- By Native News Online Staff
Co-created by Indigenous filmmakers Sterlin Harjo (Seminole) and Taika Waititi (Māori), the coming-of-age drama/comedy follows the lives of four Native American teens — played by’ Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Devery Jacobs, Paulina Alexis and Lane Factor — growing up on an Oklahoma reservation. The show debuted in 2021 to immediate critical acclaim.
The first two seasons of “Reservation Dogs” takes viewers on a journey with the teenage characters who are grieving the death of their best friend and promising to fulfill his dream of traveling to California. The show — which has an all-Indigenous writer’s room, crew and regular cast — has received wide praise for its nuanced portrayal of modern Native life and has netted numerous awards, including a 2022 Peabody Award and a 2022 Independent Spirit Award. The show has a 99% rating on the popular movie and television review website Rotten Tomatoes, making it one of the website’s top-rated shows of all time.
“It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen or felt before,” said Danger, who is a member of the Muscogee and Seminole nations. “We are so often seen as historical relics. To see us in a modern setting, dealing with real problems – but also rez problems – was so refreshing and says, ‘We are here. And we are going to be represented.’”
Season two, which premiered on Sep. 28, 2022, featured cameos by several well-known Native Americans, including former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, award-winning actor and comic Tatanka Means, and “Prey” actress Amber Midthunder.
In an interview with GQ Magazine in 2022, Harjo was asked how he felt about the show — embraced by both audiences and critics — being passed over for an Emmy.
“The fact that I get to tell this story and it’s supported and we’re on Season 3, I mean, that’s better than any Emmy,” Harjo replied. “The fact that Native people have something they’re so proud of and take ownership of is better than any Emmy.”
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