"Teenage Bounty Hunters, which launched last week on Netflix, is a series set in a broadly satirized private high school environment, in which sheltered, Type A young people with a knack for rivalrousness and secrecy end up enmeshed in heightened drama," says Daniel D'Addario. "In other words, it’s like The Politician — except good." He adds: "The show is produced by Jenji Kohan, but creator Kathleen Jordan (previously behind the Lifetime series American Princess) brings to it a sense of throw-it-all-it-the-screen brio, and a crowdpleasing desire to bring the audience in on the joke. Contrast this, again, with The Politician, set in a similarly wacky comic universe, and similarly concerned with a character’s coming into themself defined by and against constrictive social norms. That show’s awareness of its own pedigree came across in a sort of ungenerosity to the viewer, a withholding of real jokes or of any moment of genuine emotion. It was a show about a sociopath whose refusal to try to engage the viewer came to feel inhuman; if nothing else, one got the sense that Ben Platt and Gwyneth Paltrow believed they were doing the viewer a favor by appearing in it. A show falling flat in precisely that way — being so larded with prestige expectations that its own sense of itself grows top-heavy — is, perhaps, a hazard of putting together shows with talent so top-flight that they can be presumed to be entertaining no matter what they do. Teenage Bounty Hunters is not perfect television, but it’s infused with the sort of small-scale, needle-sharp sensibility that can’t be achieved by committee, nor, really, by anyone fearful of falling flat."
TOPICS: Teenage Bounty Hunters, Netflix, The Politician, Teen TV