The Republic of Sarah

Sarah at a press conference

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Emily Clark

TV Series Review

When it’s discovered that the small town of Greylock, New Hampshire, is sitting on top of a large reserve of coltan (a valuable resource used in electronics), Lydon Industries swoops in to start mining.

Headed by former Greylock resident Danny Cooper, the company plans to buy out private properties, bring in new workers and pay for town improvements—such as new roads and a new power grid.

But in order to mine the coltan, Lydon also plans to wipe out Greylock’s history and culture by destroying local monuments to make room for processing facilities and forcing residents to relocate so they can tear up their land.

And Danny’s sister, Sarah—as a history teacher and beloved local—won’t stand for it. As she says, while “a rising tide lifts all ships, a flood drowns everyone.”

In fact, Sarah is willing to do whatever it takes to stop Lydon from taking over—stand in front of a bulldozer, punch her brother in the face, even declare Greylock as an independent country.

The fight won’t be easy.

Big Corporation vs. Small Town

Lydon Industries started their corporate takeover months before informing any of Greylock’s residents (other than the town’s wealthiest and most profit-minded residents, that is). That way when they were ready to move in, the legal paperwork was already in place and Greylock’s elite were standing in support.

But the bulk of Greylock’s residents aren’t willing to just roll over.

After voting for independence, they elect Sarah the leader of their new little republic and start taking steps to push Lydon out forever.

However, as the townsfolk soon discover, Lydon is vicious. And more than a few residents may have to deal with their secrets becoming public in the battle to save Greylock.

And if Sarah wants the whole independent country thing to work, she’ll need to bring some of her own secrets forward and reconcile with her brother.

Republic of Drama

There’s plenty of button-pushing messages worked into this show: a small town fighting a greedy corporation for their land rights; Greylock’s history of being settled by colonists who “pillaged, plundered and poached” the Abenaki natives from their homes; and the fact that their independence is a result of a loophole in a border dispute between Canada and the United States.

The show has other issues, too. Sarah and Danny’s mom is an alcoholic, and she physically and verbally abused Danny when he was a kid. Her abuse was never reported because she was a state senator at the time, and the sheriff covered it up. And the reason the siblings are at odds is because Sarah refused to abandon their mom after their dad left them.

Sarah’s female roommate, A.J., is having an affair with the mayor’s wife. Their friend, Luís, is struggling to build a relationship with his daughter—whose mom is in prison and who Luis abandoned after conception because he was gay. And it also turns out that when Danny left town all those years ago, he left his pregnant fiancé, Corinne, behind, who is now married to another man.

But if that all that drama wasn’t enough to deter you from watching the show, Republic of Sarah also includes racism (a teenage Native American boy is called “Squanto” by his classmates), underage sex and lots of foul language.

So while The Republic of Sarah is depicted as the story of a “wholesome” small town, it’s important to note that it has the same not-so-wholesome characters you’d find on any show produced by the CW.

Episode Reviews

Jun. 14, 2021: “Pilot”

When a big corporation threatens to take over her small town, Sarah Cooper declares Greylock an independent country to save it.

We see two teens making out in a car. The boy tries to remove the girl’s pants, and she stops him. He then mocks her for remaining a virgin. A girl kisses a boy. We learn that Corinne, Danny’s former fiancée, was pregnant with Danny’s child when he left town but that she eventually married another man. We hear that a gay man got a woman pregnant and then abandoned her and the child. We hear lots of crude talk about sex. Someone mentions pornography. Two women (one of whom is married to a man) look longingly at each other, and we later see them enter a house together, presumably because they are involved romantically. A man wipes syrup from a woman’s backside. A woman kisses her female friend on top of the head.

Sarah punches Danny in the face. A woman is nearly run over by a bulldozer. Two teenage boys threaten to hit one another. We hear that Danny’s mom, Ellen, abused him as a kid, hitting him with bottles of alcohol, leaving bruises and deep gashes that required stitches.

Ellen is an alcoholic and has received three DUIs in the past (covered up by the sheriff). Sarah has helped her stay sober for 10 months, but when Ellen learns Danny is back in town, she drinks again, and Sarah worries that she’ll find her mom face-down in her own puke someday.

Sarah verbally reprimands a bully. Danny calls everyone living in Greylock “worthless.” We learn a girl’s mother is in jail. People are rude to each other and threaten each other’s livelihoods. Sarah says colonists forcibly took land owned by Native Americans. A boy derogatorily calls his girlfriend his “chick,” and he calls his Native American classmate “Squanto.” Someone quotes a poem referencing priests. We learn that Danny and Sarah’s dad abandoned them. Sarah is arrested for undermining the U.S. government’s authority. We hear uses of “a–,” “b–tard,” “b–ch,” “h—” and “p-ss.” We also hear a misuse of God’s name.

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Emily Clark
Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

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