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Dark Winds: What to Know About the Hit AMC Show

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Dark Winds

AMC is known for its twisted, darker series. In 2010, it became the home for a little horror drama known as The Walking Dead. This post-apocalyptic horror series based on the comic book series of the same name quickly became one of the most popular television shows to date. AMC also had great success with crime dramas like Breaking Bad (2008-2013) and period dramas like Mad Men (2008-2013). The channel has gained a lot of attention with its original series and, for a while, even had a reputation on par with HBO and Showtime.

Recently though, it seems the broadcasting channel has hit a bit of a lull. Even with its new streaming platform AMC+, it seems AMC has been struggling to keep attention. However, with The Walking Dead coming to its f inal conclusion in the next year and other big shows on the platform like Breaking Bad

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spin-off Better Call Saul in its last season, the channel has been gearing up with a whole new line of originals. The most recent series, Dark Winds, has already gained serious momentum.

Dark Winds is an American psychological thriller television series and the most recent original series to premiere on AMC and AMC+. Based on the Leaphorn & Chee novel by Tony Hillerman, the series follows two Navajo police officers, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, as they solve cases. The series is set in 1971 in a remote area of the Navajo Nation near Monument Valley, offering an ominous background to the already intense show.

According to Deadline, the first season shows Leaphorn, who is a member of the Tribal Police, “as he is besieged by a series of seemingly unrelated crimes. The closer he digs to the truth, the more he exposes the wounds of his past. He is joined by his new deputy [who] has old scores to settle from his youth on the reservation. Together, the two men battle the forces of evil, each other and their own personal demons on the path to salvation.”

The new show was created by Graham Roland (Jack Ryan, 2018-) and adapted from Hillerman’s novels, but that’s not where the story began. Robert Redford (Barefoot in the Park, 1963, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969), yes, THAT Robert Redford, acquired the rights for the novels all the way back in 1986. He workshopped the series for quite a long time until he was happy with the direction it was headed and partnered with Roland to produce, as well as Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, who was a close friend to Hillerman before his death in 2008.

The show is primarily directed by Chris Eyre, who has previously worked on many films surrounding Native American life. The writers’ room for the series is entirely Native American as well.

The series is fronted by Zahn McClarnon as Lt. Joe Leaphorn. McClarnon is an incredibly talented American actor who is known for his work in several series, including Western crime drama Longmire (2012-2017) and Reservation Dogs (2021-), another recent series showcasing reservation life. The actor has a long resume of fantastic work and is able to showcase it on a grander scale with his role in Dark Winds.

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