FX announced Reservation Dogs, the new half-hour comedy series from Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo, back in June, setting up a basic premise (four Indigenous teens living in rural Oklahoma hang out and do crimes) and a release date (August 9). And while Waititi’s involvement suggested a certain tone for the show, it wasn’t totally clear at the time what the series—notable for the fact that every single writer, director, and on-screen regular is Indigenous—would actually shake out to be.
That issue has now been alleviated somewhat, courtesy of the above trailer, which firmly establishes the series as madcap, playful, and just a little bit violent. (Among other things, it feels apiece with some of Waititi’s more youth-focused movies, especially Hunt For The Wilderpeople.) Starring D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Devery Jacobs, Paulina Alexis, and Lane Factor as a low-budget gang operating out of Okmulgee, Oklahoma (where the series was also filmed), the show sees the quartet trying to establish a name for themselves and scrape together enough ill-gotten cash to make their way to California. It also pokes fun at the sorts of stereotypes typically thrown at Indigenous media, most notably by giving’ Woon-A-Tai a “spirit guide” who doesn’t appear to actually be terribly good at his job.
Waititi co-wrote the pilot with Harjo, who served as director on the first episode. FX (which will be airing the series via its FX On Hulu streaming-not-quite-a-service) also released a list of guest stars for the show’s first four episodes, including appearances from Bobby Lee, Garrett Hedlund, and Rutherford Falls’ Jana Schmieding. The biggest draw, though, is obviously going to be the vibe between the kids themselves, the kind of high-stakes, take-no-prisoners master thieves who are always careful to buckle up before taking off in a heisted truck, and who have to constantly be on guard against the dangers of getting drive-by’d by a paintball gun.
Reservation Dogs debuts on August 9 on FX On Hulu.