In the history of television, there have only ever been a handful of television shows made by and about Native Americans, and nearly all of them (see also: “Reservation Dogs”, “Dark Winds”) air right now. “Rutherford Falls” is an underrated streaming treasure for many reasons, but in particular, it’s a rare gift to see a series focus on telling authentic stories about Indigenous characters who aren’t steeped in the painful and overused tropes that have been the norm in Hollywood for decades.
Series co-creator and Navajo filmmaker Sierra Teller Ornelas explained how vital an Indigenous sitcom is Until todaysaying:
“In our lives as Indigenous storytellers, often complex things will happen to us and they’ll be coupled with comedy. It’s in our saddest times that my uncle would crack a joke or my mom would say something super sarcastic. These two elements seem to be coupled Once the aboriginals are on board, it’s a truly wonderful experience for any viewer who comes to see the show.
And “Rutherford Falls” is very funny: Whether cool Gen Z kid Bobbie refers to the show “Scandal” as if it were ancient history or Reagan’s friends lure Nathan out of his hiding place with unseasoned chicken, the series is full of clever and silly things. punch lines. It’s pointed, but never mean: There’s a lot about the book “White Fragility” that I’ll think about every time I see a reading list about racial inequality for the rest of my life. The show also tackles specific issues facing Indigenous communities with a witty and thoughtful sense of humor. It touches on everything from the “suitor” phenomenon to the maze of bureaucracy involved in securing land allotments to the surreal consulting industry on set, where Reagan and Terry witness the making of a ridiculously inaccurate series called “Adirondack “. “