The cast for 1883 could carry just about any kind of show you can think of. However, Taylor Sheridan’s writing is what makes it special.
Tim McGraw has been a Yellowstone fan since day one. So, when he was approached about making a “cameo” in the Kevin Costner show, he took it. It would be soon after filming the cameo that Paramount decided to turn the entire thing into a series.
Of course, Sheridan has made the best of his script. He has put Sam Elliott in the cast, Billy Bob Thornton, and more big names. However, almost everyone says that it came down to the writing. McGraw thinks it is the best thing he has “ever read.” The country singer turned actor was on the Official Yellowstone Podcast to talk about the show.
“It all comes down to the material. I mean, everything is driven by the material you pick. I wasn’t looking for a series to do by any means,” McGraw explained. He continued his explanation, “I wasn’t looking to dedicate five months of my life, six days a week, twelve fourteen hours a day out in the elements, I wasn’t looking to do that. When you get Taylor, as you know, he’s such a brilliant writer. When he sent these scripts to us, it was literally the best thing I’ve ever read. The best thing I’ve ever read.”
When you put it that way, it is no wonder why 1883 has found such early success. The show could have relied heavily on the Costner series but stands alone. Narrated by Elsa Dutton, the teenage daughter of McGraw’s character James, this Western is a homage to the classics and an evolution of the genre all at the same time.
‘1883’ Nominated for WGA TV Award
In fact, the series is already being celebrated for the creativity and power that it has in the plot and writing. The show has been nominated for the WGA Award, the ceremony celebrates achievements in TV, new media, news, radio/audio, as well as promotional writing. So, it turns out it isn’t just McGraw who enjoys Sheridan’s writing.
There are other shows that have earned more nominations at the WGA. However, as far as new premiere shows go, this is a promising look into the future. Surely this will not be the last nomination for an award that 1883 earns. With the season almost halfway through, the action will ramp up each week as the wagon train moves along.
One of the best parts about 1883 is the fact that it is a Western, it pays respects to the classics, but it shows something else entirely. The cowboys in this series are not heroes. They are not virtuous beacons of light. Instead, they are troubled humans just trying to do what is best for themselves and the ones they care about.