This review was written by Anthony J Digioia. Follow him and his website here for more awesome reviews: SilverScreen Analysis
Created by Rob and Peter Blackie, “The Frontier” is headlined by Jason Momoa who plays a half Irish, half native American outlaw who is trying to seek vengeance against a powerful fur trading company in Canada during the late 1700’s.
Now I will start by saying I have heard mixed reviews for this series and I will admit I am not a die-hard time-period piece fan. I can notice glaring flaws, but for people going into this show for simply looking for a solid setting to an interesting story, you will be entertained if the promos looked appealing to you.
Sure, the accents were off at times, the characters were routine and most were lacking unique personalities to make them feel different from other plug and play characters for stories like these. But the performances were all pretty good, they create characters you can generate some interest in, and for only being 6 episodes, the flow of the season holds swift.
I thought the locations, wardrobes, and set-designs, were all very well done, and effectively pull you into the world of the story. I live in southern California and watching this show during 75-degree weather, I still got a chill here and there from frigid settings of the story-line.
The settings and plot were interesting to me and it did a good job throughout the episodes of building all the players and their dynamics. Although there were some sections of the story here and there that did feel a little rushed. But once you get a foundation to who everyone is, their primary interests and motivations, it was an entertaining series to watch unfold.
There was a unique collection of characters and some were more ambitious than others but they all blended together well to fill this story with enough substance to maintain interest. The two shining lights of this series to me were easily that of Jason Momoa and Alun Armstrong. I guess it can always come down to the good guy and the bad guy and in this instance, both were perfect for what this series needed.
Alun Armstrong was perfect as the villainous Lord, and his rogue actions made him a wildcard that I found enjoyably hard to predict. I think he elevated his material through his performance, and gave this series a strong villain that fuels virtually the entire plot-line in this season.
As for Jason Momoa, he was not what you would say different from his common performances but it just so happened, his go-to persona was perfect for this role. He is a massive man that wears the title of protagonist very well and he did a great job with the action. But he also delivered a subtly, very emotionally charged performance as well. He effectively delivers his emotional scenes with the needed impact, never felt like he was overacting, and it will be fun to see his character evolve throughout the next season.
On the downside, there were some flaws with this season in my opinion. I think it could have actually went a couple episodes longer to say eight, or maybe nine even. The story in segments felt rushed and it led to some underdevelopment, that could have created more impact out of certain characters and their actions later in the season.
I also thought the wrap up of this season was a little too anti-climactic. I heard there will be a season two which will be fun. But without going into spoilers, I will simply say, for a series that created a fun, time-period story that a general audience could enjoy, too many loose ends were left after the final episode for my liking. Almost making it feel like they were too reliant on wanting people to come back for a second season, and not fully completing the saga of the first.
Overall though, it was a fun series to me. It pulled me into the world of the script, it delivered some strong performances, and some enjoyably gratuitous violence, and I’m all about that.