Tulsa King, with Sly Stallone

There's times when at my age (hint: way past 50) you get an appreciation for stories that take into account a character's life experiences. A while back I watched and enjoyed Kate Winslet in The Mare of East Town, as a life-long citizen of East Town Pennsylvania, on the police force solving a young girl's murder.

I got another, even deeper visit to that aspect with Tulsa King. Sylvester Stallone as Dwight Manfredi has solid-ness, weather marks on his face, and a slow even-handed deftness to his character: an ex-con who served 25 years out east. He never ratted on the New York mafia family and did his time. When he gets back his old boss is very ill, and there's several mafia members who want Dwight gone once the old man dies. To kill him would stir up trouble, so they exile him to 'nowhere USA' in the form of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Like Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul, Tulsa King uses the city almost as a character. Sure, there's high sky scrapers and modern city streets but you only have to drive a few miles out of town to be in the middle of cowboy country. Sly portrays Dwight Manfredi, an ex-mob character with a checkered past and blank future. In the space of one episode he hooks up with a driver/partner, takes 20% of the local medicinal marijuana action, and tangles with the bikers (who are much more realistic than Sons of Anarchy).

It's structured just right.

Dwight (Sly) doesn't jump in with his fists up or guns blazing. He sits back. He's well-read, quotes Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War'. He takes a philosophical approach to conflict, let's other people take the first shot, which usually is their error. It's no accident that the audience (me) can incorporate figuratively his acting history into his character's history, blended together. They mention he killed a man in prison, but it was in self-defense. There's no flash back, no set up scene. You just know it, any fan of his work could run any number of old movies of him kicking someone's ass for a visual.

To balance it out, Dwight has -yes a slight casual dalliance with sex and a pretty older woman (but come on, she's like late 40s tops and he's 72!).

Fractured past.

Yet it's his trying to re-connect with his estranged daughter whom he never spoke to while in jail. 25 years later she's out of teen hood and runs a flower shop. She has every reason to hate him and does. There's a lot of work for Dwight left to do(and I'm only now finishing Episode 7 with two more to go).

Available on several streaming services, or for purchase on Amazon. Google "Tulsa King" or "Mare of East Town"

That's it! Have a great weekend!

10454 Lomita Ave #B, Felton
United States