Review: Netflix’s ‘Teenage Bounty Hunters’ is hilarious and heartfelt

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Photo credit: Netflix promotional poster

The first season of “Teenage Bounty Hunters” was released on August 14, 2020 on Netflix, featuring hilarious fraternal twins balancing their strange and intense part time-job as bounty hunters with high school life and drama. This show stands out from others because of the perfect balance of action with relatable and sweet moments, as well as the uniquely close bond between the twins being at the heart of the show.

By Audrey Chang, Contributing Writer

Funny, entertaining and satirical , Netflix’s 10-episode series, “Teenage Bounty Hunters” is a contemporary take on the classic dramedy Netflix. Set in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2019, 16-year-old fraternal twins Blair and Sterling Wesley stumble into the world of bounty hunting as a part-time-job while also balancing their lives as teenagers at a Christian private high school. The juxtaposition of very relatable teenage struggles while also showcasing the thrills of adventure, secrecy and rivalry, make for an exceptional show that stands out from the common coming of age.  

The one-season show stars up-and-coming actors, including  Maddie Phillips as Sterling, Angelica Bette Fellini as Blair, and Kadeem Hardison as Bowser Jenkins — a veteran bounty hunter who recruits the twins, impressed by the duo’s perfect match of speed and aggressionideal for bounty-hunting.

The show came out as part of a Netflix deal with Jenji Kohan, an American television writer and producer, best known for “Orange Is the New Black.” While Kohan was one of the executive producers, Kathleen Jordan was the creator behind the series. She was also a writer and co-executive producer.

Blair and Sterling’s uniquely close relationship is the heart of the show; they’re opposites in almost every way but balance each other out and are able to overcome any challenge through twin telepathy. Their bond highlights the importance of family, even in moments of fighting over clothes or blaming each other for failed dates and bounty hunting missions. Whether teaming up to take down an antagonistic classmate in order to reinstate Sterling as fellowship leader or celebrating restraining a criminal as they’re in the process of doing so, their dynamic is naturally funny and provides both hilarious and heartfelt moments.  

Each episode is centered around a certain mission or goal that sets a strong and engaging foundation for the characters. The episodes don’t just touch on the adventures of Sterling and Blair, but also comment on significant current problems like racial injustice. For example, the twins and Bowser are tasked with bringing in an activist who is beheading Confederate soldier statues as a sign of protest, even though they agree with her actions and believe them to be just. 

While “Teenage Bounty Hunters” is funny and light, it also shows how Blair and Sterling navigate more serious themes of religion, sexuality, race and privilege, which are especially complicated because of their Southern and notably religious surroundings. Religion is particularly a controversial subject, as most of the adults have very conservative beliefs that Blair openly disagrees with, causing moments of tension.

One of these moments was when Mrs. Wesley forcefully reminded Blair and Sterling before lunch with their dad’s colleagues that “during this lunch, climate change is not real,” only for Blair to disrupt the lunch with her opinions later anyway. Moments like these mirror the current political divide in our country. Throughout the show, Blair and Sterling learn more about understanding others and their differences, whether they be racial, religious, or political identities.  

From suffering through awkward Spanish presentations and a case of nerves at a debate tournament to tackling a bail jumper with insane speed, “Teenage Bounty Hunters” truly covers it all. The show masterfully layers these contrasting elements together to create a bizarre and comedic masterpiece.

This show has countless rich and relatable moments while also setting the stage for meaningful, open and heartfelt conversation. Learning how to embrace our differences rather than using them against one another is a lesson we all need to learn and “Teenage Bounty Hunters” provides a platform to do so.

  • Story
  • Acting
  • Technical Quality
  • Enjoyment
  • Impact
4.7

Summary

“Teenage Bounty Hunters” stars teen twins Blair and Sterling Wesley, who find themselves as part-time bounty hunters and full-time teenagers as they work to balance their adventurous jobs with their lives as regular high schoolers in Atlanta. They team up with a veteran bounty hunter, Bowser, to go on a series of missions to take down bad guys and use their new sleuthing skills to uncover mysteries about their town and their family.