cowboys in 1883 tv series





Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

Before the West became what it is today, with its buildings and paved roads and civilization, it was wild. 

That term wasn’t truly understood by those in the North, or the East or down South. But for the brave ones who dared to trek to unknown lands, they knew. And “wild,” in many ways, was too tame a term. 

Take the Dutton family. They’ve just left every comfort they’ve ever known in Tennessee and have arrived in Hell’s Half Acre in Fort Worth, Texas. Here, people are rough and brutal and prone to violence. Surely a picture of what’s to come.

But the Duttons are just passing through. See, John Dutton, his wife Margaret, their beautiful teenage daughter Elsa and young son, John Jr., are on their way north with Margaret’s sister and her teenage daughter. They’re not quite sure where they want to end up, but they do know that the West promises the kind of opportunity they’ve always desired. 

The only problem is that John Dutton is the only male able to protect his young family. And although he and his wife are more than capable of annihilating those that stand in their way, it’s known that the journey out West is full of perilous creatures, unforgiving terrain and Native Americans who are ready to kill to protect the land that’s been theirs for millennia. 

So, John pairs up with two rogue cowboys–Shea Brennan who has just lost his wife and daughter to smallpox; and the mysterious Thomas–along with the helpless caravan of immigrants they’re leading, for some extra protection. Yet, even with the help and expertise of Shea and Thomas, there’s no promise that anyone will make it alive. And those that do might wish they were dead.  

No Home on This Range

Paramount+ is giving die-hard Yellowstone fans what they want: a backstory of how the Dutton family came to Montana with their latest, gritty drama, 1883.

This new series, starring Sam Elliot, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, focuses on the Dutton family as they make their trek to the West. It’s brutal, untamed and unfiltered, much like Yellowstone itself. And it might be on its way to becoming just as popular. 

Still, that doesn’t mean much for families. This show has its fair share of profanity, a heaping bundle of violence, some nudity and sexual content that hints toward things revving up in future episodes. Yes, it attempts to tell the story of those who took land by blood, and in that respect it feels quite accurate. But that doesn’t mean it’s a journey that families will want to take.

Episode Reviews

Dec. 19, 2021: “1883”

Rogue cowboy Shea Brennan promises to take a group of unprepared immigrants on the long trek to Oregon. James Dutton and his family meet up in Fort Worth, Texas, before continuing their journey up north. 

Elsa wakes up to find that women and men have been shot and killed by arrows. She watches as a woman is scalped and then retaliates by shooting and killing multiple Native American men. After shooting and killing multiple men, James vomits. A group of angry men beat a pickpocket and then hang him in the town square as observers cheer. 

Shea sets his house on fire after he finds his wife and daughter both dead from smallpox. Shea tells a man to go lie by a river and die after the man discovers that he has smallpox, too. Elsa’s aunt slaps Elsa in the face multiple times. 

Elsa watches a couple passionately kiss outside of her window. While watching, she says that she only ever talked about what sex meant with her friends, but then insinuates she learns while watching the couple (we don’t see anything graphic). Later, a man breaks into Elsa’s room and tries to rape her, but is shot and killed before he can do so. 

A husband and wife bathe together, make out and insinuate that they will have sex (we see bare shoulders and bare backs). Prostitutes attempt to seduce men while walking around in dresses that reveal cleavage and oftentimes their upper thighs. An older man flirts with a teenage girl. Women take off their clothes while getting checked for smallpox (we see women from behind, as well as their bare breasts). 

A woman says that it was the Lord’s will that her husband died. Another says that the Lord shall renew his strength. God’s name is misused once. The f-word is used nearly ten times. Other profanity includes a handful of words such as the s-word, “h—,” “a–,” “a–hole” and “son of a b–ch.” A few women are called “whores.”

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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