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“1923” is adventurous and captivating

Jenarita Plante

Anchor Staff Writer

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This time last year I wrote an article about the Paramount + hit show “1883,” a prequel to another wildly popular show “Yellowstone.” Both shows focus on the Dutton family of Montana. “1883” focuses more on the Oregon trail and what just led the family to their homestead on a Montana cattle ranch.

The ever tumultuous trek ultimately leads to the death of the Dutton daughter, Elsa, played by Isabelle May. James, played by Tim McGraw, and Margaret, played by Faith Hill, decide to stay in the very spot they laid their daughter to rest, and continue to build their family there. Later that year, they gave birth to a son, whom they named Spencer. James, Margaret, Spencer and their eldest son John make a life as well as a ranch for themselves close by to Elsa’s grave. The family will continue to live on the ranch they built as John Dutton, played by Kevin Costner, is the patriarch and owner of the Dutton Ranch in present day “Yellowstone.”

Paramount released the first episode of the much anticipated “1923” on Dec. 18, 2022. The show is currently seven episodes in and already proving to be just as thrilling and captivating as its counterparts. Set during prohibition, drought and the early stages of the Great Depression, the Dutton family is certainly facing their fair share of challenges. Narrated by May, it follows the next generation of the Dutton family; James and Margaret perished in 1893 during a blizzard, leaving Spencer and John with James’s brother Jacob, played by Harrison Ford, and Jacob’s wife Cara, played by Helen Mirren.

Jacob and Cara, unable to have children of their own, take over the ranch and raise the boys as if they are theirs and not just nephews. As we meet them in “1923,” John, played by James Badge Dale, and his wife Emma live on the ranch with their young adult son Jack. Jack is desperately in love with and engaged to the beautiful Elizabeth Strafford. Spencer Dutton, played by Brandon Sklenar, is not only the newest heartthrob on the “Yellowstone” series, but he also plays a for-hire big game hunter in Africa. After serving in World War I, he seems to be suffering a bit of PTSD and is avoiding going back home. He falls in love with Alexandra, a witty, wealthy and brilliant woman, and quickly begins the adventure of a lifetime with her.

As we follow the Duttons, we also meet Teonna Rainwater, played by Aminah Neves, who is believed to be the ancestor of Chief Thomas Rainwater in “Yellowstone.” Teonna is taken from her tribal lands and brought to a religious school to “Americanize” her. We see the brutal and strict way in which Native Americans were treated within these schools. Eventually, Teonna gets herself into major trouble, nearly escapes with her life and goes off on the run to find her freedom.

So far, “1923” has not disappointed at all. It is full of adventure, love, devastation and keeps you wanting to watch more. The show is scheduled for eight episodes and has been renewed for another season which will contain another eight. The story intertwines effortlessly with the past and the future and leaves the viewer anticipating what will happen next. Viewers will find themselves laughing one minute, and crying the next.

One can only hope that after “1923” wraps up, we get to follow one more time for a third prequel. “1883” followed Dutton’s great-great or great-grandfather James. “1923” follows John’s grandfather, believed at this time to either be Jack or Spencer. John’s father will most likely be born during this current series; meaning that patriarch John Dutton would be born in a series around 1963. So many are silently hoping that they bring this family history to the next generation in time.



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