Tulsa King

Sylvester Stallone as a mob boss - Tulsa King





Emily Tsiao

TV Series Review

Dwight Manfredi spent the past 25 years in prison. He took the blame for a murder that his Don committed in order to save the Mafia boss’s son from going to prison for “whacking” a guy that Manfredi actually kinda liked and who certainly didn’t deserve it.

Why would Manfredi do that? Well, because he’s loyal. From the time he was 17 years old, all he wanted was to become a gangster. He’s married to the life.

Unfortunately, the Mafia didn’t quite marry Manfredi back.

Upon his release, they abandon Manfredi, telling him there’s no longer a place for him in New York’s mob families. Instead, he’s being sent to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to set up shop on his own.

“I’m giving you a city!” the Don says.

But Manfredi doesn’t see it that way. To him, it’s a banishment. And he’s determined to show them just how big of a mistake they’ve made.

Not Worth 25 Seconds

You know, if you take away the foul language, violent tendencies, illegal activities and sexual encounters, then Tulsa’s new “king” is actually kind of a nice guy. Manfredi doesn’t stand for sexual harassment, racism or gang activity (unless it’s Mafia gangs, that is).

But Tulsa King doesn’t take away any of those nasty things.

Language is a heavy hitter here with 25 uses of the f-word in the first episode alone. Manfredi beats up four different men within the first 48 hours of landing in Tulsa. (And it’s likely he’s killed before while working for the Mafia in New York.) And then, of course, there’s all the illegal activity that Manfredi engages in while trying to establish himself as Tulsa’s own Don.

Manfredi says that his time in prison wasn’t worth 25 seconds, let alone 25 years. Who knew that the same could be said of this show?

Episode Reviews

Nov. 13, 2022 – S1, Ep1: “Go West, Old Man”

Manfredi punches and beats up several men, often knocking them unconscious. (One man is knocked out after Manfredi throws a metal water bottle at his face.) Some Mafia members draw guns but don’t use them. A guard threatens to use mace against Manfredi. A man says he was “shanked” in prison. We hear about some murders. Manfredi threatens physical violence against several people.

Manfredi takes a woman to his hotel room and it’s implied they had sex. She tells him that he was the deciding factor in whether or not she should go through with a divorce. Many people go to a strip club. (We see the scantily clad dancers, and some male patrons grope women who don’t work at the club.) A man brags about his endowment. Some women wear tight and revealing clothing.

We hear 25 uses of the f-word, as well as multiple uses of the s-word, “a–,” “c–k,” “d–n,” “h—” and “pr—k,” along with crude slang for testicles. God’s and Christ’s names are also abused several times, the former sometimes paired with “d–n.”

Manfredi physically bullies a medical marijuana dispensary into paying him a portion of their profit in exchange for his “protection.” A woman says she is high. Someone is wrongly accused of being an illegal drug dealer. We hear about drug cartels. A man says he became addicted to pain medication after a bull-riding accident. (He says the addiction led him to make decisions that landed him in prison.) People drink and smoke.

Manfredi says his wife divorced him when he went to prison and that he hasn’t spoken to his daughter in 18 years. We hear about racism (which Manfredi stands up against). People lie. Manfredi tells a legal business to launder their money in order to protect it from the federal government. We hear about stolen guns and ammunition. Someone makes a rude comment about weight.

A woman sprays Manfredi with holy water after he uses foul language. Someone informs Manfredi that she and her companion are with the Church of God and that Tulsa is in the middle of the United States’ “Bible Belt.” We see many churches.

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Emily Tsiao

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 geeking out with her husband indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.

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