Writing for The Guardian, Ellen E Jones gave the show a rating of 5 out of 5 and said, "Reservation Dogs is able to lay waste stylishly to centuries of myth and misrepresentation due to one simple, crucial, innovation: almost everyone involved in the production is a Native American, offering a perspective which never panders to the often-fetishising gaze of outsiders. Instead, this show tells of the push-pull of home: that simultaneous yearning to both belong and be free." Candice Frederick of TV Guide rated the series 4 out of 5, based on the first four episodes and said, "Though it wrestles with some heavy, but not overtly political, themes, Reservation Dogs seems to mostly have fun with young life on a reservation." In another 4 out 5 rating, Alan Sepinwall, writing for Rolling Stone, said, "a show like Reservation Dogs feels long overdue. And this exact show? It's awfully good." Paste magazine's Allison Keene gave a rating of 9.2 out of 10 and called the series "a perfect summer series, one that takes places on languid afternoons and moves at an unhurried pace."
The New Yorker's Doreen St. Félix wrote, "Reservation Dogs is a mood piece, and a sweet one, a collection of intertwined and poetic portraiture that focuses not solely on the central cast". Daniel D'Addario of Variety said, "Reservation Dogs is a lovely, eminently watchable triumph. It's an overdue tribute to a sort of community it doesn't mythologize. Instead, the show treats the reservation and its residents on their own terms, as worthy of being explored for just what it is, and just who they are." Polygon's Joshua Rivera praised the series, saying, "like a lot of great art, Reservation Dogs challenges its audience with wit and style to look in spaces that have long been ignored, and identify with experiences that are outside their own." Writing for IGN, Matt Fowler said, "Reservation Dogs features characters we like, a community we're drawn to (and may be curious about)." Esther Zuckerman of Thrillist praised the series' tone, stating that "Reservation Dogs is at times melancholy, and at times deeply irreverent. But whatever mood it's going for at any given moment, it's some of the most unique, enjoyable, and artistically satisfying television available to watch."
Critics were given the first four episodes prior to its premiere to review. It received an "A" from Manuel Betancourt of The A.V. Club and Chase Hutchinson of Collider, an "A-" from Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly and Brian Tallerico of The Playlist, and a "B+" from Kristen Lopez of IndieWire. Betancourt highlighted the way it treats dark materials, such as generational trauma, wounding grief, and systemic inequities, with "winsome humor", without going too far. Hutchinson praised the writing, humor, and performances, particularly Jacobs' and Woon-A-Tai's. Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter also praised the performances and further singled out Jacobs', particularly in the episode "Mabel". Kristen Reid of Paste gave it a 9.3 out of 10 and said, "Just a season and a half in, Harjo and co-creator Taika Waititi have already found their groove with Reservation Dogs. Inviting us onto the reservation to experience it with this group of quickly beloved kids, [It] feels like a celebration of Native life and a way to inspire change for the better."
Paulina Alexis, Devery Jacobs, D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, and Lane Factor play the title characters in Reservations Dogs, a series about teenagers living on a reservation in Oklahoma. Shane Brown/ FX on Hulu hide caption
Right now I live on the Muscogee Reservation, which is part of Tulsa. Through a lot of complicated government policy and interactions with tribal governments that I can't go into because it'd be another show, it was not identified as a reservation before, but it is now. But if you look at Oklahoma, it used to be Indian Territory, which was essentially one big reservation. Then, of course, oil and the land and other things disrupted that.
But this is where Trail of Tears ended. This is where all of the tribes that were forcibly removed by the U.S. government were brought to Indian Territory, which is Oklahoma now. So essentially it was one giant reservation. And you go an hour in any direction in Oklahoma or 30 minutes in any direction, in Oklahoma, you're going to be in a new tribal territory, with different tribal languages on the stop signs and on signage in the town. Different cultures, different customs. And so it's ... a melting pot of Indigenous Native people from America. And I think there's something like 38 tribes here.
Back in Season 1, Willie Jack gets to talking about all the seemingly uncontrolled dogs running the streets. "Nobody cares about Rez dogs," she says, referring as much to herself and her friends as to their four-footed namesakes. But she's wrong. This show cares, and I suspect it will make you care too.
For generations, tribal members have been using dogs for work. Dogs are mainly used to herd animals (typically sheep) or guard property. Tribal members house their working dogs outside and often lack the means to build containment, so these dogs are free to procreate with other dogs in the area.
It has been estimated that a single female dog and her offspring can produce over 67,000 puppies in six years, so one can imagine how the stray population grew quickly. Currently, the life expectancy of a stray dog on the reservations is only two years due to disease, lack of food and water, and car vs. dog incidents as dogs roam seeking food. Puppies rarely survive to weaning due to poor nutrition of the mother, lack of shelter from the brutal elements of the region, and predators.
Parents need to know that Reservation Dogs is a coming-of-age comedy about four teenagers living on a Native American reservation -- tribe unspecified -- in rural Oklahoma. The teens (Bear, Elora Dannen, Willy Jack, and Cheese) struggle with the prospect of never getting the chance to leave where they live and long for a fresh start in sunny California. There's some fighting, and drug and alcohol use includes marijuana. Language is constant, with many uses of the words "f--k" and "s--t." This series was created by and stars all Indigenous people, which is unfortunately rare in mainstream TV and media and may bring up lots of conversations about Native representation, struggles, and culture.
Probably the best actor out of all of them, actually. So normal, he's just a great guy. He just is who he is and it's just wonderful. I mean, he's going to have a wonderful career as an actor in the business, and being with us all these years. Because I expect this series is going to run. We're going to do a third season soon I'm sure, and the longer we spend with them, they're going to just pick up everything. And then all those kids on the reservations learning that language, they're going to make America stronger than ever. We've prepared the young for this movement. It's going to be overwhelming for Americans once we deal with these Southern white issues of racists who can't get over themselves kind of stuff.
Diego: Reservation Dogs takes place on a reservation in Oklahoma and introduces several new, young Native actors. In fact, nearly the entire cast in Native, and as well the directors, writers, the crew and producers..
In Wednesday's episode of the FX on Hulu comedy, Midthunder guest stars as Miss M8triarch, the PhD candidate from California's Bay area who leads an Indian Health Service youth summit on an Oklahoma Native American reservation.Advertisement 041b061a72