I'm having an affair with Taylor Sheridan... and it is indeed sordid. What makes me think it's an affair? Let's look at the characteristics of an affair:
Affairs involve shameful activities... activities perhaps fueled with such passion that the lurid things are done on a couch. Check.
Affairs involve activities that go well into the night--so late that night drifts into morning. Check.
Having an affair leaves you sweaty. Exhausted. Check.
When you are immersed in an affair, you often hide details, out of embarrassment or shame. Check.
In one day, I inhaled the series 1883--all 10 episodes in one epic day. I was stretched out on the couch, unconcerned that I was a bit stinky because I had no desire to shower--all I cared about was the story that unfurled before me. I began watching late morning and watched the last scene in the middle of the night. Was I embarrassed I did. Absolutely. Nothing. Constructive. During those 10 hours?
I'm enamored/obsessed with Sheridan and his 1883 because it is such a writer's show. What makes me say that? Let's look at some particulars of the show:
Often, incredible pieces have divine inspiration behind them. Sheridan said he didn't have anything written down, he had most of the stars cast, but had no idea how the story was going to be told. He met the actress who plays Elsa, and Sheridan said he immediately envisioned how the whole story was going to go... just on the basis of meeting one actress.
A writer's show is the whole package. The screenplay. The cinematography. The plot. 1883 is gorgeous to watch and gorgeous to listen to. The lines are sheer poetry.
A writer's show rings true. It's authentic. You believe in the era, the relationships. The few main characters fill 1883 from shore to shore. One of the actors (Faith Hill) said the worst part about filming was she had to let her armpit hair grow. She said it was gross. Small (and sweaty) details that make up the fabric of the truth are purposely put into the piece.
A writer's show makes sure you connect with the protagonist. Elsa (played by Isabel May) is the narrator. You see her evolve, from a girl into a woman... from someone naive into someone who saw unseeable things and survived. Until the very end, you're loving Elsa...
Taylor Sheridan grew up on a ranch. He got into acting. He's still a rancher (the horses used on 1883 were his, because he said he couldn't trust somebody else's horses... he knew his horses). He's still an actor (on 1883 when he couldn't find an actor who could ride and who could portray a cowboy authentically, he took on the role himself). Now he's also a writer and a producer.
If you love a great story, if you love wonderful writing, if you enjoy historical pieces, if you're like me and also love Sam Elliott (he could read aloud real estate contracts, and I'd be in heaven)--I highly recommend 1883.
And now, Taylor Sheridan and I are so hot and heavy, I might just check out Hell or Highwater (Sheridan's screenplay for this movie was nominated for an Academy Award).
Back to my couch. Back to sweaty, sordid happenings...
Sioux Roslawski is a middle-school teacher of writing, a freelance writer, and the writer who penned Greenwood Gone: Henry's Story--a historical novel about the Tulsa Race Massacre. She loves well-written novels, historical pieces, songs, plays and movies. You can check out more of her writing by checking out her blog.