Reservation Dogs

“Reservation Dogs” streams on Hulu.

Among the best new series of 2021, “Reservation Dogs” returns for a second season, streaming exclusively on Hulu.

The first series to be written and produced by an entirely indigenous American crew, it presents the American Indian experience without sentimentality. Its bored and aimless teens are forever trying to flee a dead-end existence of squalid convenience stores, broken-down cars and a future without jobs or careers. Many of the adults they deal with are on disability or dispense with Native American “wisdom” of the most specious variety.

The show’s teen protagonists are not above petty crime, but they’re not very good at it either. As the second season begins, the group’s handsome leader, Bear Smallhill (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), is at a loss because Elora Danan (K. Devery Jacobs) has abandoned him and the gang to go on a cross-country trip with Jackie (Elva Guerra), the tough-girl leader of a rival group. Their odyssey careens from one disaster to the next, and their car breaks down almost immediately. Reduced to hitchhiking, they’re picked up by a creepy religious type and are nearly killed after trying to boost a car from a squalid compound. They then fall into the orbit of a divorced stranger (guest star Megan Mullally) on an isolated compound, a woman more lost than these teenagers ever will be.

Kevin McDonough can be reached at kevin.tvguy@gmail.com.

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