Hit or Miss: A New Frontier with Nothing New
I'm Sam, the managing editor for Man of the Hour, and I am extremely excited to introduce the return of our series called Hit or Miss. Logan, our entertainment editor, and I will be reviewing upcoming television/movie trailers, providing seasoned opinions and accurate predictions saving you the trouble of wasting your time on rotten tomatoes when you could be binge watching the good stuff. We are starting off with a new Netflix original called Frontier.
Logan: Hey look, Jason Momoa is playing an angry dude with long hair who kills people. We haven’t seen anything like that before.
For me, there’s nothing to get excited about from this trailer. It looks like it’ll serve as a standard time period costume drama, of which we already have too many. What will set this show apart from the likes of Starz’s Black Sails, or Netflix’s own Marco Polo? They all have different concepts and take place in different time periods, but they all look the same to me.
Let me make a few predictions about this show. First, the costumes will be awesome. Shows like this typically excel on production values, and the trailer showcases a variety of 18th century fashion, like Momoa’s fur coat he wears in many shots. If the entire show is hinged around an exciting concept like the fur trade, then the fur costumes should speak for themselves. Second, unless they’re outside during the day, most shots will take place in a dimly lit tent or outside in the woods with the lighting so dark you can’t clearly see most characters on the screen. Shows like this tend to do that.
Sam: Frontier, a television series attempting to encapsulate the many struggles of the new world, shows us nothing new with its choice of casting or premise. From what I could gather from the trailer, it appears as though the main character is a European colonist played by actor Landon Liboiron who I loved in Hemlock Grove. He is tasked with furthering business interests in the new world and killing his main adversary, Jason Momoa, which is where I start having concerns. I strongly believe Jason has much more potential but is frequently type casted as the rugged racially ambiguous villain, except this time he's Native American. If they don't give him a substantial role other than killing a bunch of people as seen in the trailer, I will be thoroughly disappointed.
Making history entertaining doesn't always mean you need to include as much violence as possible, as seen with recent television hits like The Crown. My predictions are that if this show doesn't counterbalance the immense carnage we've seen from this trailer with deep, 3 dimensional characters and interesting character development, then I think it will last for at least another season. Something about the trailers borderline obsession with Jason Momoa killing colonists makes me strongly doubt that as a possibility.