Parents' Guide to

1883

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Entertaining prequel is violent, has cursing, stereotypes.

TV Paramount+ Drama 2021
1883 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 18+

Not historically accurate. This is culture trying to change history.

I have spent quite some time thinking about what bothers me the most about this show. There is so much! I will list them below: 1. There is wayyyyyy too many f-bombs. I looked up when this word was used and how during that time in history and this was not a curse word in that time period. Also, very few men would speak like this around a woman let alone young children. This is far from being historically accurate. 2. The teen-age daughter would never have spoken to her mother, let alone an elder the was that the teenage girl in this program speaks. This was not a cultural norm for this generation and she would have been "smacked clear to China" as my great grandmother would have said. 3. The sexual relationship that Elsa had would never have happened the way it did. Once the dad heard about it, there would have been more then a few punches and then a resolve to let "kids be kids". She would have been told to put her dress back on and stay in the wagon. She would have been shunned by the men and the women alike. Her mama would have made her stay in camp and teach her to become a woman. Then at the next town, they would have been married off to each other in a "shotgun wedding". 3. The themes are incorrect. I have never read a journal, or a book or any sort of publication about the pioneers where they did not work together, teach each other to hunt and survive. They usually became a family or had very strong ties to each other by the middle of the journey. No matter if some were immigrants. 4. Where is God? This is the most important difference and inaccurate depiction I have ever seen in series or movie or book about this historical topic. Cowboys are God, Family and Country. I honestly didn't see much of this at all. There were many times where God's beauty and the provision He brings is shuffled off to the "universal being" or the efforts of the pioneers and cowboys. This is not accurate at all. Even freedom has teeth in it as they say. So, patriotism, religion and the natural laws of the land do not seem to be portrayed in a way that is true. I will say that the show catches your time and does have decent acting in it. I would not watch this with any child who is under the age of 16 and not unless they have a firm grasp on the real history of life during this time period.
age 18+

Disappointed

Very disappointed Tim Mcgraw and Faith Hill have chosen this type of show to be a part of. I thought my kids would enjoy this show to see how life was back then, but Tim slams the F bomb in the first 10 or so minutes. Would they let their children/grandchildren watch this show? Needless to say, anything with Tim and Faith's names on them are not for our family!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Thanks to a compelling plot and a robust cast of characters, the dramatic Western creates an entertaining chronicle that's easy to get caught up in. The story is narrated by Elsa (Isabel May), whose teenage innocence and excitement quickly dissipate as she comes face-to-face with the harsh realities of traveling across the Great Plains. While much of what transpires is seen from her point of view, the narrative also allows for other characters to reveal themselves, giving viewers the opportunity to understand and appreciate their purpose in the story world. Adding to this are the brief but notable appearances made by actors like Tom Hanks and Billy Bob Thornton.

1883 isn't a sanitized frontier series, and features lots of tragic moments and brutally violent scenes designed to underscore how truly dangerous and harrowing the journeys out West really were at that time. However, despite attempts to the contrary, the series struggles to recreate these moments without relying on some Hollywood stereotypes of Native Americans, whose war parties are featured within limited contexts. The characterizations of the German immigrants are more palatable, thanks to Marc Rissman's portrayal of Josef, the only English-speaking person in the group, who reminds us that their lack of experience or preparedness is not to be confused with unintelligence or a lack of bravery. The bottom line? It's not perfect, but a very entertaining series as far as Westerns go.

TV Details

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