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Review: 'Teenage Bounty Hunters' loses its way

Too much teenage, not enough hunting in Netflix series

Tom Long
Special to The Detroit News

“Teenage Bounty Hunters” is pretty much as good and bad as you’d expect it to be.

Well, maybe a bit more bad.

Which is unfortunate because the show’s young leads — Maddie Phillips and Anjelica Bette Fellini — have wonderful chemistry, batting teen nonsense, emotional eruptions and giddy observations back and forth with crisp timing.

Anjelica Bette Fellini and Maddie Phillips in "Teenage Bounty Hunters."

They play Sterling and Blair Wesley, wealthy 16-year-old fraternal twins and besties. They attend a preppy Christian school and while Sterling is dubiously devout, Blair is just doubtful. They are obsessed with boys, or at least the idea of boys, they dress cute, they banter like new generation Buffys.

A car accident introduces them to Bowser (Kadeem Hardison), a low-rent bounty hunter, and results in their helping him corral a bad guy. Sterling, turns out, is good with guns, and Blair is fleet of foot. As far-fetched as it is, they make fun action heroines. So they become Bowser’s part-time employees.

The show, though, seems to forget that, and too soon focuses on typical teen drama: virginity, popularity, parent squabbles, dating. Snore. Eventually it moves to maudlin moments and the bounty hunter angle fades. Sure there’s some case or another every episode but they become less central.

The question hovers: Who is this show for? Adults are sure to tire of the teen stuff and teens themselves are likely past such obvious fare. The show has sex and sporadic nudity —16-year-old girls rocking at a strip club? — so may be questionable for pre-teens, and the action quotient gets turned way down.

Basically you’ve got a cheeky high-concept premise that doesn’t know where to go. Stars Phillips and Fellini deserve better; so does the audience.

'Teenage Bounty Hunters'

GRADE: C

Netflix

Tom Long is a longtime contributor to The Detroit News.