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Interested in learning more about “1883” and all the juicy details? BuddyTV is here to give you everything you need to know about the storyline before you watch the show.

About “1883” on Paramount+

“1883” depicts the harsh realities of a post-war era in America and the Westward expansion – which saw many Americans relocate to areas perceived as the promised land.

The show follows the story of an impoverished family from Tennessee — the Dutton family – and some German immigrants as they travel from Fort Worth to Montana in search of a better life.

The caravan is led by James Dutton, a former officer of the United States Army, and a few former soldiers determined to protect the caravan in this perilous journey across the Great Plains. 

The show, which premiered for its first season on December 19, 2021, is developed by Taylor Sheridan in partnership with MTV Entertainment Studios and ViacomCBS.

Is “1883” Based on a True Story?

Ever watched a series where the events seem so real you wonder if they truly happened?

Taylor Sheridan’s “Yellowstone” prequel “1883” is one such series. The characters and events all seem so real you would think it was actually happening – like we were back in the 1800s. However, “1883” isn’t based on a true story. That being said, the show is a portrayal of American history and the realities of those who lived in America in the 19th century.

Similarly, some of the characters portrayed in the show were real-life settlers.

For example, the character known as General George Meade, who appeared in a flashback in episode two played by Tom Hanks, was an Army officer during the Civil War. History has it that the general defeated Confederate Robert. E. Lee in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Similarly, the character known as Jim Courtright, played by Billy Bob Thornton, is based on a real-life character: gunslinger Timothy Isaiah Courtright. Courtright lived between 1845 and 1887. He was reportedly killed in Fort Worth during a gunfight with gunslinger Luke Short.

Fans are hopeful that we’ll see more real-life characters portrayed as the show continues to unfold. 

Is “1883” a Good Show?

While producers do their best to create viewer-worthy TV shows and movies, it’s the audience who determines whether a show is good or not.

Following the conclusion of the “Yellowstone” prequel series, “1883,” critics and viewers lend their voices on what they make of the show. So far, the show has racked up an 86% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, which shows that a majority of the critics consider “1883” to be fresh and watch-worthy. 

Furthermore, a lot of praise has been heaped on Sam Elliott and Isabel May for what many viewers describe as fantastic performances. One of the comments reads, “I can’t emphasize enough how much-unearned credibility the series gets from Elliott’s performance.”

Similarly, more than 80% of the Rotten Tomatoes audience rate the show 3.5 stars or higher – showing that the majority of viewers consider the show a good one. 

Will There Be a Season 2 of “1883?”

After the season finale aired in February 2022, fans have been calling for a renewal of the show. However, from what we know, “1883” won’t be renewed for a second season. What’s likely, however, is that there will be additional episodes in a future date — 1932 has been speculated (spoiler alert?!).

In a chat recent interview, Taylor Sheridan dropped a teaser, stating that his next move was to portray the Dutton family saga in another era. In his words, “I’m going to peek through the window of a different era and see what I see then.”

Speaking further, Taylor said “I don’t think of any of these as spinoffs, but rather as complete stories that have common roots. My goal with the next one would be that you could never have seen “1883” or “Yellowstone,” and still have a fully realized experience as a viewer.”

About the “1883” Cast

One of the reasons why “1883” is so highly rated is the show’s cast. It is no secret that this series features a number of amazing actors. 

Here’s a quick highlight of who is in the cast of “1883:”

Tim McGraw:

While Tim McGraw is most popular for his illustrious career as a country music singer, he also has a reputation when it comes to acting. Since making a cameo appearance in 1997 on “The Jeff Foxworthy Show,” Tim has featured in other television shows like “Friday Night Lights,” “Flicka,” and “Country Strong.”

In “1883” McGraw plays the role of James Dutton. James was a Confederate Captain during the civil war. Discontent with the impoverished state of life after the war, James leads the Duttons on a perilous journey through the Great Plains. They face a lot of threats on the way. However, his skill in using the gun comes in handy in protecting his family.

Faith Hill:

Faith Hill made her debut acting appearance in 1997 in “Touched by an Angel.” She is also known for her role in “Stepford Wives” and “Dixieland.” She is married to Tim McGraw and interestingly, she plays the same role in the series. 

In “1883,” Hill portrays Margaret Dutton; the matriarch of the Dutton family — definitely not your typical 19th-century wife. Margaret is strong and formidable, but also tender, which is said to be somewhat typical of Faith’s personality in real life. Although Margaret is a tough character in “1883,” she struggles to get their daughter, Elsa, to behave.

Isabel May:

Prior to “1883,” Isabel May had appeared in the TV series “Young Sheldon” and “Alexa & Katie.”  

The fast-rising 21-year-old actor stars as Elsa Dutton, the rebellious teenage daughter of James and Margaret. This is probably Isabel’s biggest role to date. Watching how she interpreted her role, it’s indisputably clear why she was picked to play Elsa.

Sam Elliot:

Hollywood legend and multiple award nominee Sam Elliott is no stranger when it comes to starring in movies that portray the Western genre. The classic American cowboy actor has featured in a series of Western movies and films like “The Big Lebowski,” “Gone to Texas,” “The Desperate Trail,” “The Quick and the Dead,” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” – among others.

Sam brings life to his role as Shea Brennan, a civil war veteran who agrees to lead some immigrants on a trip from Fort Worth to Oregon.

LaMonica Garrett:

Before featuring in “1883,” LaMonica has appeared in popular television series like “Sons of Anarchy,” “Arrow,” and “Designated Survivor.”

LaMonica Garrett stars in “1883” as Thomas, a former Buffalo soldier, and Shea’s right-hand man. 

Other noteworthy “1883” castmembers include:

  • Gratiela Brancusi as Noemi
  • Marc Rissmann as Josef
  • Audie Rick as Young John Dutton
  • Eric Nelsen as Ennis
  • Tom Hanks as General George Meade 
  • Billy Bob Thornton as Jim Courtright 
  • Emma Malouff as Mary Abel Dutton
  • Dawn Olivieri as Claire Dutton
  • James Landry Hébert as Wade
  • Martin Sensmeier as Sam
  • Rita Wilson as Carolyn

About the Creator of “1883”

Taylor Sheridan is an American actor, screenwriter, film director, and producer. Taylor made his acting debut in 1995 when he appeared in an episode of the American television series “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

He is best known for his recurring role in “Sons of Anarchy,” an FX television series where he acted as David Hale. He is also famed for writing “Sicario” (2015), a movie for which he was nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay. 

Taylor has also been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the writing of “Hell or High Water,” produced in 2016. His recent works include “Yellowstone” and its prequel “1883.” 

He is married to model and actress Nicole Muirbrook. The couple resides in Weatherford, Texas.

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Andrea Basse

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV