Teenage bounty hunters – an unexpected oddity

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Rebelling against their buttoned-up Southern community, 16-year-old fraternal twin sisters Sterling (Maddie Phillips) and Blair (Anjelica Bette Fellini) Wesley team up with veteran bounty hunter Bowser Jenkins (Kadeem Hardison) for an over-the-top adventure as they dive into the world of bail-skipping baddies and suburban secrets while trying to navigate high school drama – love, sex and study hall.

What makes this show stand out – a show that is essentially a light-hearted coming of age comedy – is the setting, and how the creators/producers interacted with this setting. Hint: they avoided the pitfalls of contemporary cancel culture.

Blair and Sterling, two stock standard teenagers, would be comfortable in any of the teeny bopper shows of the last few years, shows set in contemporary, city-based, open-minded, Democratic if you will, neighbourhoods. Yet, these girls are running amuck in a Southern community – a religious, gun-toting, Republican if you must, community. It makes for interesting viewing to see this world from the inside and through the naïve eyes of two horny, earnest teenagers who each packs a piece (and produces it at the most hilarious moments).

Further, executive producer Jenji Kohan, known for Weeds, Orange is the new black and Glow, and show creator Kathleen Jordan, steered clear of demonising conservative Christians. Instead, they opted for a nuanced, funny at times, poignant at other times, approach to issues of faith, politics, family, sexuality. The criticisms of these constructs are there, just not in “drop the mic” style. You must pay attention.

The casting of two relatively unknown actors, Maddie Phillips and Anjelica Bette Fellini, as the twins worked out swimmingly. They do not bring with them the expectations attached to well-known and sometimes typecast stars. They knock it out of the park as frustrated, horny, emotional, all-over-the-place teens. The chemistry between the two smooths over some of the bumpier parts in the script.

Sure, season one might not have been an integrated whole, but it serves as the perfect warm-up for something darker, edgier and more out there. Count me in.

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