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Harrison Ford Isn’t Even The Best Of The Yellowstone 1923 Spinoff

Good character introduction is one of the best weapons in a TV show’s arsenal. It’s the fastest way to turn viewers into a trip or die, because it’s easy to forgive. much if a show introduces you to someone you find incredibly cool (which is why I and a lot of other adults still love Dragon Ball). 1923the second yellow stone prequel series after last year 1883It has a lot going for it in this regard. It stars Harrison Ford, for example, the easiest way to get boomers and their families to stop what they’re doing and pay attention. And it also helps that creator Taylor Sheridan is pretty good at introducing cowboys, like 1923The predecessors of excel in memorable openings built around their protagonists.

1923 It is not. Instead, she builds his flashy arrival around his leading lady.

Helen Mirren is 1923‘s other big weapon, a legendary actor on par with Ford that will resonate with older viewers and be appreciated by younger ones: a cunning power play from one of the hottest TV franchises on TV right now. . She’s also, unfortunately, the only bright spot in the premiere, a quiet force of nature who watches men talk about doing things while she goes to do them; 1923The first scene shows her, as matriarch Cara Dutton, confronting and killing a suspected thief. It’s an act of violence that, crucially, no one sees, because when the men are watching, Cara will have to act more subtly.

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Cara Dutton, holding a shotgun down, howls at the sky in agony in the 1923 Yellowstone prequel.

Photo: Emerson Miller/Paramount Plus

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In his runaway success, yellow stone has become a franchise about the Dutton family, chronicling powerful Montana ranchers and their various conflicts with those around them. So far, each of its spin-offs has focused on a different generation of Duttons: 1883 followed James Dutton (Tim McGraw), the first Dutton patriarch to settle in Montana and establish the Yellowstone Ranch for which the franchise is named.

1923 jump forward 40 years to Jacob Dutton (Harrison Ford), current head of the Dutton family and Yellowstone ranch, who is currently trying to mediate a dispute between ranchers and herders after a difficult season leaves both herds with little to go by. pasture. It’s not terribly fascinating material, mostly consisting of scenes in which Harrison Ford intimidates outraged farmers with his gruff voice and a revolver. It’s a disappointment compared to the way 1923 introduces his wife, Cara, or the ways 1883 Y yellow stone adequately introduced its protagonists.

One can forget a lot of things that happen in 90 minutes. yellow stone rider, but it’s hard to forget the opening moments when John Dutton III (Kevin Costner) calms a horse in a terrible accident before putting it out of its misery. EITHER 1883Dual introductions of Pinkerton agent Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott) and James Dutton, the former with a moment of terrible loss, the latter single-handedly fending off a gang of bandits who should have had him dead.

A line of cowboys ride their horses along a ridge against the setting sun in a beautiful shot from the 1923 Yellowstone prequel.

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Photo: Emerson Miller/Paramount Plus

None 1923 it’s so immediately indelible after the title credits roll. In fact, it has little to do with the Yellowstone ranch. A subplot follows Teonna (Aminah Nieves), a young woman at a Montana school for Native Americans run by the taciturn Father Renaud (Sebastian Roché). Another features Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar), Jacob’s nephew estranged from the family after his service in World War I, currently working as a hunter and guardian of the wealthy on the African savannah. It’s unclear how the plot will play into things brewing at Yellowstone Ranch: Spencer’s story seems like a change of pace for the franchise, a diversion before the prodigal returns home. Teonna’s is more significantly removed, although the clash between Native Americans and settlers/ranchers like the Duttons is a regular feature of yellow stone and its derivatives.

With a two-season order in place, 1923 he’s content to take his time: main antagonist Donald Whitfield (Timothy Dalton) doesn’t even make an appearance in the first hour, despite his prominent placement in the show’s trailers. Whenever that happens, 1923 could increase the temperature; currently doing little to establish his own identity outside of his time period.

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That time period is perhaps the most compelling of 1923, a moment in American history when the Wild West of legend had long since ended and settlers had to decide how they would live (or not live) with the people and land around them. The show isn’t a radical departure for the Yellowstone franchise: in these shows, Sheridan is building a sprawling libertarian opera, in which owning land is the highest ideal a man can strive for, and seize that destiny. American makes it a target of those with less ambition. These are men who impose order on a world that is out of their control, often responding to change with violence. And at this moment in history, a change is looming: the gulf between America’s burgeoning frontier and its cities is widening, and the impending disaster of the Great Depression, famine, and another World War looms just ahead. Right now, Cara Dutton is the only character in 1923 It seems ready to survive.

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