TV Shows

Review of the Apple TV+ series ‘High Desert’

If the Coen brothers and Shane Black ever got together, it would probably result in something like this series.

Director: Jay Roach | Cast: Patricia Arquette (Peggy), Matt Dillon (Denny), Bernadette Peters (Rosalyn), Brad Garrett (Bruce), Christine Taylor (Dianne), ea | Episodes: 8 | Time to play: 26-39 minutes | Year: 2023

People with a reputation for flat comedy regularly want to prove that they are capable of more. Not only actors, but also directors. The creator of the Anchormanfilms and other crazy comedies starring Will Ferrell is responsible, among other Succession. the director of the Austin Powersmovies had the same idea and partnered with Ben Stiller as a producer high desert Realize. It’s still a comedy, but certainly not flat.

Following the death of Peggy’s mother, her brother and sister announce that they want to sell the house. Peggy lives there, so she has to act. While she keeps her job as an actress in a recreated western town, she uses her social skills and rechristens herself a local detective’s assistant. That’s enough juggling and she’s also under the influence of methadone and she knows a doppelganger of her mother.

high desert It pretty much has it all: a crime comedy plot from Shane Black (kiss kiss bang bang, the good guys), characters like those of the Coen brothers, a beautiful desert location for setting, direction and cinematography tweaked by someone who now has a good resume and a stellar cast with the atypical Patricia Arquette who was born for the role of Peggy.

She makes use of her own raspy voice which naturally gives the character a slum tinge. The lady, therefore, is not an innocent angel: her husband is in jail because he was a drug dealer and she happily participated in that at her time. She, too, is not fully adhering to her current rehabilitation process. On the other hand, like Erin Brockovich, she has more going for her than you might think. She really cuts through everyone, has knowledge of art culture, and writes a play.

Peggy is not a nice person as she doesn’t see his criminal activities as bad, but you forgive and forget about this after the first few minutes. Arquette is so charming, she’s so sharply written and so perfectly acted that you’re immediately on her side. After all, she puts in a lot of effort in other areas and has a talent for it. And the loss of her mother hits hard. They were the best of friends.

The plot involving his mother’s doppelgänger is the series’ only drawback because it’s so far-fetched. Therefore, that double is simply played by the same actress, Broadway legend Bernadette Peters. What are the chances of running into a clone of your mother in the same city where you have lived with that same mother for years? Very unconvincing, but then she applies herself strongly by getting Peggy to hire her as an actress, so she can erase her pain with her play.

That sounds serious, but high desert It’s still a hilarious series. Especially since the actress has no idea that she’s secretly a surrogate and she keeps ruining everything by improvising and offering suggestions. But no one is as funny as Peggy herself. She gets into everything, she dismisses her aggressiveness as irrelevant nonsense and seduces like a lady with a lot of joie de vivre. In addition, there is also Matt Dillon, Brad Garrett and Christine Taylor, among others.

All the plots intertwine very well: the mystery to be solved, the deal with her ex-husband, the family problems and the work vicissitudes in the western town – everything is cleverly combined into a balanced whole. Without completing it completely, that is. The detective story comes to a conclusion, but the last episode ends abruptly. If she intends to stay there forever, the viewer can certainly estimate what the ending is, but hopefully Peggy’s adventures will continue.


high desert can be seen in AppleTV+.

Ritika Prasher

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