Series Review: Tulsa King (2022)

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Tulsa King is a cheesy gangster movie that isn’t worth the Paramount+ subscription. While the series certainly has its moments, it is a sloppy experience that only a few will enjoy. If you have nothing else to watch and happen to have Paramount+, go for it. Otherwise, it isn’t worth your time.

Tulsa King is the story of an old gangster trying to set up an empire in Tulsa. The story picks up after Ike is released from his 25 jail sentence. The family he works for sends him to Tulsa to set up a new operation. The series will focus on Ike’s rise to power as he struggles with his regrets. Will Ike become Tulsa’s undisputed king? 

Stalone is hands down the best part of the series. He has the charm and charisma to carry the cheesy gangster aspects of this show but also has enough talent for some of the more serious moments. Unfortunately, this is a mediocre show with flat characters and no plot.

One of the problems I have with this series is how preachy it gets about its social issues. The series will grind to a halt to point out social issues like racial discrimination or government oversight at the detriment of the narrative’s flow. This recent push to create media that is overly politically correct is ruining storytelling. There is a time and place for these kinds of conversations, and none of them are within the runtime of a cheesy gangster series.

My biggest issue with the series is how hard they try to humanize Ike through his interaction and relationship with people. Some work out fine like when he is trying to reconcile with his daughter, but others seem forced and lazy, like with his romantic interest. The romantic interest in this series is poorly written to the point that no amount of charisma can save it. This character is flat, boring, and generic. The whole romantic subplot is forced, and this series would be better without it.

This series could have been better if it didn’t try so hard to be serious. At its core, Tulsa King is a cheesy gangster narrative. Had this series been true to its roots, it could have been been a great thing. I would have loved a cheesy and nonsensical mob series with Stalone at the head. I wouldn’t care how flat the characters are or how dumb the plot was if I got to see Stalone bust skulls for no reason. 

This series was a missed opportunity to bring some dumb and fun entertainment to an otherwise abysmal catalog. It may not be the worst series Paramount has to offer, but it isn’t worth going out of your way to watch it either.

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image By Paramount, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72210916

4 thoughts on “Series Review: Tulsa King (2022)

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  1. Informative review. I was thinking of signing up for Paramount+ for T.K. and the Yellowstone series. I won’t count on T.K. making it worthwhile. (There is a 1-year 1/2 price sale on Para+, so I still may take the leap.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As long as its not the ad supported one. They put ads in the worst places and way too frequently for it to be enjoyable. If you try to rewind or skip too much, it’ll also throw an ad at you just because. Paramount plus is fun if you have kids though, lots of cartoons. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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