Pop-cultural historically speaking, Tulsa is not always a desired destination for TV characters. Granted, Doctor Manhattan wanted to be there in HBO’s Watchmen, and it is Bill Hader’s hometown, but it’s still a place where (some) characters feel banished. Gary from Justified ran from the Dixie Mafia and ended up there to give motivational speeches in hotels near the airport, and Friends‘ Chandler got sent to Tulsa for work (and Thanksgiving), which wasn’t a fun development for him. Then there’s Tulsa King, from Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan, who wrote this show for Stallone, who plays a mob boss that did decades in prison to save a bigger boss’ butt. And for his trouble, he gets shipped off to Oklahoma.
The man who portrayed Rocky Balboa recently declared that working in Tulsa (and Oklahoma City) for this show was a good crash-course for Hell (due to the blazing heat) and that he had never worked harder, so one can assume that his character felt the pain, too. In the above trailer, we see how not-thrilled he is to be exiled in Tulsa, where everyone can instantly guess that he’s not a local. From the synopsis:
TULSA KING follows New York mafia capo Dwight “The General” Manfredi, just after he is released from prison after 25 years and unceremoniously exiled by his boss to set up shop in Tulsa, Okla. Realizing that his mob family may not have his best interests in mind, Dwight slowly builds a “crew” from a group of unlikely characters, to help him establish a new criminal empire in a place that to him might as well be another planet.
Tulsa King also star Vincent Piazza, Andrea Savage, Martin Starr, Max Casella, and Garrett Hedlund. The show streams on Paramount+ beginning on November 13.