Though recently stepping away from behind-the-scenes production on FX’s What We Do in the Shadows, due to his increasingly busy schedule, Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit) will remain on the network with Reservation Dogs, which saw its first full-length trailer last week. Reservation Dogs was co-created by Waititi and Sterlin Harjo (Mekko, Barking Water) and received an official series order in December.
According to Comicbook’s provided synopsis of the series, Reservation Dogs will follow friends and petty criminals Bear Smallhill, Elora Danan, Willie Jack and Cheese as they come to terms with their friend Daniel’s death and take-on his dream of moving to California. “To succeed, they will have to save enough money, outmaneuver the methheads at the junkyard on the edge of town, constantly dodge conspiracy-obsessed Lighthorseman “Big” […] and survive a gang war against a much tougher rival gang, led by the enigmatic “Jackie”” (Comicbook). The antics, allies and rivalries of Reservation Dogs can all be glimpsed in the series first trailer, which debuted last week.
Reservation Dogs stars D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (Beans, Holly Hobbie), Devery Jacobs (The Order, The Lie), Paulina Alexis (Beans), newcomer Lane Factor, Zahn McClaron (Into the West, Longmire) and Elva Guerra (Rutherford Falls). In addition to last week’s trailer, individual character posters have been released for the four members of the Reservation Dogs on social media.
— Reservation Dogs (@RezDogsFXonHulu) July 20, 2021
While the series is billed as a comedy, Nerdist points out that the Reservation Dogs trailer indicated heavy themes would be tackled in the series as well. That blend of sincere, character-driven comedy and real emotional stakes should be familiar to fans of Waititi’s work. Collider mentions that the trailer specifically “plays up a strong tonal resemblance to Waititi’s quirky comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople.”
In Reservation Dogs, Waititi and Harjo have succeeded in creating an entirely Native television series, which Comicbook describes as a “breakthrough for Indigenous representation in front of the camera and behind the scenes on TV.” Comicbook further quotes a Reservation Dogs press release that states “every writer, director and series regular on the show is Indigenous. This first-of-its-kind creative team tells a story that resonates with them and their lived experiences – and invites audiences into a surprisingly familiar and funny world.”
So proud of this show and mad love to my brother @sterlinharjo for steering the canoe home. #ReservationDogs is a new original NATIVE AMERICAN comedy from FX, @taikawaititi and @sterlinharjo. Streaming Aug 9 exclu on #FXonHulu. @rezdogsfxonhulu https://t.co/JZoR1qQEWF
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) July 16, 2021
Collider reports that Waititi used his newfound Hollywood clout to get longtime friend Harjo in front of networks to pitch the series. “The only reason I get to make this show is because of Taika Waititi, and it’s like the best gift a friend could give someone,” The Hollywood Reporter quotes Harjo on Reservation Dogs inception.
From the looks of last week’s trailer, when Reservation Dogs arrives on FX on Hulu on August 9, Harjo may not be the only one thanking Waititi for finding this series a streaming home.
— Reservation Dogs (@RezDogsFXonHulu) July 14, 2021