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Mike Schur's New Show 'Rutherford Falls' Looks Great (In Spite of Ed Helms)

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 17, 2021 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 17, 2021 |


I don’t want to be mean about Ed Helms, because Ed Helms seems like a tremendously nice guy, but also, Ed Helms is not funny, and the problem with that is that he keeps being cast in roles designed for funny people. There are a lot of funny actors who continue to lose jobs to Ed Helms, who is not funny, and that feels unfair to more deserving funny people.

Then again, Rutherford Falls is based on an idea that Ed Helms came up with himself along with Mike Schur (who worked together on The Office), and the two wisely brought in Sierra Teller Ornelas — who is Navajo and Mexican American — to run the show once they determined it would have a Native American theme (it is set on a Native American reservation). They did right by the writers’ room, as well, because it features the largest indigenous writing staff on American television (half of the writers are indigenous). The cast also features Jana Schmieding, who is Lakota, and Michael Greyeyes, who is Plains Cree.

Not for nothing, but it also stars Dustin Milligan — Ted from Schitt’s Creek — and Jesse Leigh, who is a Chinese and American non-binary actor, so there is a lot of representation in Rutherford Falls, but also Ed Helms. On the other hand, Helms does seem well cast as an oblivious white guy who appears to be trying to protect the legacy of his (racist) white ancestor, and if there is one thing that Helms does well, it is to play a boob.

The show looks terrific, too, and while I’m not yet a big fan of Peacock, they do have Natasha Lyonne and Rian Johnson joining forces for a one-hour mystery series called Poker Face, so things are looking up on that streamer, too.

Rutherford Falls premieres on Peacock on April 22nd.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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