The Good Lord Bird: Season 1 (2020)

Season 1
The Good Lord Bird

Critics Consensus

Ethan Hawke dazzles in The Good Lord Bird, an epically irreverent adaptation that does right by its source material's good word.



Critic Ratings: 24


Audience Score

User Ratings: 71

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Air date: Oct 4, 2020

Henry Shackleford, a young slave living in the Kansas territory in 1856, has a run-in with abolitionist John Brown, who mistakes him for a girl and promptly "frees" him.

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Air date: Oct 11, 2020

Separated from Brown's army, Onion and fellow slave Bob leave the fight in Kansas only to cross paths with pro-slavery "red shirts" who escort them to the slave-trading town of Pikesville, Mo. Onion soon finds himself enmeshed in a mounting slave insurrection, where he learns the consequences of his own actions.

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Air date: Oct 18, 2020

After the battle in Pikesville, John Brown, now one of the most wanted men in America, heads north with Onion to raise funds for the abolitionist cause. They take refuge at the home of famed orator and "King of the Negroes" Frederick Douglass and his two wives.

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Air date: Oct 25, 2020

John and Onion continue their fund-raising mission, this time heading to Canada on foot. After seeing true freedom for the first time and frustrated with Brown's increasingly irrational behavior, Onion demands freedom from Brown's army. But, when the legendary Harriet Tubman endorses Brown in a room full of new recruits, Onion realizes that he may be more invested in the cause and the "old man" than he thought.

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Air date: Nov 1, 2020

Onion and new recruit John Cook head to Harper's Ferry to prepare for the arrival of John Brown and his army. However, Onion struggles to perform his mission of recruiting more African-American soldiers from the area when Cook's reckless behavior threatens their exposure to suspicious neighbors. After several weeks of waiting, Brown, his army and his daughter Annie finally arrive—creating a new distraction for Onion: true love.

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Air date: Nov 8, 2020

The plan to seize the nation's largest armory at Harper's Ferry is finally put into action, but a crucial mistake by Onion threatens the success of the entire operation. John Brown's army takes hostages, grabbing the attention of an angry mob and local militia, and with shots firing, Onion is sent out to get reinforcements.

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Air date: Nov 15, 2020

John Brown and his remaining army take a last stand as more federal troops descend upon Harper's Ferry. With John Brown captured and held for public execution, Onion, truly on his own, risks his life to say his goodbyes to Brown. Series finale.

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The Good Lord Bird: Season 1 Videos

Tv Season Info

Cast & Crew

Wyatt Russell
Jeb Stuart
Jack Alcott
Jason Brown
Adam Shapiro
Jew Weiner
Orlando Jones
The Rail Man
Ethan Hawke
John Brown
Beau Knapp
Owen Brown
Daveed Diggs
Frederick Douglass
Hubert Point-Du Jour
Ellar Coltrane
Salmon Brown
David Morse
Dutch Henry Sherman
Nick Eversman
John Brown Jr.
David L. Schiff
Padraic McKinley
Show all Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for The Good Lord Bird: Season 1

Critic Reviews for The Good Lord Bird Season 1

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (13)

As good as Hawke is here, Johnson just might be better. A winner.

Oct 6, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

With a rollicking pilot from director Albert Hughes, the limited series is bursting with lively music, well-staged shootouts, and a wicked sense of humor. Holding it all together is Hawke.

Oct 5, 2020 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

The show's rowdy atmosphere is flexible enough to slide into intensely moving and disturbing moments, thanks to directors such as Albert Hughes and Kevin Hooks and creator-writers Hawke and Mark Richard, all of whom stay true to McBride's vision.

Oct 1, 2020 | Full Review…

The disdain is breathtaking and infuriating. If only it seemed more distant.

Oct 1, 2020 | Full Review…

As long as you don't come to it for a direct history lesson, it is as entertaining as almost any new show of 2020.

Sep 30, 2020 | Full Review…

Ethan Hawke is delightfully unhinged.

Oct 13, 2020 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Ethan Hawke and Daveed Diggs are the standouts in the cast, with the former hitting home runs every time he takes on a project these days and Diggs fast translating his stage stardom into screen leading man charisma.

Oct 11, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A man who took up arms to free the oppressed is the literal definition of a white savior, and The Good Lord Bird makes space for that skepticism without invalidating Brown's moral clarity.

Oct 6, 2020 | Full Review…

The Good Lord Bird is funny and strange, often entertaining and rarely self-serious. Even its wild-man depiction of Brown leaves us with a message of hope.

Oct 5, 2020 | Rating: 7.9/10 | Full Review…

In adapting the novel into a boldly entertaining and ultimately moving seven-part limited series for Showtime, producer and star Ethan Hawke does justice to the legend, and to history.

Oct 5, 2020 | Full Review…

There is both timeliness and timelessness to "The Good Lord Bird."

Oct 5, 2020 | Full Review…

The most revelatory part of The Good Lord Bird is how funny it is.

Oct 5, 2020 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Good Lord Bird: Season 1

  • 3h ago
    wow, should be mandatory viewing for every humanwith a soul! amazing story, great acting.. ethan hawke at his best
  • 2d ago
    so ive only saw one episode of this so far but ill say om very pleased with what i saw it was action packed to the core and really fun to watch though very very graphic i highly recommend it to almost anyone
  • 6d ago
    One of the greatest shows ever produced.
  • 6d ago
    Bringing a truly relevant piece of American History to the Cinema in a way only unbiased observers will appreciate. Must See TV for Patriotic Americans
  • Oct 17, 2020
    Just in case nobody already told you, slavery is BAD and Ethan Hawke is UGLY. Over 300,000 Union soldiers died to free the slaves, and these goody-goodies claim it was all about the USELESS LUNATIC John Brown.
  • Oct 13, 2020
    Action, humor..... a unique commentary on an overlooked part of American history that should instigates conversation and comparison to the state of race relations. Timely and entertaining.
  • Oct 12, 2020
    Ethan Hawke delivers a tour de force performance.
  • Oct 12, 2020
    I absolutely love this series.
  • Oct 12, 2020
    The Good Lord Bird brings our history to life in a most entertaining way.
  • Oct 11, 2020
    I was bored halfway through. It's hard to care about the characters.

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