Jason Momoa starred as Phillip Kopus for two seasons of the television show, The Red Road, which originally aired on Sundance TV and then moved to Netflix. Many fans of the show were left in the lurch when it was abruptly cancelled, leaving them with a cliffhanger ending and lack of closure for the characters they had grown to love over twelve episodes and two seasons. One superfan of Jason and the show decided to start up a petition to convince the powers that be to come back for one final season to wrap up all the storylines and to see what happened with Phillip and Marie and Junior in that dramatic closing scene of season two. We talked to Barbara Wong-Shing about The Red Road, Jason Momoa and her petition for a third and final season.
Talk about Jason’s role as Phillip Kopus in The Red Road?
From the very first scene you knew Phillip didn’t have an easy life. Raised by his drug dealing father because his mother left him, he returns to Walpole, New Jersey, where his mother and brother now live. As the episodes progress, we see Phillip’s soft side surface. He genuinely cares for his mother even though she left him to pursue her own agenda. Phillip may not have been the best role model initially but he started to change as the show progressed. He was always thought of as the bad kid but I don’t think he really was.
What is the appeal of that show to you?
This is one of the few shows whose plot surrounded Native Americans and how they were and still are being harmed from toxic waste in New Jersey. There was a ripple affect throughout the entire town as a result of what was happening in the Ramapo Mountains concerning the Mahwah Ford plant’s carelessness. This not only affected the Ramapo people but over time everyone who lived in Walpole. Every character has something they are dealing with within their own family and outside the family. Mental issues. Territory disagreements. Property disagreements. Health and welfare of the Ramapo and others. Whether casinos should be built.
In your opinion, what story lines still needed to be wrapped up when the show was cancelled after two seasons?
What none of us will ever know is if the ending of Season 2 was intentional or unintentional. If the writers knew that the show was cancelled before episode 6 of Season 2, then the ending makes sense. Who was going to be Chief since one Chief has already died and the other may die (Marie). What about Junior? His biological father was killed by Kopus and was never in his life. Would he reunite with Rachel? Would Jean finally find some peace with her mental illness. Would the toxic waste ever get resolved? Would Harold be able to help the Walpole people survive all the turmoil they have had to deal with over the years.
The most obvious story line is whether Marie (Phillip’s mother) survived the attack initiated by Chief Levi over a casino dispute and whether Junior survived that same attack. The last scene we saw was Phillip in tears as he was kneeling over Marie and Junior wondering if they were going to live. This is the biggest story line. If neither of them live, then it would change the entire show.
You’ve started a petition to get a third and final season to The Red Road television program. Talk about the petition and why you started it?
The story line in The Red Road needed to continue. Only two seasons? You can’t cover a show such as this in just 12 episodes. Sundance really dropped the ball. The Red Road first aired February 27, 2014 on the Sundance Channel. There was another show Rectify that Sundance brought to the screen on April 22, 2013. It appears that Sundance took more of an interest in Rectify since it lasted 4 seasons. Sundance did not do any publicity for The Red Road after it was renewed for Season 2. It was totally forgotten once Season 2 aired. The show was forgotten. No one knew that there was a remote possibility that there would be a third season. Sundance’s efforts went into Rectify instead of The Red Road. However, Rectify was cancelled after four seasons.
If you watch this interview that I saved of Jason Momoa and Julianne Nicholson with Variety, both of them were so enthusiastic about returning to Sundance for a third season of The Red Road, but it never happened. This is why I started the petition. Once I heard the show was getting cancelled in April 2015 I started my petition right away with change.org . I haven’t stopped believing that one of these years I will get The Red Road back for a third season. There are fans who believe the same. The very last episode aired May 7, 2015.
Several of the cast members have signed the petition, including Kiowa Gordon, Timothy Perez, Doris Morgado, Tom Sizemore and Del Zamora.
I recently hit my signature goal of 7,500 and now have a new goal of 10,000 signatures. I could not have gotten this far without the support of my The Red Road Facebook Group members. You can go HERE to sign the petition if you haven’t already, and also share it.
Tell us a little about yourself?
There are young and old alike who love Jason Momoa. I am not young but not quite ancient either. I’m in my late 60’s. I grew up in a small central Pennsylvania mining town. I have moved around a lot in my years. I settled here because I was married at the time. I had my children here. I’ve lived here 40 some years. I have a Bachelor Degree in Human Resource Management. I retired as a Human Resource Analyst as a public servant. My passion is helping others. Now I move on to the next phase of my life. My bucket list is quite full. It is time to cross some of those things off!
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