SUNDAY TIMES - Series review: 'Frontier' is a wonderful exercise in gory escapism
Sunday Times Entertainment By Yolisa Mkele, 2017-02-17 12:59:12.0

Series review: 'Frontier' is a wonderful exercise in gory escapism

Jason Momoa stars in Netflix’s ‘Frontier’.

These days the idea of a man's man has become something of a fiction. It comes with too much baggage to safely exist in the modern era and that is being reflected on our television screens.

Most male protagonists on TV tend to be men who would feel perfectly comfortable in GQ discussing their style secrets. Which is partly the reason why Jason Momoa in Netflix's Frontier is so much fun.

Set in Canada in the 1700s, Momoa (Declan Harp) is a brooding block of testosterone doing his best to upend the Hudson Bay Company's ruthless monopoly on the fur trade.

As with these kind of stories, Harp is the last survivor of a familial genocide that's left a chip on his shoulder as far as the Hudson Bay Company is concerned. That, coupled with a blood lust that would satiate Game of Thrones's Joffrey Baratheon, sets the scene for conflict in the fur trading world.

WATCH the trailer for Frontier


Unlike most period pieces there's little fanciness in Frontier. It's a muddy and dirty show that revels in the hero's aptitude for violence and the villain's desire to see him die slowly. This is the show's strength. Stripped of pretentiousness, it functions as a wonderful exercise in gory escape.

There's no real intrigue, neither do you really need to remember the intricate details of each character. Instead you can just whip out some biltong and chew merrily as you watch various members of the cast get murdered for reasons vaguely related to the plot. There's also little nudity, which is a staple for the vast majority of period pieces.

In a world in which shows tend to have more plot twists than Chubby Checker and character intrigue worthy of a reality show, it's nice to finally have a show that is just good, plain, bloody fun.

• 'Frontier' is available on Netflix.

• This article was originally published in The Times.