Teenage Bounty Hunters – Netflix Season 1 Review

 

Season 1

Episode Guide

Daddy’s Truck -| Review Score – 2/5
What’s A Jennings -| Review Score – 3/5
Dumb Kids Feel -| Review Score – 3/5
Basically Pluto -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Death Is Bad -| Review Score – 3/5
Master Debater -| Review Score – 3/5
Cleave Or Whatever -| Review Score – 2.5/5
From Basic To Telenovela -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Our Ham Is Good -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Something Sour Patch -| Review Score – 2.5/5

 

 

From the opening scene to the last, Teenage Bounty Hunters is likely to be one of the most polarizing series released this year. On the one hand, Bounty Hunters absolutely nails its silliness and some of the jokes really do land perfectly. However, it’s also propped up by a heavy dose of contrivance and some really questionable character work. Added on top of that is the trademark Netflix cliffhanger and an over-stretched premise that turns full teen-melodrama by the midway point. The result is something that feels like two shows crow-barred into one and eventually loses any of that initial charm surrounding the show.

To say Teenage Bounty Hunters gets off to a rough start would be an understatement. Ignoring for a second that this show about two 16 year old girls was originally called Slutty Teenage Bounty Hunters, the opening scene is one that should be a call for concern. Within that, our main protagonist Sterling seduces and forcefully persuades a reluctant teenage boy to have sex.

It’s not a great way to start and it’s an incredibly awkward scene. Thankfully, things do improve from here onward. Alongside her equally sexed-up twin Blair, the two girls then find themselves stumbling upon the lucrative bounty hunting profession by chance.

After convincing the veteran bounty hunter Bowser that they’re professionals, he agrees to team up with them and – when he eventually finds out who they are – take them under his wing. Across the first half of the series, the trio team up and catch various skips which plays out in conventional episodic format. It’s fun, lighthearted stuff and some of the jokes are genuinely well written and funny. One such gag involving Officer Atticus is easily the highlight of the whole show. These episodic cases are balanced out by an overarching, slow-burn narrative surrounding the twins’ Mother Debbie.

Alongside this part-time bounty hunting is the teen angst and melodrama which is where the series ultimately comes undone. The first five episodes balance this nicely against the bounty hunting, with Sterling’s relationship with Luke coming under fire following their encounter in the car during episode 1. Blair meanwhile struggles to find compatibility in her partner Jennings and eventually takes an interest to valet Miles.

As the series progresses, Sterling turns her attention elsewhere and a big twist late on sees her romance go in a very different direction. Thanks to the accompanying notes to the early copy we received, we’re not allowed to discuss this but suffice to say it’s an interesting idea executed poorly.

The characters themselves also pose a particular set of problems too. Sterling for example spends most of her time trying to persuade others to do things they’re not comfortable with. There’s also massive continuity issues with her character. Early on, she’s established as seriously proficient with a gun, yet late on she squeals in delight at managing to hit a target at a shooting range. These moments crop up right the way through the show and some of this can be contributed to the different writers across each episode.

While I appreciate this is a comedy and not to be taken seriously, tonally the show is all over the place. Some episodes play up the comedy while other times the melodrama takes centre stage. The show never settles down and decides what it wants to be, and ultimately fails with both its comedy and drama. This continues for so long that the series eventually loses sight of its bounty hunting and uses that as a side-hustle to the teen drama. Several episodes depict the girls off doing other things while Bowser hunts different bounties.

What we’re left with at the end of all this, is a show that can’t quite decide what it wants to be and who it wants to appeal to. Questionable sex gag aside, the humour is generally hit or miss right the way through. For every laugh out loud moments, there’s an equal amount of groans and exasperated sighs. The action is heavy early on and then dissipates in favour of teen melodrama and tired angsty tropes. All of this eventually builds up to a finale that leaves the door wide open for a second season that may or may not happen.

As I’ve said before, this is likely to be a love/hate series and unfortunately this reviewer falls squarely in the latter. There are redeeming features to be had and there’s a few fun moments but not enough to recommend 10 hours of this tonally confused show.


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    Verdict - 3.5/10
3.5/10

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