Alaska Daily, an ABC drama premiering Oct. 6, stars Oscar winner Hilary Swank as a reporter investigating the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
On a surface level, the plot for the new ABC scripted drama Alaska Daily feels somewhat comfortable and familiar: A big-shot reporter messes up in her high-profile gig, falls from grace, and is compelled to move somewhere remote (read: away from the glory) and redeem herself with hard work and a new lease on life. Hey, that premise is enough for us to be in already.
But there's something deeper going on in the plot of the new show starring multiple Oscar winner Hilary Swank (premiering on ABC Oct. 6 and Hulu the following day). Her character, Eileen Fitzgerald, is certainly the central focus of much of the drama, but she's also tasked with a long overlooked and important assignment when showing up to "slum it" at a small-town-Alaska newspaper.
A cold case involving a missing Indigenous woman leads Fitzgerald's editor to finally try to get to the bottom of a pattern bringing tragedy to the area for years, violence that has been met with no justice or reckoning.
This driving storyline in the show is reflective of the real-world epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Other big-budget shows and movies in recent years such as Longmire, Wind River, and Yellowstone have addressed the issue in their own ways.
There are many ways to contribute to the efforts to seek justice and end the epidemic; find out more by checking out this list of resources from indian-affairs.org.
Show creator Tom McCarthy (also an Oscar winner for the journalism film Spotlight) recently spoke to Forbes about his decision to focus on the epidemic: "It was a terrific opportunity to put such an important topic onto mainstream TV and maybe start a conversation with the 'Lower 48' specifically, as the Alaskans like to refer to us, on this topic. It just hasn't received nearly enough attention."
Get ready for the premiere of Alaska Daily by digging into a scene between Swank, her editor (played by Jeff Perry), and a fellow reporter (played by Grace Dove) who's been advocating for investigating the painful issue.
Consider the acting and creative talent along with the real-world tragedies inspiring the plot: Alaska Daily has the potential to be a lot more meaningful and inspiring than other TV trifles on the network schedules. Check it out and let us know what you think on Facebook.
Alaska Daily premieres on ABC Oct. 6 at 9 p.m. Central. Catch it on Hulu the following day.
Photos: ABC/Matt Sayles