Sam Elliott, left, and Tim McGraw in a scene from the TV series “1883.” IMDb photo

Writer/director Taylor Sheridan has been on fire the last few years. He worked his way up from a small parts actor in shows like “Sons of Anarchy” to screenwriter and creator to hit shows like “Mayor of Kingstown” and “Yellowstone”.  And in the year of flying Spiderman and buckets of sitcoms and rom coms, has emerged as the contender to the tomahawk and Carbine throne long held by legendary director John Ford and certainly Clint Eastwood.

I’ve been a fan of Sheridan since his Oscar-nominated “Hell and High Water,” starring Jeff Bridges and the well done “Wind River” with Jeremy Renner.

I’m riding along with his latest project “1883”(prequel to “Yellowstone”) for those reasons, but mostly because of Sam.

Our boyfriend Sam is back, and there’s gonna be trouble for sure.

Sam is Sam Elliot, the quintessential cowboy, Indian fighter, prairie buster the spiritual guide to the “Big Lebowski.”

In “1883” Sam plays Shea Brennan, widower, Civil War officer turned part-time farmer, rancher and eventually, in “1883,” guide to a desperate band of German immigrants and handful of Americans looking for a new life to the untamed west.

Advertisement

By now, judging from the reviews and ratings, you all know this. Having just finished part 4 of the saga, I’m completely hooked.

Real life couple country musicians Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have cemented themselves into first rate actors, as John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner’s “Yellowstone” character) ancestors.

Actor Isabel May, as you know by now, is the narrator of the show and the couple’s flirtatious, starry-eyed daughter. And if you saw the last segment, is feeling heat for a sweet older cowboy.

Sheridan likes using former coworkers in his shows and “1883” is no different with a familiar face from “Anarchy” LaMonica Garrett starring as former Union soldier Thomas.

Garrett, as we have seen, is a solid actor who is along as Shea Brennan’s conscience and backup right hand man in this dangerous journey.

Back among the previous segments, we were introduced to Billy Bob Thornton, the marshal of early Fort Worth as Jim Courtright, who is every bit as “bad ass” as he was in his role as “Bad Santa.” And the always wonderful Tom Hanks appears in a flashback of McGraw’s playing a general named George Meade.

So far the action has been first rate, powerful, and as we currently find the party at a river that threatens to drown them all, its deserving of our tears and praise.

“1883” streams on Paramount+ only, with new episodes available on Sundays. Episode 5 airs on Jan. 16.

J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

filed under: