The Story

Jo is a dedicated detective working the case of her career.  While on a stake-out, she makes a valiant but fatal choice that leads to a firefight — and gets a teen hostage killed and her partner shot. 

She’s thrown off the case, but continues investigating on her own and discovers a shocking piece of evidence: the drugs she’s after are not only coming from Ashland, her hometown, but are connected to Suzie. A life and love she’s tried to forget.  

Meanwhile, in the scablands surrounding Ashland, a beleaguered Suzie stumbles upon Jeff — the beloved brother of Darren, the local kingpin — dying painfully after having fallen down a cliff.  Next to him, a pile of cash. 

Jeff begs Suzie to end his misery. She reluctantly acquiesces. 

And so the fuse is lit.

Jo returns home under the guise of a leave of absence and is immediately thrown into a fire of physical and emotional turmoil.

Not only does she want to crack the case, but she wants to help Suzie.  The love they shared, while unrequited for the past 16 years, is as strong as it ever was.  

Darren — a one-time friend to Suzie and Jo — and his right-hand-woman, Alice, burn through the town looking for Jeff, a trail of torture in their wake as he slowly unravels with grief.  

As both Darren and Jo’s investigations march forward, they circle around Suzie and her teenage daughter, Emily, and eventually collide — with disastrous results.  

As lives hangs in the balance, Jo is forced to confront an evil she’s never encountered before.

ASHLAND. A new series about family, redemption, and the ambiguity of justice. 

Season One: 8 episodes, 25 mins. each

The Characters

JO is a woman struggling to make a difference in this world, battling for the respect of her peers and forgiveness from herself. Through the course of her primary investigation, she's forced to return to her forsaken hometown and relive the life she long-ago threw away. Reconnection with her estranged girlfriend, Suzie, exhumes all the doubt, regret and romantic entanglement she's tried so hard to bury. 

 

SUZIE is stuck. A single mom of a teenager, she has been remanded to running the family farm on her own after her parents died and Jo left town. She looks at life through jaded eyes. Wishing for more and futilely grasping at freedom, she's unable to escape... until opportunity knocks in the form of assisting the local drug-smuggling operation: they get to use her produce as a cover, she gets to cash in. 

 

DARREN, Ashland’s kingpin, is driven by grief, rage and vengeance: his brother has been killed and he's on a rampage of retribution. As the pieces of Jo’s clandestine case come together, Darren’s narrows in on Suzie’s involvement in the death of his brother. As he and Jo collide, both in crisis and as one-time friends, there’s no turning back. 

 

 

ALICE, Darren’s right-hand-woman, knows her job: protect the bottom line. Battling demons of her own and having lost most of her humanity years ago when she left her sister for dead, Alice grows increasingly frustrated as Darren unravels and his histrionics threaten the business.  A villain with a rigid, albeit skewed sense of ethics, she is the polar opposite of Jo – a worthy antagonist, but also a force through which Jo must question her ideals.

 

EMILY is Suzie’s teenage daughter. Struggling against the weight of her hometown, yearning to be her own woman and, ultimately, fighting against immediate and mortal danger, she is caught in the middle of all this. Desperately trying to figure out what’s right and wrong in the world, she gets sucked into the murky morass the adult’s around her have created.  

Creators' Statement

ASHLAND is a modern, female-centric Western about family, redemption, and the ambiguity of justice — a series that delves deep into a central question of the human condition: how do we create a positive impact with our lives, both on those we care about and the world? 

Like all of our projects, this one is intensely personal. The love/conflict dynamics of our two main characters — Jo (a city detective) and Suzie (a farm owner) — and the themes of redemption, guilt and betrayal are ripped straight from our lives. In all the work we do, we put ourselves into the souls of our characters and use that to ignite the story. This time, we're throwing a bottle of lighter fluid on it. 

This is a gritty tale captured with ferocious intensity. The stark landscapes, the moral uncertainty, the conflicted characters: this is noir, but with unique gender reversals, issues of identity, and the bleached yellow of the desert replacing the inky black of asphalt. 

All of our characters yearn for something universal. Whether it's Jo's redemption, Suzie's yearning to break free, Darren’s unrepentant revenge, Alice’s desire for order, or Emily’s quest for moral identity, these people fight and stand to lose big. The stakes are high and threat is imminent from page one — death lurks around every corner. 

Tonally and visually, think Breaking Bad, Sicario, Fargo, and The Proposition. But mix with that the thematic richness of Gone Baby Gone and the relationship dynamics of In Her Shoes, High Art and Kyss Mig

We're creating a series with the hooks to get people watching, the universality to make it real, the potent questions of humanity to engage, and the emotional and intellectual weight to keep people talking long after the credits roll. 

Enthusiastically yours, Kris & Lindy Boustedt, First Sight Productions