Reservation Dogs, Hulu's critically-acclaimed comedy series about a group of Native teens busting it up on an Oklahoma reservation, premieres its highly anticipated Season 3 on August 2. Series creator and showrunner Sterlin Harjo warns that the next installment of the criminally funny series will be a bit of a vibe shift: "Tonally, there's some darkness coming."
In the first two seasons of Reservation Dogs, the gang grieves the loss of one of their own and vows to make good on his dream of going to California. Spoiler warning: The kids make it to Cali at the end of Season 2, which aired last September. What comes next for the Golden Globe-nominated series now that the crew are no longer California dreaming? Harjo says there are plenty of surprises in store for Season 3, including at least one plot line back in Oklahoma:
"I think people were expecting them to go to California at some point," Harjo told Variety in a February interview. "The way we were able to surprise people was to have it happen at the end of Season 2. We're not going to dilly-dally in California for too long. We have business to attend to back home. It's a similar approach to Season 3, which is, 'How do I make this feel like you're not predicting where this is going?' And honestly, I think that tonally, there's some darkness coming."
This will lift your spirits. FX?s #ReservationDogs returns August 2. Only on @hulu. pic.twitter.com/iQ2FOiL7Od
— Reservation Dogs (@RezDogsFX) May 15, 2023
Harjo, who comes from independent film, co-created Reservation Dogs with Oscar-winning writer-director Taika Waititi (Thor: Love and Thunder, Jojo Rabbit). Since its 2021 debut, the show has earned praise for its primarily Indigenous cast and bold, relatable stories of life in a Native community.
"We were up against this thing that felt very monumental to us as far as the Native writers and Indigenous filmmakers that were behind this: it had never been done," Harjo said of the show's trailblazing representation. "Just telling the truth about who we are, and show our communities for what it is, with all of its beauty and blemishes."
The series has been a springboard for its young Native stars, including Devery Jacobs (Rutherford Falls), D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (Only the Good Survive), Lane Factor (The Fabelmans) and Paulina Alexis (Ghostbusters: Afterlife). Other cast members include Dark Winds stars Zahn McClarnon and Elva Guerra, with memorable guest spots from comedians Marc Maron and Bill Burr.
Searching for some ancient wisdom? Check out some of the best moments when the spirit world appeared in Reservation Dogs. Watch all episodes now. Only on Hulu. pic.twitter.com/je14BsmnhT
— Reservation Dogs (@RezDogsFX) February 7, 2023
For Harjo, dreaming up Reservation Dogs provided an opportunity to tell compelling Native stories on a large scale, with a lot of eyeballs watching. It's a level of representation that the world of film wasn't interested in.
"The things that were strikes against me in feature film, which was having Native lead actors, the stories that I wanted to tell were with Native people, and they would politely tell you that there are no Native lead actors that can sell movies. And then TV's like, 'We don't care about that.' I wanted to make a show that was very culturally specific, but could resonate with the world and have very universal themes. I think that's the best of storytelling when you can kind of hit that mark. I had an opportunity to do that."
Reservation Dogs Seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming on Hulu. Season 3 will premiere August 2.
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