on a construction job and finds himself working next to Daniel’s father, Danny (Michael Spears), leading to uncomfortable memories for both of them. Bear almost falls off the roof trying to grab some loose shingles, but Danny catches him. “The first rule of the roof,” says Danny. “If it’s already falling don’t chase it.” It’s a lesson that Bear and all his friends are trying to learn: how to know what to skip, and how to avoid.

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