Sylvester Stallone’s New Crime Show Makes The Strangest Decision Ever

By TeeJay Small | Updated

tulsa king

Sylvester Stallone’s Tulsa King originally aired its first season on Paramount+ back in 2022. The series–which centers on Stallone as an emissary of the New York mafia planting roots in the untapped city of Tulsa, Oklahoma–has seen excellent reviews from critics and audiences alike, with the long-awaited second season still currently in production. Despite the show’s success, the writers have made one of the most baffling decisions in history within the narrative, by making the show something of an upbeat “feel-good” story about the mob.


Tulsa King was created and developed for streaming by Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan, in collaboration with former The Sopranos writer Terence Winter. The show stars Stallone alongside a wide array of massive talent, including the likes of Martin Starr, Jay Will, Andrea Savage, Reacher‘s Domenick Lombardozzi, and The Sopranos‘ Max Casella.

The Story

The plot of Tulsa King follows Sylvester Stallone’s Dwight Manfredi, who sees himself banished to the distant wasteland of Tulsa after doing a 25-year bid in prison to protect his mafia family.

Despite his unshakable loyalty, several political factors have shifted within the family since Dwight’s incarceration, leaving nothing left for him in New York. Dwight’s boss attempts to frame the exile as a golden opportunity to establish business connections in an untapped market, though Dwight sees right through this.

Dwight Leans Into His Exile

Still, once Dwight steps off the plane, he immediately begins making new contacts in the city of Tulsa, including a young Uber driver named Tyson and a local dispensary owner named Bodhi.

Over the course of 9nine episodes, Dwight manages to rapidly raise his power within Tulsa, forging major business connections and growing a rag-tag crew of local associates.

While Tulsa King is undoubtedly a fun and enjoyable series, the show’s depiction of partnering with a mobster more closely resembles something out of a fantasy than it does a crime genre.

Real Mobsters Aren’t So Nice

sylvester stallone tulsa king season 2

In reality, mobsters shake down local businesses for their own personal gain, at a great detriment to their own community. This is a wholly parasitic relationship, best explored throughout the course of shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, or Breaking Bad.

In Tulsa King, partnering with Dwight is the greatest business move Bodhi ever makes, as Dwight rapidly begins opening up new money-making avenues that produce millions for the local business, which he graciously shares with his cohorts.

Dwight Needs To Be Sympathetic

sylvester stallone

Obviously, Tulsa King needs to make Dwight Manfredi a moral enough character that the audience at home feels comfortable rooting for him, so the series can’t have him show up and destroy Bodhi’s life with selfishness and greed.

I’m not necessarily arguing that such a change to the narrative would even benefit the show, as the partnership between the pair is the heart of the entire series. Still, the concept of a feel-good mob story is completely laughable, and makes the show quite silly when examined under a microscope.

Stream It Now

Sylvester Stallone


While the upbeat nature of the show is odd at times, it does allow Tulsa King to sort of corner its market, as there is truly no other show on TV that has you rooting for a mobster as he expands an empire using NFT money and nitrous tanks.

The show is not completely without moral depth, but it certainly doesn’t have the same kind of ethical ambiguity on display as some of its contemporaries. If you’re interested in checking out Tulsa King today, the series can be streamed on Paramount+.