Joe Pickett enters its second season on Paramount+ and continues to bring thrills in every episode. Season one introduced us to Joe Pickett, a Wyoming game warden, played by Michael Dorman who stars in the neo-Western series. The show follows Pickett's detective work, justice and overall interesting stories of his town named Saddlestring which is next to Yellowstone National Park.
In season two, Pickett discovers a hunter murdered in the mountains. He realizes that this is just one of a series of grizzly murders. He must solve the case and get the killer off the streets. Pickett deals with many unique characters such as a radical anti-hunting activist, some freaky twins and his own personal issues. He is married to Marybeth who is played by Julianna Guill. But when they dig too deep, they are forced to go on the run and fight for their very lives.
Other stars of the show include Sharon Lawrence who plays Missy Vankeuren; Mustafa Speaks as Nate Romanowski; Chad Rook portrays Deputy McLanahan; Aadila Dosani as Cricket; Keean Johnson portrays Luke Brueggeman; with Skywalker Hughes as their older daughter Sheridan Pickett; Kamryn Pliva as Pickett's younger daughter Lucy Pickett; and featuring the Yale Drama grad and In Living Color alum David Alan Grier as Vern Dunnegan.
Paramount Television Studios produce the show and is from the creative minds of John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle known for Waco and Waco: The Aftermath. The characters are based on those created by C.J. Box, author of The New York Times #1 bestselling book series of the same name. Box also serves as an executive producer on the show.
Highlights of the show include a similar tone and storytelling of the regular man against all odds, usually seen in Yellowstone and its many spin-offs. Similar themes are known from famous Western films such as Tombstone, Unforgiven, and The Searchers. Dorman plays a highly likable everyman who takes it one day at a time while managing his role as a game warden, his town's eccentricities and his family. Challenges that face all of us are confronted by him and issues of a life and death status cross his path. Gill plays an approachable, real, and grounded wife who also helps the people of the town. His daughters deal with the same issues almost everyone dealt with as a kid from schoolyard bullies to challenges at school.
Dorman does a strong job portraying a range of emotions and dealing with memories of past trauma. The feelings are visceral with his flashbacks, stressors as husband and father, and fear during intense situations. The show's directors, writers and producers do fine work making each of these moments come across naturally and believable. Mustafa Speaks is highly likable and believable as a man accused of murder and in a fight for his life.
Further strong notes of the show are its direction, writing, cinematography and set design. You really feel you are in a small Wyoming town and can almost extensive nature that exists just on the other side of the screen. If you are looking for an engaging, interesting Western drama that packs a punch, watch both season two and season one, which sets up further struggles for our lovable, next-door neighbor type of hero. Check out my unboxing of the Joe Pickett season two special mailer with some great goodies from the folks at Paramount.