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reviews of 1883

1883 (2021–2022)

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Home > 1883

1883 (2021 - Present)

Series info.

A prequel to "Yellowstone," "1883" follows the Dutton family as they flee poverty in Texas and embark on a journey through the Great Plains to seek a better future in Montana. Real-life couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill star as James and Margaret Dutton, while Sam Elliott portrays Shea Brennan, a tough cowboy who has sadness in his past. Other cast members include Isabel May, LaMonica Garrett and Dawn Olivieri. Billy Bob Thornton will guest star and Tom Hanks makes a cameo in a Civil War flashback scene.

  • Starring: Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Isabel May, LaMonica Garrett
  • TV Network: Paramount+
  • Premiere Date: Dec 19, 2021
  • Genre: Drama
  • Executive producers: Taylor Sheridan, John Linson, Art Linson, David Glasser, Ron Burkle, Bob Yari

Where to watch 1883

Watch 1883 with a subscription on Paramount Plus, or buy it on Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV.

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1883 videos, 1883   photos, cast & crew.

Sam Elliott

Shea Brennan

James Dutton

Margaret Dutton

Elsa Dutton

LaMonica Garrett

Billy Bob Thornton

Jim Courtright

Young John Dutton Sr.

Marc Rissmann

Eric Nelsen

James Landry Hébert

Taylor Sheridan

Executive Producer

John Linson

David Glasser

News & Interviews for 1883

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Talk Old West Family Life in Yellowstone Prequel 1883

Mike Flanagan’s The Fall of the House of Usher Series Enlists Frank Langella, Carla Gugino, Mark Hamill

View All 1883 News

reviews of 1883

‘1883’ Is a Winning Western Expansion of the ‘Yellowstone’ Franchise: TV Review

By Joshua Alston

Joshua Alston

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Pictured: Sam Elliot as Shea of the Paramount+ original series 1883. Photo Cr: Emerson Miller/Paramount+ © 2021 MTV Entertainment Studios. All Rights Reserved.

In an age of television where nothing is more attractive to networks than established I.P., it’s not enough to build a solidly performing drama on a humble plot of land. It’s all about the hydra-headed franchise these days, with even a series like “Law & Order” clawing back its territory following a decade of austerity measures. So it was only a matter of time before “ Yellowstone ,” Paramount Network’s superlatively popular nouveau Western, began manifest destiny.

The first such expansion comes in the form of “ 1883 ,” a far-flung prequel series focused on the forebears of John Dutton (Kevin Costner), the beleaguered cattle rancher at the center of “Yellowstone.” Decades before defending their massive Montana ranch from rapacious developers, they were settlers hoping for just enough luck and fortitude to survive the long journey west. The titular time period means hot-streak creator Taylor Sheridan going from a neo-Western to a proto-Western, complete with pistol duels and frontier justice.

Sam Elliott and Tim McGraw co-headline “1883,” with Elliott as Shea Brennan, a hard-charging wagon master trying to outrun his grief, and McGraw as James Dutton, the trunk of the Dutton family tree. Shea and James forge a tenuous partnership as they aim to lead a wagon train and a herd of cattle from Fort Worth, Texas, to somewhere in Oregon. (Subsequent seasons would presumably explain how the Duttons wound up in Montana instead.) Faith Hill — McGraw’s real-life better half — co-stars as James’ wife Margaret, whose primary focus is their children, moppet John Sr. (Audie Rick), and his fierce older sister Elsa (the magnetic Isabel May).

Elsa provides the voiceover for “1883,” which opens with a vignette from an especially devastating setback to the Duttons trek west before flashing back to the trip’s auspicious beginnings. Relatively auspicious, anyway, since the series revels in exploring the litany of mortal threats its characters face. Besides smallpox, which is spreading unabated, the Duttons and their travel companions run up against such indignities as stultifying heat, brazen bandit gangs, and rattlers as poisonous as they are well-camouflaged. In other words, turns of fate that will ring familiar to anyone who played the iconic classroom computer game “The Oregon Trail.”

But get all the “You have died of dysentery” jokes out of the way before heading back to “1883,” because they’re certain not to jibe with the show’s appropriately dire tone and brutal set pieces. While “1883” aims to explore what motivated men like James and Shea to undertake such a treacherous journey, it’s pretty obvious from the earliest scenes. The Fort Worth of the era was a hellmouth in its own right for Civil War veterans plotting a course forward while carrying the psychic scars of war. Even before the wagon train sets off in earnest, there’s enough pestilence and desperation to evoke survival horror, as if “1883” had spun off from “The Walking Dead,” cable television’s phenomenon emeritus.

Sheridan reportedly developed the series after being urged to do so by studio executives, so it’s to his credit that “1883” never feels like a perfunctory franchise expansion. Of the three episodes made available, Sheridan directed two and wrote all three, a larger foundational investment than most dramas get. Along with cinematographer Ben Richardson, he takes full advantage of the panhandle Texas shooting locations to render gorgeous shots that communicate the promise and peril the landscape holds. The production design never looks less than luxe, as is the case with “Yellowstone.”

The cast is uniformly great, with Elliott lending natural authenticity and gravitas with his weathered mien and marble-mouthed delivery. McGraw holds up well against Elliott, and that goes double for the excellent LaMonica Garrett, who plays Shea’s closest ally, Thomas. Hill also turns in a solid performance, thereby helping to dispel the old canard that real-world acting couples struggle to recreate their chemistry on screen. Hill and McGraw’s marriage adds a layer of charm to moments of swoon-worthy fan service. (“I’m gonna build you a house so big you’ll get lost in it,” says James to Margaret, a winking reference to the sprawling main lodge that houses the present-day Duttons.)

Despite the presence of two country music legends, the most pleasant surprise in the cast is May, who carries the voiceover and quickly cements Elsa as “1883’s” most alluring character. May’s star turn is made all the more interesting by her slight acting resume, which was previously anchored by a starring role in Netflix’s low-profile kid-com “Alexa & Katie.” Elsa serves a crucial role as the child on the cusp of adulthood whose still-forming identity is colored by the outsize responsibilities such a journey necessitates. May is the perfect blend of tough and tender, and it’s no wonder Sheridan felt confident centering her character.

The scripts suggest Sheridan is even more at ease writing for the old-school Duttons, who face more organic challenges that make “1883” feel less soapy than the series that inspired it. But the writing isn’t without its snags. The voiceover dialogue swings between poignancy and puerility in prose as purple as a prairie clover. There’s also a blinkered approach to racial difference in the show, which always feels uncomfortable for a story set as a torrent of Jim Crow laws are taking effect. If the rest of the wagon train takes issue with Thomas being African-American, they’re doing an anachronistically admirable job of concealing it. (That’s to say nothing of the raft of thorny issues at play when telling a story about settler colonialism.)

Still, “1883” has the characters, the scope, and the vision to become an exciting new chapter of the “Yellowstone” franchise, as well as a rare example of a spin-off that never feels beholden to its source material.

“1883” premieres Sunday, Dec. 19, on Paramount Plus. 

Paramount Plus. Ten episodes (three screened for review).

  • Production: Executive Producers: Taylor Sheridan, John Linson, Art Linson, David Glasser, Ron Burkle, and Bob Yari.
  • Cast: Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill , Billy Bob Thornton, Isabel May, and LaMonica Garrett.

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Paramount+’s ‘1883’: tv review.

After flirting with the Western genre in modern settings, Taylor Sheridan's new 'Yellowstone' prequel puts stars Sam Elliott, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw on a 19th-century wagon trail across the wide-open prairie.

By Daniel Fienberg

Daniel Fienberg

Chief Television Critic

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Sam Elliott 1883

So as I was saying when I reviewed Taylor Sheridan ‘s Mayor of Kingstown last month, the Yellowstone creator makes bombastic, macho throwbacks, shows that your uncle or father might celebrate because “they don’t make ’em like this anymore.” To be more specific, though, Sheridan makes shows (and movies) that are classic Westerns without actually necessarily being Westerns. Yellowstone , or features like Sicario or Hell or High Water , have the geography and character archetypes of a Western, brought into the present day for a slight revisionist twist. Even something that isn’t a clear genre match, like Mayor of Kingstown , finds Sheridan exploring issues of justice — inevitably a kind of frontier justice that remains intact even if the protagonists drive cars instead of cattle and wield cell phones instead of a Winchester.

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If there’s anything notable about 1883 , Sheridan’s latest Paramount+ drama, it isn’t that it’s a Yellowstone prequel; other than several characters sharing the last name “Dutton,” connections are of the Easter egg variety. It’s that the series is actually a straightforward period Western and not even of the revisionist variety. The pilot begins with a group of ultra-generic Native Americans brutally attacking a wagon convoy, an in medias res scene so packed with stereotypes I’m praying an unanticipated twist will be unveiled before the main narrative catches up. The rest of the series is a lot of drawling cowpokes, expertly adjusted Stetsons and talk of dangerous gun-toting mobs. Sheridan’s thesis can be quickly summarized as “Man, the Old West was rough,” which is sure to come as a revelation to anybody who hasn’t seen a Clint Eastwood film, Deadwood or played Oregon Trail .

Airdate: Sunday, December 19

Cast: Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Isabel May, LaMonica Garrett

Creator: Taylor Sheridan

The pilot begins with the Dutton family arriving in Ft. Worth, Texas. James ( Tim McGraw ) arrives via wagon after shooting up a gang of outlaws to prove his toughness to the audience, with the rest of the clan — wife Margaret ( Faith Hill ), daughter Elsa (Isabel May) and son John (Audie Rick), plus dyspeptic sister Claire (Dawn Olivieri) and her sullen daughter Mary (Emma Malouff) — following via train. Their plan is to head north to unsettled land and take up ranching. James’ ease with a gun catches the attention of Shea ( Sam Elliott ) and Thomas (LaMonica Garrett), salty veterans who hope the Duttons will help them lead a gang of German immigrants with negligible survival skills, at least part of the way to Oregon.

There’s no clear reason why the central family has to be the Duttons. Sheridan doesn’t pander to the established audience from Yellowstone by, for example, beginning the show with Kevin Costner sitting with a yellowed photo album and announcing, “You’re probably wondering how I got here…” It’s a needless Trojan horse. Has Costner’s Yellowstone character ever mentioned that one of his female relatives was a bad author?

Because that’s the other Trojan horse here. For all of the bigger names and genre veterans onscreen, 1883 is actually Elsa’s story. Somewhat. Kinda. Elsa provides 1883 with a voiceover and with its curious outsider’s perspective, that of a plucky, resourceful teen getting caught up in Manifest Destiny, with threats of rape and death around every bend.

The two-pronged flaw: First, Elsa’s voiceover is just horribly overwritten and banal without any real clarification as to whether Sheridan thinks he’s written something profound or he thinks this is the way teenage girls wrote in their diaries in 1883 or what. That flaw is amplified because Sheridan has badly confused giving a character an internal monologue with offering a perspective from that character. Elsa’s take on the world begins and ends at “drawled wonderment” and she’s narrating an adventure that largely doesn’t involve her.

Elsa’s segments of the show — while plagued by Sheridan’s tendency to build drama around women exclusively by putting them in physical jeopardy and to build respect for women exclusively by having characters appreciate their manly attributes — aren’t bad. May, like Hill, looks anachronistically modern in style and affect, but as mother-daughter, they at least match. They’re less worrisome characters to explore than James, because it’s doubtful 1883 is going to have a good explanation for putting a former Confederate officer front-and-center — not that a lecture on states’ rights would be out-of-place amid Sheridan’s tumbleweed libertarianism.

A show about a teenage girl facing the barbarism of the expanding American landscape could be a good one. It would basically be an R-rated Little House on the Prairie and I’d probably want more involvement from female writers and directors, but what would be wrong with that? Instead, Sheridan wants us to think Elsa’s at the center of the story, but she keeps getting lost in the mumbled, inconsistently accented conversations between various gruff men. Say this for Sheridan: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a writer, especially a writer prone to florid turns of phrase, so uninterested in whether or not audiences will be able to understand his dialogue.

The only character in 1883 who is consistently comprehensible is Shea and I can’t emphasize enough how much unearned credibility the series gets from Elliott’s performance. He’s the rare actor who is equally convincing when he isn’t saying a word — when Sheridan and cinematographer Ben Richardson can simply trace the experience through his craggy face — as when he’s shouting in that husky voice we trust to tell us which meat is for dinner or what The Dude has been up to. Shea is a man tortured by grief who just wants to see the wide-open spaces one last time before going to meet his maker, and Elliott is a simmering, bellowing, occasionally sobbing delight. Garrett hasn’t been given nearly as much to do, but there’s an odd-couple energy to those two characters that could sustain its own show and also gets usurped by the marble-mouthed throngs.

Some of the actors hidden in the throngs are weirdly recognizable, or at least their names are. The second episode includes already spoiled cameos from a pair of Oscar winners and it would be easy to half-watch it and miss both of them — and even easier to notice both and then be unsure what quality was added through their presence. The first of the actors, appearing for less than two minutes and delivering only three lines (one a duplicate), adds so little you’d think Sheridan was daring Emmy voters, notoriously idiotic when it comes to guest acting categories, to throw away a nomination on a beloved A-lister based on stature alone.

The first couple of episodes are a bad attempt to do Deadwood -style revisionism and the third is a bland attempt to do a straightforward Western, stripping some of the — forgive me — dead wood from the ensemble and adding just a little romance and very limited comedy to the bleak nihilism. Sheridan’s target audience will probably already be invested long before then and those with initially casual interest will have previously checked out.

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1883 Proves That Bigger Actually Is Better

Taylor Sheridan's new Yellowstone prequel spared no expense, creative or financial, on its journey into the wild west. It worked.

Headshot of Justin Kirkland

The opening shot of 1883 —a close-up of the face of actress Isabel May, who plays Elisa Dutton—reveals an unfortunate, blunt end to what was once a beautiful journey. By the time the opening credits roll, she's got an arrow skewering her torso as she fires her gun back at American Indians on horseback. Roaring flames close in and it's then that you know: the story for Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan's new crop of characters is less about if they'll die, than when . In the first five minutes of the prequel series to his Montana-set epic, there are no winners or losers, just devastation. But damn if that sprawling landscape doesn't serve as a beautiful backdrop as the world burns.

That vibe might sound familiar to those who are fans of Sheridan's other work, particularly those loyal to Yellowstone . I mean, the man has turned inter-family tragedy into must-watch television. But this new show, starring Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill, is much more unforgiving. Here, as the opening flash-forward suggests, ruin is inevitable. While some parts of 1883 (select acting, in particular) require a touch of finesse, the series proves that with the right vision—and one hell of a budget—Sheridan has the capability to make television feel even bigger than the movies.

pictured sam elliott as shea of the paramount original series 1883 photo cr emerson millerparamount c 2021 mtv entertainment studios all rights reserved

1883 follows the Dutton family as they make their way from the heart of Texas to the Montana ranch where the set-in-present-day series is based. Leading the way is James Dillon Dutton (McGraw) and Shea Brennan (Elliott), accompanied by the Dutton matriarch, Margaret, played by Hill. But as anyone halfway familiar with the unrelenting conditions of the Oregon Trail knows, the journey is not an easy one. With the expedition's initial desired destination being the Oregon coast, the first mystery quickly becomes, how exactly do the Duttons end up hundreds of miles off of their course? Flanked by family as well as a group of immigrants hoping to make the trek, the first two episodes made available to critics confirm that not everyone who begins the journey will make it to the end. Hell, some won't make it across the Lone Star state border.

But it's not the impressive effects that sell it—the series flat out wouldn't work without Sam Elliott. The veteran actor steps into the role of Shea Brennan and, in the course of only a couple of episodes, he brilliantly paints a portrait of a man broken by the very world at which we marvel. It's Elliott and LaMonica Garrett (who plays Shea's Civil War buddy, Thomas) who make this story worth watching. And they have to, as performances from McGraw and Hill can occasionally feel a bit wobbly and over the top. There's a solemnity from Elliott and Garrett that gives the series an authenticity that tamps down any campiness.

pictured faith hill as margaret and audie rick as john of the paramount original series 1883 photo cr emerson millerparamount © 2021 mtv entertainment studios all rights reserved

The timing of its release isn't hurting this project either. Over the past couple of years, our itch to break out of our homes and shake off that cramped feeling that comes from being housebound in a pandemic has waxed and waned and waxed again. Without the option to explore, we've seen the TV and movie Western come back en vogue as Sheridan has met that desire, creating something so vast and overwhelming and unfamiliar that it's a nearly worthy substitute for our own wanderlust.

That open landscape draws us in, but what will keep us returning is this careful exploration of a piece of our history that is so long gone that most of us haven't bothered to remember it: the sickness, the role of Black cowboys, the fight between colonizers and indigenous populations over land. It's as mysterious to us in 2021 as the terrain was to the Duttons of 1883. Instead of trying to bonk you over the head with the point , Sheridan simply tells it like it is, whether you like it or not. (Though we're guessing a lot of people are going to like it.) And fortunately for us, the history and the snakes and the smallpox all stay behind the screen.

Headshot of Justin Kirkland

Justin Kirkland is a Brooklyn-based writer who covers culture, food, and the South. Along with Esquire, his work has appeared in NYLON , Vulture , and USA Today .     

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‘1883’ Review: Earnest ‘Yellowstone’ Prequel Is an Incomplete Chronicling of America’s Expansion Westward

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A prequel to Taylor Sheridan’s Paramount Network drama series “ Yellowstone ,” “ 1883 ” unfolds more than a century prior as contemporary Montana is replaced by a journey through the Great Plains, chronicling one family’s story during the great American Western migration. However, an opportunity to disrupt present-day comprehension of a transformative period in U.S. history is wasted on yet another narrative from the point of view of white settlers.

The Western Frontier narrative is one that can’t be told without including the Native American experience, yet it’s a perspective from which these particular stories are rarely expressed, especially in the mainstream. Even the official synopsis for “1883” uses the phrase “the last bastion of untamed America” to describe this final destination. But what does “untamed” mean for the civilization that populated those lands for centuries? It is this lack of consideration that almost singlehandedly renders “1883” disappointing. At best, it’s reductive, offering little of value to progressive discourse — nor does this family drama have anything new or profound to say about family; at worst, it’s intentional. In either scenario, the series is rendered toothless.

The first episode opens with a young white woman, bruised and battered, in the midst of armed Native Americans on horses, burning covered wagons, and dead bodies strewn about. She’s Elsa Dutton (Isabel May), the “purty,” blonde, teenage daughter of James Dutton (Tim McGraw), patriarch of the Dutton family whose exploits are central to “Yellowstone.” Clothed in a brightly colored gown — as she is throughout the series, sharply contrasting against the grungier, “darker” surroundings — Elsa is, for all intents and purposes, the embodiment of Columbia, herself the historical personification of the United States as illustrated in John Gast’s 1872 painting “American Progress.” It depicts Columbia as the “Spirit of the Frontier,” a white, blonde, feminine figure, cloaked in a white gown, heading westward to fulfill what was believed to be a divine mission: “civilize” the wild West.

A necessary context that “1883” does not provide: From around 1840 (following the U.S. victory in the Mexican War, the California gold rush, and the abolition of slavery) to 1900, widespread changes transformed the American West. At the beginning of that period, a great variety of Native Americans, whose cultures were already many thousands of years old, dominated most parts of the region. By the end of the era, the West had become populated by new immigrants of all kinds, an expansion that profoundly affected the indigenous population. Resistance by the tribes often led to wars with the U.S. military, which the tribes usually lost, as western lands came under white control.

Is knowledge of this history necessary to position Sheridan’s “1883”? The simple answer is yes. Maybe not a scholarly understanding of it, but it’s been well-documented that the American education system has generally failed its students, especially when it comes to elucidating the most damning periods of the country’s past, including the harsh experiences of Natives well into the present. The media has certainly helped perpetuate neglect of the Native American narrative, with maligned characterizations in film and television from the start.

Is it Sheridan’s responsibility to tell stories about Indigenous people? Of course not, but given how imbalanced the scales of power and control in American media are, in terms of who decides what stories are told and an awareness of one’s own privilege (as the man says, “With great power comes great responsibility”) could be a first step towards a necessary empathy.

In a meshing of past and present, there’s a key flashback in the first episode of the current season of “Yellowstone,” when former Confederate officer James Dutton (McGraw) encounters Native Americans on his land. The optics illustrate the power relationship: Dutton, confident, high on horseback, looking down on the beleaguered Natives (the European-invented “noble savage” myth looms large), who are ultimately at his mercy. They are there to bury one of their dead on what used to be their land. Dutton asks whether they’ve come to reclaim it, and is stern in his stance that he’s not personally responsible for what they lost.

While Dutton’s supposition may be argued, if he’s at all aware of the history that eased his family’s struggles, or empathetic to the plight of those who were forcefully and violently supplanted so he could lay claim to that land, it doesn’t show.

Sheridan’s résumé as an auteur isn’t extensive enough to gauge his politics, but the native of a small Texas town (Cranfills Gap) has demonstrated an interest in foregrounding the heartbeat of “rural America” — a loaded term that has incorrectly become synonymous with “white, agrarian heartland”; his Oscar-nominated 2016 film “Hell or High Water” (which he wrote) is one example as is the recent Paramount+ series “Mayor of Kingstown.” In “1883,” Dutton, an obstinate former Confederate officer, is quite possibly an ideological vessel.

To be fair, Sheridan does insert a foil for Dutton in the form of Sam Elliot’s imposing Union military man, Shea Brennan, a former captain of a Buffalo Soldier unit (a division made up of African-American servicemen). Brennan is tasked with guiding a group of mostly non English–speaking Germans along the Great Plains. He’s in mourning, after leaving behind a family stricken by smallpox, all dead from the viral disease.

Brennan is accompanied by Thomas (LaMonica Garrett), the only real African-American presence in the series. A former Buffalo Soldier, he’s now Brennan’s right-hand man — an optimist to Brennan’s pessimist. Hardened by war and death, they’re “good” people, something the series seems to want to make clear.

Fate introduces the traveling duo and their entourage to the Dutton family, after a skirmish or two lands them all in the kind of transitional western town where the unarmed are the most vulnerable, yet the gunslingers are often the first to die.

However, any hints at a power struggle between Brennan and Dutton are quickly quelled whenever the former acquiesces to the latter. For example, at a crossroads, Brennan proposes a longer path that would avoid confrontation with Natives, but a singularly-focused Dutton is willing to risk conflict, and maybe even desires it. It’s clear that a violent encounter with Native Americans is coming, as is winter. Both concerns are raised often. But suffice to say that Dutton’s way wins. It’s rarely, if ever, the reverse.

Isabel May as Elsa Dutton in

Regardless of where one’s sociopolitical allegiances lie, a good story requires a clear narrative voice, compelling characters, insightful themes, conflict that stems from varied viewpoints, and, most importantly, empathy. It’s a trait that fuels curiosity, which then opens the door to understanding and more nuanced ways of observing the world. “1883” is anything but nuanced.

It’s an R-rated “Little House on the Prairie,” even though that heavy-handed 1970s–’80s series, as problematic as it was, handled storylines about settler prejudices and gender inequality more adroitly than it’s given credit for. But both are dramatic tellings of a white family’s struggle to build a new life for themselves on the American Frontier of the latter half of the 19th century, with a “family values” conservatism that still resonates among many Americans today.

The evolution of rural American political ideology could probably be traced back to James Dutton’s implied meaning of self-reliance. As a middle-aged white man, Dutton, like many of his peers, likely scoffed at government relief programs, especially those that assisted newly freed African Americans, insisting that his family endured hardship without handouts, in making the treacherous trek westward, planting seeds for the apparent wealth that would come a century later, as showcased in “Yellowstone.”

But the U.S. Congress did enact laws to encourage settlement, including the Homestead Act of 1862, which, for hundreds of thousands of predominantly white people, meant capitalizing on what was a large-scale, if not ill-conceived government initiative that prompted 50 years of violent conflict and brutal struggle, leaving Native Americans at a distinct disadvantage.

For whatever it’s worth, “1883” is earnest in its crafting, thanks to Sheridan’s writing and the performances of his cast, notably real-life couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as James and Margaret Dutton. Theirs is a family that operates on mutual respect and affection, and they rely on their devotion to each other to see them through the daily trials of early settlement life.

A cloying narration by Dutton’s daughter Elsa is sprinkled throughout each episode.

“How cruel and uncaring this world could be,” she says in a southern drawl that sounds put-on. “The world doesn’t care if you die. It won’t listen to your screams. When I meet God, it’ll be the first thing I ask him: Why make a world of such wonder and fill it with monsters?”

It’s not clear who she believes the “monsters” to be.

“If ‘possible’ could describe a feeling, that’s how I felt,” she says. “The whole world felt possible and I was ready for it.”

Native Americans, as well as the formerly enslaved, probably felt the same.

Eventually, her naïveté starts to grate.

The series’ own Scarlett O’Hara, Elsa is testifying about events that have already happened. Eventually, episodes will catch up to the deadly confrontation with Natives depicted in the early minutes of the first episode. And how that ends, before it rewinds to tell the story of a past when the Duttons began their journey, will likely be answered.

The America of today was borne out of the many battles fought, lives lost, cultures overrun, lands claimed, and treaties broken, all a result of that Western expansion many believed was divine and destined. Stories of those who sought better futures are certainly worth telling; a problem is that they’ve been chronically incomplete. And in what has been described as a global historical reckoning, as statues and monuments to racism, colonization, and legacies of injustice continue to fall around the world, “1883” just feels like a series out of time.

“1883” launched with a two-episode premiere Sunday, December 19, on Paramount+.

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Based on 14 parent reviews


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Not historically accurate. this is culture trying to change history., teenage sex, don't understand all the bad language. i wonder how many viewers they would lose if they did not cuss probably none. i wonder how many viewers they would gain if they didn't curse thousands, anachronism, no value, 1883 is dark and violent, realism a stretch, extremely realistic and gritty western.


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    It's a very gritty and violent show that showed off the realness of the Wild West. The writing and acting is what makes this show so special. It's too bad that

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    Watch 1883 with a subscription on Paramount Plus, or buy it on Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV. Rate And Review. Want to see. 1883 videos. 1883: Season 1

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    Despite the presence of two country music legends, the most pleasant surprise in the cast is May, who carries the voiceover and quickly cements

  8. '1883' Review

    The first couple of episodes are a bad attempt to do Deadwood-style revisionism and the third is a bland attempt to do a straightforward Western

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    Overall, 1883 is a grand, well-made Western adventure that fans of the genre and the less soapy parts of Yellowstone will enjoy, should they choose to embark on

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    It might be the most satisfying addition to the Western genre since Godless. By Aaron Barnhart FULL REVIEW · User Reviews.

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    Here, as the opening flash-forward suggests, ruin is inevitable. While some parts of 1883 (select acting, in particular) require a touch of

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    But aside from that, the story is done well enough, and the characters make the journey worth it. And the ending is very emotional, which is what made this show

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    A prequel to Taylor Sheridan's Paramount Network drama series “Yellowstone,” “1883” unfolds more than a century prior as contemporary Montana is

  14. Parent reviews for 1883

    1883 is dark and violent. Unrealistic. Dark, emotionally tough to watch, violent, depressing. Turned it off. NO SHERIFF walks into a saloon and shoots willingly