Rutherford Falls Review: Peacock Series Features Ed Helms In A Cultural Clash
“It’s about a town,” Josh Cogan (Dustin Milligan, a.k.a. Schitt’s Creek fame Ted) explained in his story pitch. “But it’s also about everything.”
Sierra Teller Ornelas, Michael Schur, and Ed Helms have come together to create a sitcom quite unlike another. The comedy series Rutherford Falls aims to target two of America’s favorite pastimes: giving offense and taking offense. Best part? None of it was meant to offend anyone at all. This first impression of Rutherford Falls may come off as a waste, but the show is authentically and caustically funny and is worth the watch.
Rutherford Falls is a Peacock Comedy about a town and deals with concepts like white privilege, the marginalization of Native Americans, the lies prevalent about a nation’s history, romance, friendship, and most interestingly, an unconscious bias. The show is also about representation, in not just its storytelling but also in front of and behind the camera.
In the show, Ed Helms and Jana Schmieding play best friends, Nathan and Reagan. The two grew up together in the titular northeast town, which is named for his ancestor who famously brokered peace with her ancestors in the Minishonka Nation. The two are inseparable, even when they’ve lived exactly opposite lives. Nathan is privileged, whereas Raegan’s life is full of struggle. Nathan and Reagan’s contrasting experiences are what drive the show and provide its comedy. It’s also an iconic symbol for the town’s white and indigenous populations that don’t always get along.
The best part is that Reagan is treated as Nathan’s narrative equal, even though Jana Schmieding isn’t nearly as famous as The Office actor. However, Indigenous representation has been scarce on television for as long as one can remember, and it is safe to assume that a show like Rutherford Falls may not have been made without an eminent white star who, if not at the center of the action, at least shares it with another actor.
The complete first season of Rutherford Falls will premiere on April 22, 2021, on Peacock.
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