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High Desert

High Desert season 1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Kennedy Unthank

TV Series Review

1 Timothy 6:10 tells us that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Peggy is inclined to agree; after all, her own siblings are kicking her out of their late mother’s home because they refuse to continue to pay the mortgage for her. It’s a slap in the face, especially after Peggy was happy to share her money with them when she was well-off.

Granted, Peggy was wealthy because she and her soon-to-be-ex husband were selling drugs. But that was before the DEA burst in and took her husband to prison (see: a root of all kinds of evil). Now, she works as a fictional barmaid in a Wild West attraction, but that’s not exactly paying the bills.

So instead, Peggy’s turning her attention to Bruce Harvey, a failing private investigator with few leads and fewer clients. And though Peggy doesn’t have a private investigator license, she’s got a pretty keen eye for detail, and she thinks that she might be able to turn Bruce’s business around.

And maybe, she’ll cash in a few much-needed bucks into her bank account.

Bye Desert

The band America got it wrong: in the desert, there is someone there “for to” give you pain. And her name is Peggy.

Apple TV+’s High Desert thrusts us into Peggy’s mostly miserable life—a life where most things that can go wrong do, and where Peggy thinks little about others unless they can do something to benefit her. In fact, many of her motives are based on how she can get herself out of the rut she’s found herself in—all others beware. And that makes it difficult to root for Peggy as a protagonist.

The show is further filled with quite a bit of content. Female nudity, LGBT content and sexual references are present within the first three episodes—including a drag queen and an episode that frequently references a woman’s breast implants. Drugs also make many appearances on the show; we’ll watch Peggy take acid, for instance. There’s some violence; a man is tortured by having his nipple cut off. And heavy swearing is frequent, too.

Put simply, High Desert is about as dry and lifeless as an actual desert.

Episode Reviews

May 17, 2023 – S1, Ep1: “Pain Management”

When Peggy’s siblings inform her of their plans to sell their mother’s house, Peggy scrambles to find a job.

A woman’s breast slips out of her swimsuit. A woman references getting breast implants, and she touches her clothed chest. Peggy and dancers bend over during a dance, revealing writing on the rears of their costumes. We also hear references to prostitution and a strip tease.

In a flashback, the DEA raids Peggy’s home, and people scramble to get rid of drugs there. We see Peggy take acid and drive off. We also hear a reference to Peggy doing cocaine. People drink beer, wine and liquor. Peggy puts an unlit cigarette in her mouth. She also suspects a boy of trying to get access to opioids for recreational purposes. A man asks if Peggy would like to do drugs with him.

We hear a reference to domestic abuse against a child. Actors at a tourist attraction battle in a choreographed bar fight. Peggy steals a man’s wallet as well as someone’s food. She also divorces her husband.

We see three crosses in the background of the Wild West attraction where Peggy works. Peggy describes the music of an orchestral performance as “sounds from spiritual realms.”

The f-word is used over 35 times, including once that is preceded by “mother”. The s-word is used seven times. We also hear “a–,” “b–ch,” “b–tard,” “p-ss” and “d–n.” God’s name is abused eight times, including five times in the form of “g-dd–n.”

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Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He thinks the ending of Lost “wasn’t that bad.”

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