With so many television programs out there it seems there’s a show for everyone. However, it can also mean that viewers are so overwhelmed by all those choices, that a show truly worthy of our time and attention somehow slips under the radar. One show we here at The TV Junkies would hate to see that happen to is APTN’s Mohawk Girls, which returns for Season 4 on Tuesday, October 25 at 9:30 p.m. ET. The comedy series, which was nominated for 4 Canadian Screen Awards this past spring, including Best Comedy Series, follows four modern-day women trying to stay true to their Mohawk roots while navigating sex, work and love in the 21st century.
First up there’s Bailey (Jenny Pudavick), who is hoping to choose a path that will make both her and her family happy as she figures out how to answer Watio’s (Jimmy Blais) proposal. Zoe (Brittany LeBorgne) is a Type-A woman who will be going to extremes to win the approval of her community while trying to hide her kinky sexual desires. Caitlin (Heather White) finally has found a healthy relationship, but will she continue it given that she knows her Mohawk community will disapprove of her dating outside the Rez? Finally, Anna (Maika Harper) must move on from her breakup with Thunder (Kyle Nobess) and decide whether or not she wants to move back to New York.
In Season 4 the series promises to push the women even further out of their comfort zones as they deal with interracial dating, politics, wedding planning, love triangles and career aspirations in a community embedded with rules and cultural traditions. Mohawk Girls is created and executive produced by Tracey Deer and Cynthia Knight, with Deer directing all the episodes and Knight serving as the series’ head writer. Mohawk Girls is a series you don’t want to miss out on. In fact, we’ve went and compiled a list of reasons why you’ll want to head over to the Rez and hang with these four ladies in Season 4. If you’re worried about jumping in on Season 4, don’t worry, you can catch up on previous seasons in no time by visiting APTN’s website.
More Mohawk than ever before!
In Season 4 we’ll actually be getting more episodes of Mohawk Girls than in previous years. Earlier seasons of the show consisted of only six half-hour episodes, but this year that number increases to eight. “This is the first time we’ve had eight episodes so we’re excited about that,” Knight tells The TV Junkies. Not only has the episode order increased, but the show will air for a longer period of time as well. “In previous seasons APTN always aired two episodes a week, back to back. It’s fun for the viewers, but with six episodes it’s only a 3 week run and so short. You put all that work into it, the viewers are so excited and in 3 weeks it’s done. This year they are airing once a week and 8 episodes, so it goes from a 3 week run to an 8 week run,” explains Knight.
Stories Ripped from the headlines
The longer a series goes on the harder it is for writers to keep things fresh and interesting. “You want to keep exploring the same inner conflict that the viewers know of these characters and have grown attached to, but at the same time you want to keep it new and fresh,” Knight tells us. That’s why Mohawk Girls turned to the headlines in Season 4 and will be tackling some of those issues this season, including the controversial “Marry Out, Get Out” rule members of the Mohawk community of Kahnawake are trying to enforce. “There is a very vocal group of community members who are trying to pressure those with a non-Native spouse to leave. We tried to incorporate that because it’s important for us to talk about and it’s always delicate of how you do something like that in a lighter, comedic tone that’s not too heavy because that’s not the show,” says Knight.
Serious Issues Tackled through Comedy
One aspect of Mohawk Girls that we especially love is the way the series, despite the fact that it’s a comedy, doesn’t back down from those controversial topics. “Addressing these issues through comedy makes them accessible and allows people to tune in with an open mind,” Deer says. In fact, the show being a comedy really works to their advantage says Deer because “comedy is a nice bridge to talk about these issues, have people engage and think about them and not chase them away.” Knight believes that coming at these issues from a comedic stance “almost lets us go places that are hard to go in a drama because then it’s very heavy and very earnest.” She adds that coming through the stories in a comedic, but not preachy way, is “a spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. You’re laughing while you’re learning, you’re seeing yourself in that situation and you’re seeing that they are just like you.”
Stories Everyone Can Relate To
While on the surface a lot of the stories and problems faced by the ladies on Mohawk Girls are very specific to being a Mohawk, it’s clear after watching that their problems are very relatable to ones we all face every day. “Being a woman is being a woman. That stretches across every community setting, every social setting, every minority,” says Deer. So while Mohawk Girls strives to be very world specific to life on the Rez, “if you dig deeper it is universal. It was important for us to have situations and storylines that everyone can relate to,” explains Knight. She adds that the stories they are telling are just stories that “any woman with community pressure, family pressure and questioning who you are and what do you do in the world can relate to.”
Diversity In Front Of & Behind The Scenes
There’s been a lot of discussion about diversity in the TV industry as of late and Mohawk Girls is one of the shows excelling at it, both in front and behind the scenes. “I do think people are a lot more aware and people are starting to value that they can make a better show with more well-rounded, three-dimensional characters if we have people from lots of different, interesting backgrounds,” says Knight. Deer attributes being on APTN to a lot of why Mohawk Girls exists and is able to tell these diverse stories. “I do think the atmosphere in Canada is changing. I do think there’s forward motion and I’m really optimistic about where it’s going, but I think APTN has played such a key role in making that happen,” she tells us.
Frank Conversations about Sex & Love
Given that Zoe, one of Mohawk Girls’ main characters, has a secret sex life that involves some pretty kinky fetishes, the show can get into frank discussions and situations involving sex. Knight does admit that “occasionally we’ll write something and worry the network won’t let us do it, but they most often do.” She says that the show’s comedic tone, rather than being overt and raunchy about sex, affords them some flexibility with the network and audiences. “They’re super game to have us push boundaries in terms of content, whether it be sexual or bringing any of these other big issues to light. We go for whatever we want to go for and they very seldom rein us in,” Knight says. While that usually is a good thing for audiences in terms of the stories that get told, it may not be so great for actress Brittany LeBorgne who plays Zoe. “She would love if we would rein in! Every year when she sees the scripts she turns green,” jokes Deer.
Are you excited for the return of Mohawk Girls? Sound off in the comments below!
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.