Knowing better than to dwell on its title character's early life in bondage, Lawmen: Bass Reeves grants him his freedom early on and establishes him as a man of inherent dignity and complex emotion. Even in the first two episodes watched for this review, Reeves (thanks to a stellar performance by David Oyelowo) is defined by a wide range of relationships and skills—all of which is unified in the character's realization that emancipation has not automatically led to peace, and that America remains a relatively lawless land. It's all handsomely mounted, with high production values and a willingness to breathe through quiet moments that give its somewhat obligatory western action the gravity it needs.
Genre: Drama, History, Western
Actor: Barry Pepper, David Oyelowo, Demi Singleton, Dennis Quaid, Donald Sutherland, Forrest Goodluck, Grantham Coleman, Lauren E. Banks