edit note: Originally this was just for season 1, but season 2 is pretty much the same so I will use it for both.
I honestly don’t know where I stand on this show. I do like part of it, but it can be problematic in other areas so its hard to get a solid feeling.
Let’s be honest, this show is a male power fantasy. An ex-con who is a badass prison fighter takes the identity of a sheriff in order to put himself near his old girlfriend and get her to come back to him… after fifteen years. With an Ukrainian mob boss coming after them.
The premise is an old one, but they have some twists in it I like (such as the characters Sugar and Job). The main character “Hood” sleeps with almost everyone (spoiler alert, by season 2 it becomes all).
The first season doesn’t pass the Bechdel test easily. All three women characters (Rebecca, the Amish/bad girl, Ana the ex-girlfriend and Siobhan the deputy) revolve around Hood and I don’t recall in the first season them talking to each other. The only break in the Bechdel test is Ana and her daughter talking, but not sure if that satisfies it for me enough.
I do have to say with this being a Cinemax production that there is a lot of sex that goes with the violence (I think on per episode is the formula). I am surprised though, only one time did it show a woman trying to perform oral sex on the guy and he kind of pushes the woman away, then multiple times it showed a man going down on a woman. That was a very pleasant surprise. Most male power fantasies never show positive sexual interactions for women, but this show does do that.
Other than that, there are some bad ideas… No you aren’t automatically a badass because you are a good prison fighter. Yes, they should eventually figure out you aren’t who you say you are. Oh, and the absolute worst was Ana trying to push away Hood constantly and being fairly horrible to him after he saved her daughter multiple times.
The most negative aspect is the constant attempted sexual assault on women. They don’t ever get away with it, the women (or someone else) usually stops it and gives the assaulters their just desserts. The problem is that its constant and is something the writers reach for every time they want a stressful event for a woman. Bad writing.
Pros: Interesting story, acting isn’t too bad and the sex scenes are fairly good for a power fantasy.
Cons: Constant use of attempted rape as an event. Lazy writing and too much unbelievableness.
Given all that, I still will watch second season, but from the first episode I am not sure if I will be this generous next review.