Every once in a blue moon, a story idea rears its proverbial head for a television series or a film that sounds simply irresistible; it’s as if just by the mere mention of said nifty concept our minds get to work as a de facto production designer, casting agent, and producer for the dream project, so excited are we by the story synopsis laid out in front of us in the latest issue of Premiere or Movieline. Such is the case for this reporter at least when I stumbled upon this keen bit of news from The Hollywood Reporter about a show called Reservation Dogs.
Reservation Dogs is a comedy about four Native American teens living in Oklahoma. The quartet spend a good part of their time not only battling against crime, but committing it as well. The series was created and written by Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo and will be brought to life courtesy of FX Productions who has greenlit the new series. The talented young ensemble assembled for the show is considerable and strong: D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (Creeped Out), Lane Factor, Devery Jacobs, and Paulina Alexis.
In a press release announcing Reservation Dogs, the president of original programming for FX Nick Grad said the following: “Sterlin Harjo draws deeply on his experiences as a Native Oklahoman to make Reservation Dogs a true-to-life and incredibly funny story of youth, courage and misadventures. Taika Waititi lends his considerable talents to the series, helping Sterlin and their creative partner Garrett Basch produce a unique and original series we can’t wait for audiences to see.”
Reservation Dogs stayed true to its Oklahoma roots for the pilot by actually shooting in Okmulgee, Oklahoma with a star-studded guest cast that includes Tamara Podemski, Funny Bone, Zahn McClarnon, Lil Mike, Macon Blair, Dallas Goldtooth, Kirk Fox and Matty Cardarople.
In a unique twist, the writers for Reservation Dogs will consist entirely of Indigenous wordsmiths while Harjo and Waititiwill executive produce with Garrett Basch from What We Do in the Shadows fame. Harjo directed the pilot.
“As longtime friends,” Harjo said in a statement, “it was only natural that Taika and I found a project together, and what better than a show that celebrates the contemporary storytelling styles of our indigenous communities – mine in Oklahoma and Taika’s in Aotearoa. We’re thrilled by the opportunity to tell the Reservation Dogs’ story with our amazing cast and crew, Garrett Basch, and the whole team at FX.”