These are strange times — no NBC telecast? — for the Golden Globe Awards, but the shot-in-Oklahoma series “Reservation Dogs” could be a winner when Golden Globes are presented.
The 79th Golden Globe Awards will be handed out Sunday, Jan. 9, and “Reservation Dogs” is among nominees in the category of best musical or comedy series. The competition includes “The Great,” “Hacks,” “Only Murders in the Building” and “Ted Lasso.”
Co-created by Tulsa filmmaker Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, “Reservation Dogs” follows four Indigenous youths who, prompted by the death of a friend, yearn to escape the modern-day reservation and head to California. Season one’s eight episodes were shot primarily in Okmulgee and are available on FX on Hulu.
“Reservation Dogs” is a pioneering series because of subject matter — anybody else telling Native stories set in rural Oklahoma? — and because of an all-Indigenous cast and creative team.
“Recognizing this series with a Golden Globe nomination is not only proof of the quality of its storytelling and production, but also in the appeal of its content to a world-wide audience,” David Hill, principal chief of the Muscogee Nation, said. “People want to see the authenticity of Indigenous life on screen.”
Actor and rapper Sten Joddi appeared in an episode as the father of one of the “Reservation Dogs” kids. He said “Reservation Dogs” is, in his opinion, an instant classic that will forever be looked at as a staple in Indigenous cinema.
“The show is beyond amazing in its entirety, from the bottom to the top,” he said.
“The doors it is opening for Indigenous people are doors that have been shut on us in the past. Things like this, we were told, would be impossible and wouldn’t ever happen — let alone being in the room at the table and running things. ... It’s simply astonishing and fills my spirit with pride, personally.”
Continuing, Joddi said he comes from a time when there was zero Indigenous representation in all aspects of life.
“A show like ‘Reservation Dogs’ and other shows and movies like it soon to come are very much needed in our lives as Indigenous people, especially our youth, and the identity of who we are as people and humans,” he said.
“I’m grateful and thankful to not only have been a part of such an amazing thing, but also to just be alive to watch it happen — especially for my children. Having this representation in their lives is something I will forever be thankful for.”
In September, Harjo and the show’s primary cast members were invited to be part of the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards. D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Devery Jacobs, Paulina Alexis and Lane Factor appeared on stage with Harjo as presenters. They spoke about proudly representing Indigenous people who are working in Hollywood and the importance of all people having a voice.
“Reservation Dogs” premiered in August, one month after nominees were announced for the 73rd Emmy Awards. Will “Reservation Dogs” get Emmy love in 2022? Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, the show is collecting other accolades. “Reservation Dogs” was a winner in the category of breakthrough series at the 2021 Gotham Awards, presented annually to the makers of independent films. The Spirit Awards, which honors indie ventures, nominated “Reservation Dogs” as best new scripted series and announced the Rez Dogs cast will be honored for best ensemble cast of a new scripted series. The show earned a Critics Choice Awards nomination for best comedy series.
Now comes an opportunity to secure a Golden Globe Award.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been handing out Golden Globe Awards since 1944. The HFPA is forging ahead with picking winners in 2022 despite a turbulent 2021.
Following investigative reports by the Los Angeles Times, the organization has come under fire for internal practices, questionable ethics and lack of diversity — specifically an absence of Black members. Many celebrities announced their intention to boycott the Golden Globes and, ouch, longtime broadcast partner NBC announced May 10 that the network would not telecast the awards ceremony. Said an NBC statement: “We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform. However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right. As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes.”
Instead, NBC will broadcast a Sunday night NFL game — Chargers vs. Raiders — with playoff implications. And the Golden Globes decided to go ahead and pass out hardware, NBC or not.
Winners will be revealed at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday. A news release said that, in addition to recognizing 2021’s best in film and television, the Golden Globe Awards will “shine a light on the long-established philanthropy work of the HFPA, showcasing a range of grantees during the program.” Because of the pandemic, there were will be no audience, and precautions will be taken for select members and grantees who will be in the room.
As of press time, the HFPA has not announced a plan to stream the show for viewers.
Nominees were announced Dec. 13 by HFPA president Helen Hoehne and Snoop Dogg. For the first time, the announcement was live-streamed at goldenglobes.com and on the Golden Globes YouTube channel.
When nominations were announced, this statement was included in a story posted on goldenglobes.com: “Over the last eight months, the HFPA has completely overhauled its bylaws, implementing sweeping changes from top to bottom that address ethics and code of conduct, diversity, equity and inclusion, governance, membership and more. Recently, the HFPA admitted their largest and most diverse class to date of 21 new members, all of whom are first-time Golden Globe voters.”
NBC has left the door open to re-partnering with the Golden Globes in 2023 if the HFPA executes its do-better plan.
Caught up on the drama? Let’s get back to “Reservation Dogs.” The best “reward” the show has earned is a ticket to tell more stories. FX announced in September that “Reservation Dogs” will return for a second season.
And Harjo, named a Tulsan of the Year in December by Tulsa World Magazine, will tell stories beyond “Reservation Dogs.”
It was announced in December that Harjo has signed a deal with FX that would have him continue as a writer, director, executive producer and showrunner on “Reservation Dogs” while developing new projects.
“I’m excited to continue growing my collaboration with FX and have the opportunity to champion more Indigenous voices and stories,” Harjo said when the deal was announced.
Variety reported that Harjo is developing a new limited series that he will co-write with novelist Jonathan Lee.