“For almost as long as people have been wandering into it, the desert has served as a backdrop to personal reinventions.
Festivalgoers blow into town for a weekend designed to indulge the most camera-ready versions of their repressed ids. Architects venture to the desert to experiment with new forms against a seemingly blank slate. Con artists move out to the hinterlands to steal a bit of glamour from the stark landscape’s closeness to death and dub themselves shamans.
If anyone could use a reinvention, it’s Peggy Newman. The protagonist of High Desert — the latest series from Apple TV+, which premiered May 17 —is a former drug dealer and recovering addict barely holding on to the scraps of a once-ritzy life in the Coachella Valley. Starring Patricia Arquette, the series from writing team Katie Ford, Nancy Fichman, and Jennifer Hoppe-House picks up several years after a dramatic DEA raid on Thanksgiving upends Peggy’s life (and just weeks after the death of her mother)…”