“1883”, the shocking story of a group of pioneers and their titanic journey across the United States

This is “1883”, the prequel to “Yellowstone”. Report by Santiago Garcia.

In the opening episode of 1883 It is clear that this is not just any series. Each scene has a charge of emotion that leaves no one indifferent. The action takes place in the United States in the eighties of the nineteenth century. A group of European pioneers are in Texas looking for guides to take them to their promised land, in the American West. From Texas to Oregon, a journey that many undertake in those years looking to start a new life.


Two veterans of the Civil War, Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott) and Thomas (LaMonica Garrett), they agree to work for these foreigners but from the beginning they try to make them understand how difficult it will be to conquer the task they set for themselves. Both men carry their traumas of war and their personal lives, but they are honest and strong, the only chance that immigrants do not die, even before leaving.

While trying to recruit more men to protect the caravan, they meet James Dutton (Tim McGraw), a man who claims to be a farmer but has a clear ability to handle weapons. They offer him to travel with them and he accepts, but he is not alone, but travels with his family, his wife Margaret (Faith Hill), her eldest daughter Elsa (Elizabeth May) and their young son John (Audie Rick). This family is the key to the prequel, they are the Duttons, whose descendants are the main characters of Yellowstone.


This trip to the west perfectly represents all the mythology of the western. 1883 it is a brilliant combination of all the clichés of the genre, of all its tensions, a clever balance between a thorough revisionism and a tribute to the courage of those who risked everything to start a new life in the land of opportunity.

Despite the terrible situations that the families of the caravan must go through and that the series crudely shows, the story is also capable of showing the values ​​of those who undertook this adventure. The enormous humanity of 1883 it is a deserved and sincere recovery of the history of the pioneers.


The creator of the series is Taylor Sheridanthe same one who was responsible behind Yellowstonethe great success starring Kevin Costner. Sheridan is a renowned director, screenwriter, actor and producer who has focused on the world of westerns with these two series. He is also responsible for the script of Hell or High Water (2016), for which he was nominated for an Oscar. His great talent is the ability to deliver an entertaining but unsweetened narrative, and the way he can be critical and respectful at the same time. The success of Yellowstone and 1883 It has been such that he is already working on another series that is located between both stories and that would bear the name of 1932.

The lead actors are true western stars in American culture. Sam Elliott is the engine that moves the series forward in the first episodes, he represents all the toughness of the genre. Although he may not be as well known outside the United States, within his country he is one of the top stars of the western. He is remembered worldwide for playing the cowboy in the big lebowski (The Big Lebowski, 1998), but has a huge career in film and television. His role in this series is possibly one of the best of his entire career.

The marriage that travels along with this group of pioneers is made up of a real-life marriage, two of the most popular country music stars of recent decades: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, their natural chemistry reinforces the relationship between their characters. , James and Margaret Dutton. For those who know them as musicians, it will be particularly surprising how believable they are in their roles as humble people living in such extreme circumstances.

The creator of the series is Taylor Sheridan, the same responsible for “Yellowstone”. (Paramount)

But the great find of the series is Elizabeth May, who plays Elsa Dutton, the young daughter of the Duttons who will become a woman throughout the enormous journey. She is the voiceover of the series, the one who beautifully and poetically describes the contradictions of the path they have decided to take. The love for that land and at the same time the anguish produced by a mission that seems impossible to achieve. In it you can see perfectly all the tensions, hopes and falls of this group of brave people who have decided to dream of something better and do not hesitate to risk her life to achieve it.

To the great cast, the firm narration and the beauty of the landscapes we must add a remarkable period reconstruction and the brief but significant presence of some movie stars. see the face of Tom Hanks, Billy Bob Thornton, Rita Wilson and to his own Taylor Sheridanis an extra prize that confirms that 1883 It is not an ordinary series, but one of the great events of 2022. The season has only just begun, but it is difficult to believe that a better series will be released than this.

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