Why You Need to Ditch Your Current TV Obsession for Tulsa King

Why You Need to Ditch Your Current TV Obsession for Tulsa King
Image credit: Paramount

Seems like Tulsa King is the next big thing – don't be the last one to catch on.

At the first glance, Tulsa King, a new Paramount+ series, seemed like an excuse to give Sylvester Stallone a role on TV suitable for his age.

The premise of the series is mafia capo Dwight "The General" Manfredi, played by Stallone, getting released after completing his 25-years prison sentence. But instead of a cushy position he expected after sacrificing so much for the mafia, he gets sent to establish criminal operations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he doesn't know anyone. A mix of drama and criminal comedy ensues.

But actually the series is pretty good.

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It is written by Taylor Sheridan ( best known for writing Sicario and writing and directing Wind River), but it represents a significant change from Sheridan's usual dark and oppressive stories.

Tulsa King, while not short on brutality and violence, is a good deal lighter than you might expect, and Dwight's attempts to build a criminal organization out of the band of misfits he managed to recruit in Tulsa result in a plenty of humor. So do his encounters with realities of our everyday life, which he missed thanks to spending a quarter of a century excluded from it, from smartphones to Uber.

Alas, as it seems Tulsa King is yet another solid, but very niche series. Yes, reception has been generally positive, with good average scores on review aggregator websites, with 8.4 / 10 IMDb rating and 87% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

And opinions on the Internet are divided. The fans, of course, praise the series, but there aren't that many of them (its sub-Reddit has less than a thousand subscribers at the moment of this article's writing).

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Non-fans think that the premise is nonsensical and the very choice of a city to serve as the stage for the “big city gangster shows clueless provincials how real crime is done" plot betrays the lack of effort put into writing the series – in real life, Tulsa is major hub of drug smuggling and one of the more crime-ridden cities in United States.

That said, the series is definitely entertaining and well-filmed. Just do not come in expecting a totally serious and down-to-earth crime drama. And those who liked Tulsa King can rest assured that Season 2 of Tulsa King is already greenlighted.