Tulsa King’ Is a Rickety Star Vehicle for Sylvester Stallone: TV Review

The other fascinating thing about “Tulsa King” is its star, Sylvester Stallone, who at 76 is making his first foray into series television. There’s nothing new about actors best known for yesterday’s box-office smashes reinventing themselves in television’s land of good and plenty. But Stallone is a particular kind of performer, with his post-“Rocky” filmography split between setpiece-heavy action franchises and failed experiments to evolve beyond playing soldiers of fortune like “Rambo.” Until he landed a Golden Globe for his supporting role in “Creed,” Stallone’s basic competence as a performer was a matter of fierce debate. He’s no one’s favorite actor.In “Tulsa King,” Stallone inhabits a role clearly conceived with him in mind, and it makes all the difference. “Tulsa King” is a clumsy misfire, but when the show works, it works precisely because of Stallone’s charming, if characteristically mannered, performance. Stallone’s range is as compact as ever, but he navigates it with the precision of a contortionist trapped in a box. “Tulsa King” isn’t a great show with him, but it would be far less interesting without him.Stallone stars as Dwight “The General” Manfredi, a New York mafioso who’s been out of the organized crime game while serving a 25-year prison sentence. Upon his release, Dwight expects to be welcomed back into the family with a celebration at his favorite gentleman’s club and a montage set to Ace Frehley’s “New York Groove.” Instead, he’s dropped off in Long Island for a tense meeting that establishes just how much reorganization has taken place in his lengthy absence.

Dwight “The General” Manfredi (Sylvester Stallone) has spent the last 25 years in prison, taking the fall for his friends in the New York mafia. He ain’t no snitch; he’s good at keeping his mouth shut, working out, and brushing up on his reading (Faust, Shakespeare, The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene) while he waits to reap the rewards for his loyalty. “I married this life, and I’m gonna see if it married me back,” Sly growls in reedy voiceover. 

But his exit from the frying pan leads him right back into the fire: Rather than take his former place in the organization, the don’s son has taken his place as capo. They send him off to start criminal operations in a whole new frontier: Tulsa, Oklahoma. There’s gold in them thar hills, they might say (albeit with pinched fingers), but for Dwight, it feels like he’s being put out to pasture. Doesn’t matter, though; if there’s anything Dwight’s good at, it’s adapting. Well, that and breathing skills.

There’s a lot to like about Taylor Sheridan’s “Tulsa King”—clearly his next step in his plot to do

Escape to Victory: Casting Stallone as the lead in a mafia story feels like an easy sell, despite it being something he’s done very rarely over the course of his career — in between the Rockys and Rambos and cop projects, perhaps the only notable instance of him playing in this genre is the 1991 comedy Oscar, which was not well-received. (Oh, but he did play Mafioso #2 in the 1976 comedy Cannonball!)

Dwight as a character is a curious nut, as there are times when his ruthlessness isn’t so charming — it’s one thing when he decks a surly capo or racist car salesman, another thing when he mets out violence against those less deserving. His whole purpose in coming to Tulsa is essentially to bring mafia business practices to a community unfamiliar with them; it’s one thing to relate to his plight, but it’s another to watch him exhort people who were just living their lives before he came to town.

That said, this premise is tailor-made to fit his persona, and Sheridan and executive producer Terence Winter (The SopranosBoardwalk Empire) know where the chief pleasures of this story lie: The opportunity to watch a made man contend with not just how the world has changed over the last 25 years, but a city whose understanding of “organized crime” is entirely limited to gangster movies.

The modern world, you see, is not the way it was when Dwight left. The list of things that Dwight does not get about 2022 includes: Uber; the aforementioned legalized weed; people using credit cards instead of cash; coffee-shop serving containers; kids today and their pronouns.

In this respect,Sister, Sistergot out of its system after the pilot. But even the second episode, which was presumably written in more than one day, falls back on an identical crutch and is, in fact, even more stuck on fish-out-of-water cliches.The Sopranos

Sylvester Stallone Gets Candid About Career, Regrets, Feuds: “I Thought I Knew Everything” Stallone plays Dwight Manfredi, a former mafia capo released after spending 25 years in prison.Taylor Sheridan and Terence Winter, is entirely too conventional and workmanlike to be a remarkable series.Sammy Hagar soundtrack .Sylvester Stallone Gets Candid About Career, Regrets, Feuds: “I Thought I Knew Everything” The duo pitched the idea to Stallone that Monday, and then secured Emmy winner Terence Winter to creatively take the lead on the project as showrunner.

Dwight served time in part because he refused to flip on the local godfather (A.C. For one thing, “Tulsa King” continues the parabolic rise of Sheridan, a writer-director who has quickly become one of the past decade’s predominant television successes. Peterson). But within limits. He doesn’t expect a parade or anything, but he hopes for some sign of gratitude. In addition to his flagship hit “Yellowstone” and its four spinoffs, Sheridan has built an ever-expanding slate of projects and a storytelling brand as distinct as household names like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy. With the godfather’s son (Domenick Lombardozzi) in charge, Dwight finds himself generally superfluous and he’s tasked with going to Tulsa to “open things up. A gangster, yeah.

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