Updated: Oct 31
I love unknown actors! As is in most cases, relative unknowns who seem to come ‘out of the blue’ can often be better than tried n’ true actors...
Unknowns can provide a fresh face and voice, as well as a blank slate of expectations for the audience―both pleasantly surprising. Isabel May, who plays the daughter Elsa Dutton, is no exception. She brings a stellar performance that is deep and entirely engaging. Her voice-overs in the show let us experience the Great American West firsthand in a way that feels authentic and intimate. Not unlike the way i experienced Africa...
1883 is the prequel to Taylor Sheridan’s well-loved and popular series, Yellowstone and recounts the how and why the Dutton family ended up in Montana. As someone who has ridden on horses in the Wyoming wilderness, I can tell you 1883 brings the best adventures and dangerous real-life accidents yet real teamwork in the direst of circumstances.
I had the pleasure of writing a spec episode of 1883 in July this year, and therefore got to know the characters and their world well. 1883 combines that ‘old west’ feel with a lesser-known story―the Oregon Trail. As a historian, I love to see shows that entertain and educate. Americans need to know their past, as do all countries, as it demonstrates a powerful marker of what people are made of―strength we can all use going forward.
The best part about 1883, besides its array of excellent actors―from singers Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (James and Margaret Dutton), to renowned actor Sam Elliot, to LaMonica Garrett―is the respect for each other, including the Native Americans in the show. People are seen as a necessity brought together in a tapestry woven for everyone’s benefit and a good life.
Unlike Yellowstone where the behavior drops often to the lowest common denominator, humanity is intact in 1883. I highly recommend it.