1883 is a limited series drama based on the life of James and Margaret Dutton.  The series aired in December of 2021 and lasted 10 episodes.  It was written by Taylor Sheridan and stared Tim McGraw as James Dutton and Faith Hill as Margaret Dutton.  Other notable stars included Sam Elliot who plays Shea Brennan, Isabel May who plays Elsa Dutton and LaMonica Garrett who plays Thomas.

The story begins in Texas when a group of German migrants hire Shea (Sam Elliot) to take them to the Oregon coast.  James (Tim McGraw) is also wanting to take his family out of Texas and agrees to help with the trip. The Dutton family consists of James, Margaret, Elsa and a son John Sr. (played by Audie Rick).

The television rating is TV-MA due to the violence, language and brief nudity. The violence is part of the show from the start and becomes a major part of the story as many of the immigrants die during the trip. Some deaths were due to the harsh travel conditions and others were from fights with outlaws and Native Americans. Although it is a major part of the story, I believe it was a fair representation of what the trip would have been like in the late 1800’s.

There were some celebrity cameos in the show as well. Real life husband and wife Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson both acted in one episode of the series.  Incidentally, it wasn’t the same episode as Hanks was in episode 2 while Wilson appeared in episode 6.  Another big name star was in the second show as well, Bill Bob Thorton made an appearance.  I wouldn’t have known it was him until I heard his voice. That made me research the show to confirm his part.

The entire story was about getting to Oregon until James daughter Elsa was shot with an arrow.  She didn’t die right away which gave James the opportunity to decide he would set up his ranch where ever she was buried.  He rode with her to Paradise Valley so she could die in a beautiful peaceful setting.

In my opinion 1883 is more realistic than the TV show Yellowstone. There are a few scenes that seem unrealistic, but are understandable as they were needed to advance the story.  1883 can be seen on Paramount+ and Amazon Prime. Next up is 1923.  I will give an overview once I have completed watching it.

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