"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Posts Tagged ‘Sterlin Harjo’


Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023

I take any chance I can to tell people about the show Reservation Dogs. If you get Hulu it’s on there – just 3 seasons, a total of 28 half hour episodes, not heavy on continuity, not a huge time commitment. In a way it’s comparable to my other favorite recent show, Atlanta, in that it’s just this incredible cast where every character is really hilarious to me in a different way, and also because the writers and directors are narratively playful and free. They’re willing to leave their teenage protagonists to do an episode all about the elders, then later one all about the elders when they were teenagers, then an episode where one of today’s teenagers meets a weirdo recluse who we start to realize was one of the kids in that flashback episode who has become estranged from the others. Things like that. But also it’s a very potent show about friendship and dealing with loss, so it’s the funniest show that I always find myself trying not to cry at.

They ended it this year and I already miss it, so it’s a good time for me to track down the handful of indie movies creator Sterlin Harjo did in the pre-Rez Dogs part of his career. I previously reviewed his debut feature FOUR SHEETS TO THE WIND, sort of a romance. Now I’ve skipped to his third one, MEKKO (2015), which Wikipedia describes as a thriller. That wouldn’t have occurred to me but yeah, I guess it makes sense to call it that. Mostly it’s just a slice of life following this big quiet guy named Mekko (Rod Rondeaux, MEEK’S CUTOFF, HOSTILES, THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS) getting out of prison after 19 years and trying to survive on the streets of Tulsa. (read the rest of this shit…)

Four Sheets to the Wind

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

I can’t keep up with as many TV shows as some people do these days, but I have a few, and right now the one I love the most is Reservation Dogs. It’s on FX (and streaming on Hulu) and so far there are only 2 seasons totaling 18 half hour episodes, so it wouldn’t be that hard to catch up on. It centers on a group of teenagers who live on a reservation in Oklahoma, though sometimes it veers off to be more about their elders. It reminds me of my other favorite show, Atlanta, in that it has this A+ ensemble of core characters surrounding straight woman Elora (Devery Jacobs) who are each so hilarious in their own way that whenever it focuses on one of them I start to think that’s my favorite character. They have their funny shit they obsess over and their ways of saying things but maybe the funniest stuff is just their expressions seeing and listening to all the ridiculous things they encounter. (And the truth is my favorite is Willie Jack, played by Paulina Alexis.)

It’s also a really heartfelt and emotional show about friendship while going through shit, so it’s definitely made me cry more than any other show this funny, or maybe any other show. I don’t usually cry at TV shows, but this one gets me, in more ways than one. It’s proof of concept for the power of representation, because it’s reportedly the first ever TV show with all indigenous directors and writers, and it’s about Native life and tradition, and Oklahoma, none of which aligns with my experiences at all. And yet the specificity makes it real, and the problems they’re dealing with are universal. (read the rest of this shit…)