The season one premiere of 'Dark Winds' generated over 2 million viewers making it the fifth most popular TV drama to debut this year. Furthermore, 'Dark Winds' became the most watched new series on AMC+ and also received strong ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb.com.
Nonetheless, Reddit has provided a forum where fans can discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of the show. And, according to some posters, there is plenty that is wrong with the first season.
For starters, the setting of 'Dark Winds' called for plenty of shooting on location. The production team elected to shoot most of the footage from season one on tribal land in New Mexico. However, there are some scenes like the poor CGI car backdrops that take audiences out of the moment. Moreover, some audience members felt like the first season of 'Dark Winds' relied far too heavily on clichés like slow-motion shots and ripped its title sequence off 'Yellowstone'.
Then, there are others that found the issues more with the writing and narrative than the production value. For example, some found the kidnapping of The Smiths unreasonable. The Mormon family is depicted for most of the first season being trapped in a hole in the ground at the Buffalo Society hideout. Later, we discover that Hoski plans to use the Smiths as leverage for his own safety and freedom. Yet critics debated the circumstances of the kidnapping (including how they would eat, drink and poop) as unrealistic.
"The actors certainly were the best part of the show. Some great scenes in there despite all else. But better writing and focus would elevate everything." – /SlotaProw
Furthermore, there are other loopholes in the story that were not tied up at the conclusion of season one. Posters felt like the disappearance of the helicopter was also unreasonable, considering the logistics it would take to push the aircraft into a lake.
Despite the criticism, most of the negative comments on Reddit attribute the flaws in 'Dark Winds' to lackluster writing. In the words of one comment, "the actors and story deserved better". In fact, most Reddit users agreed that the acting performances were the highlight of season one. Additionally, better writing could solve many of the issues people had with season one. "Despite everything, the elements are all there to have a great show," the commenter added.
The fandom of popular TV shows and films is so deep that audiences generally debate season finales for ages. Consequently, it's not surprising that some Reddit posters took issue with the conclusion of 'Dark Winds'. While some could argue the writing of the final episode was sloppy, there is also the fact that the series was initially only approved for six episodes. It's not always easy to present a crisp story with multiple characters and subplots in such a short amount of time. In fact, most original series usually get approved for 8-10 episodes for that reason.
As a result, there is optimism that the second season of 'Dark Winds' will be even better than the first season. As one poster reminded, AMC may have more money to throw at the series since a couple of their most famous shows ended in 2022. While the reception is mixed, it's often connected to whether audience members had read the Tony Hillerman books beforehand or not. Per the norm, most that were familiar with the novels were not a fan of the AMC series, while those that were new to 'Dark Winds' enjoyed season one more.
In a recent interview, Kiowa Gordon (who plays Chee), commented about the reception: "There are also skeptics and people who are superstitious and not superstitious. 'Dark Winds' displays all of that, and people can take what they want from it."