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click to enlarge FRONTIER LOVE Sam (Martin Sensmeier) and Elsa (Isabel May) fall in love in episode 7 of the Paramount TV series 1883. - PHOTO COURTESY OF 101 STUDIOS AND CBS ENTERTAINMENT
  • Photo Courtesy Of 101 Studios And CBS Entertainment
  • FRONTIER LOVE Sam (Martin Sensmeier) and Elsa (Isabel May) fall in love in episode 7 of the Paramount TV series 1883.

What's it rated? TV-MA

When? 2021-present

Where's it showing? Paramount Plus


Created by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water, Wind River), 1883 is a prequel to the popular TV series Yellowstone, about the Duttons, a ranching family struggling to maintain their hold on a sprawling Montana ranch. In 1883, we follow James (Tim McGraw) and Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill), and their daughter, Elsa (Isabel May), as they team up with wagon train guide Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott) and his sideman Thomas (LaMonica Garrett) when they agree to take a group of greenhorn immigrants across the country and into Oregon.

It's classic Western storytelling. The aging Shea is on his last push across the frontier, wanting to make one last hard, bitter trek, knowing he's all that stands between success and certain death for the travelers desperate for a better home. Independent James Dutton puts family first and teaming up is a strategic decision—one that can be reversed if it suits him.

Much of the story is about independent Elsa, a young woman coming into her own, who falls in love with the land ... and a Native American named Sam (Martin Sensmeier). There's danger at every turn, whether it's the terrain, weather, bad men, or war parties protecting their territory. It can get melodramatic to be sure, but Sheridan knows how to write a propulsive storyline. I'm looking forward to season 2, and there's also word of a show called 1932, portraying another chapter in the Dutton family story. (10 approximately one-hour episodes) Δ


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