Monday, April 15, 2024

Five Reasons ‘Teenage Bounty Hunters’ Is Worth a Watch Even Though It’s Canceled

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Many of us spent a lot of our free time in 2020 watching streaming content. From Warrior Nun to The Witcher to The Haunting of Bly Manor, there were a lot of hits to lose yourself in while trying to dodge the endless barrage of news. There is, however, one series that went a bit under the radar which I think deserves more love: Teenage Bounty Hunters.

The series was created by Kathleen Jordan and executive produced by Jenji Kohan. It is a comedy about twin sisters Sterling (Maddie Phillips) and Blair Wesley (Anjelica Bette Fellini) who accidentally fall into the world of bounty hunting and become the interns of the experienced Bowser Simmons (Kadeem Hardison).

Sadly, the show was canceled by Netflix in October 2020 (shakes fist). Not only that, but the series ends in a sort of cliff-hanger that paved the way for an interesting season two.

Despite the cancellation, I still think it’s worth watching the first season, and here are five reasons why.

Sisterly Love

Blair and Sterling are very different. Sterling is the sweet goody-two-shoes that all the other parents swoon over. Blair is the self-appointed family rebel. Despite their differences, they love each other very much and are not afraid to express it. It’s always heartwarming to see a pair of TV siblings (adopted, chosen or biological) with a relationship that is so loving.

“Your breath is my life. I’m surprised my love for you didn’t absorb you in the womb.”

– Blair to Sterling

Added to that, they are also fraternal twins. They have a psychic connection they use to communicate with a glance, which adds a tiny flair of magic realism to the show, but also goes to show just how much they love and understand each other.

They try to support each other in their endeavors, even if they are completely different from the other’s world view.

They are also not without their contradictions. For example, while Blair is the one who is always announcing she wants to have sex and explore her sexuality, it’s Sterling who turns out to be more impulsive in this area, and we discover Blair is a bit more nervous and shy about it.

They’re not without their conflicts of course, and when they do clash, their fight is rooted in the relationship already established. They are co-dependent, so one twin keeping secrets is a huge point of contention. Added to that, the bounty hunting gets in the way of their lives.

The Glorious Dumbassery is Strong in These Two

These girls are both such glorious dumbasses and I love them.

GIF credit: Netflix on Giphy.

Their glorious dumbassery is established right from the get-go. In the pilot, they get into a car crash with a speeding vehicle. The man in the car, who is a perp Bowser is after, assumes they’re bounty hunters, and even Bowser himself initially does, proposing they divide the bounty since they cornered him.

Once Blair and Sterling realize what is happening, what do they do? They just go with it. Blair runs like a maniac after the perp and perches on the hood of a moving car, and Blair shoots at its tires.

Blair: “What are we doing?”

Sterling: “Hell if I know!”

Blair “Are we, like, getting this dude?”

Sterling: “Yes, I guess!”

Blair and Sterling as they run after him.

After that potentially harrowing experience, they’re cool as a cucumber. They decide this is the best way to pay for the damage in their father’s truck, so they convince a very grumpy Bowser to let them into his operation. Speaking of…

We Must Protect Bowser

Bowser is a grumpy, jaded bounty hunter who unexpectedly meets these teenagers he now needs to wrangle. He didn’t ask for this, but he can’t deny they are good at this job and help him get more bounties, so he takes them on as his interns.

Of course – of course – he goes soft on them. Eventually, the three of them develop a disgruntled older brother/annoying little sisters dynamic. Bowser himself develops a begrudging protectiveness over them that is just too cute.

Blair and Sterling also inadvertently revitalize Bowser’s joy for life, his desire to find happiness, as they help him realize he deserves it, actually. He starts off thinking of Blair and Sterling as irritating and by the end, he’s ready to drop literally everything for them… even though he still finds them just as irritating. It is a lovely relationship to see develop.

Himbos and cool guys and enemies to lovers

Too often, love interests in teen shows are… meh. At least to me, that is. Teenage Bounty Hunters took me by surprise with how much I liked all of the love interests they throw at these girls (yes, there are a few). Every love interest for Blair and Sterling, and even Bowser, is funny, cute, or at least interesting.

The girls start out dating ‘himbos’ Jennings (Nicholas Cirillo) and Luke (Spencer House) respectively. It’s immediately clear that these boys aren’t here to say. Yet the show steers away from making them villains, as seems to be any show’s first instincts. They’re simply not suited for the girls, and as they grow into themselves they subsequently outgrow their initial relationships.

Gobs of Fun

Admittedly, the premise is pretty out there. Two sixteen-year-old girls running around bounty hunting while juggling school, relationships, and parents; not something that is likely to happen in real life. Though who knows, reality is stranger than fiction.

Teenage Bounty Hunters manages to juggle the tone and pacing to allow sufficient suspension of disbelief. They know the premise is ridiculous, and so they lean into the ridiculousness of every aspect of the girls’ life, too.

The show is not just funny, but also fun to watch. I laughed out loud several times per episode. I suppose all humor is subjective, but I can say I truly had a grand old time watching this.

+Bonus reason!

I know this might be a bit… naive, on my part, but, maybe there could be hope for the show to get un-canceled? Hear me out.

It was canceled in October 2020. The pandemic was going and it’s still going, and many shows were called off because the COVID-19 measures inflated budgets too much. Now that vaccines are here and being administered (albeit slowly), maybe alternative measures and lower-risk sets can make networks and streamers reconsider cancellation.

More people watching the show would certainly help. So if any of the reasons listed piqued your interest, run and watch it!

Images courtesy of Netflix

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