My Affair With Taylor Sheridan

Saturday, July 09, 2022

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? 

A little.

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.


Andrea said...

I used to love westerns most of my childhood. But when we sold the last of our horses, I just couldn't watch them anymore. I miss my horses so much.

Unfortunately I discovered streaming a while back and can find myself getting drawn in every time I dip my toes into the stream. It's like an addiction, but you have to stop to get any writing done.

Luckily (but sadly) Obi-Wan Kenobi was a short series so I'm now trying to forget The Mandalorian series so I can get back to my revisions. I must, I must, I must, . . .

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Hmm. Will have to check this out. I love that he used his own horses and played the cowboy. Because, really? You can always tell an actor who doesn't ride.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Hahaha, you ARE having an affair, Sioux! What a creative post concept. :) Okay, this is great because I was looking for a new show and wanted one that's western-y since I'll be living on a ranch. I watched Outer Range, which I loved for the sci-fi thriller elements. I was thinking about Yellowstone, but four or five seasons in is too big a commitment. I remember Taylor Sheridan from Sons of Anarchy! I'll check it out.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Andrea--I know what you mean. I inhaled the first two seasons of Ozark... and am holding off on watching the last one. It IS an addiction. But sometimes, we all need a shot of something...

Sue--I think you will like it. In my opinion, it's well worth 10 hours of your life.

Angela--And no STDs from this kind of affair. ;) I tried Yellowstone, but I am not super fond of Kevin Costner except in a couple of movies... and in Yellowstone, he does this gravely voice that I really dislike. I'm told the issues/storylines are good enough, I should watch it anyway. I don't know. I'm not convinced yet.

Yes! A fellow SOA fan! I lovedlovedloved that show. (Do you remember the bit part Stephen King played?) It was one of my favorites... until Breaking Bad came along.

Nicole Pyles said...

Haha, I love your post! I haven't checked this show out but have absolutely heard of it. I have to say I get that creative feeling whenever I see old Twilight Zone episodes. It can be scary without horror and can leave you unsettled without gore. If a show was to embody the type of writing I'd love to be successful at, Twilight Zone is it. :) Now I'll need to check out your show!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

And now I want to see Twilight Zone again!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Nicole--There are several Twilight Zone episodes I still remember. The one where the woman (who lived at the top of a skyscraper) had something done to her eyes to restore her sight (she was previously blind) and when it was time to take off the bandages, she did, and looked out on the city... but the whole city was black. She jumped off her balcony, she was so despondent--she didn't know there was a whole-city black-out.

The other one involved this secret world--for this brother and sister--beyond a swimming pool. I don't remember what the world was like, but it was fascinating.

That is the perfect word for Twilight Zone: unsettling.

Sue--I know! I had almost forgotten about that show until Nicole mentioned it. And since it was so long ago, watching it now would prove that "everything old is new again."

Renee Roberson said...

Sioux--I'll admit this post title caught my attention, so it was a successful hook! I don't really watch too many westerns anymore after having a step-dad who was obsessed with them back in the day. But I know "Yellowstone" has been very popular and this sounds like it's also a hit! We all have our vices. I'm also a HUGE "Twilight Zone" fan, and have been known to spend waayyy too many hours binging a show myself! The latest was "Stranger Things" because this last season paid tribute to all the horror movies of my childhood!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Renee--I will say that 1883 is not like the westerns of our parents. (How many westerns from way back then have a female protagonist?)

I have so many friends who love "Stranger Things," but they're all younger. I think it may be a show that appeals to hipsters... and not people who are getting hip replacements.

(And thanks for nibbling when you saw the hook. ;)

Linda O'Connell said...

Living vicariously...the best kind of affair. No remorse unless the series becomes a waste of time. I binged the Comiskey Method, so I know what you mean about being planted ont he couch. GREAT POST!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Love "Stranger Things." Also Marvel, all things Star Wars, Firefly. Hmm Firefly.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Yes, I remember Stephen King on SoA! I've also watched the complete series of Breaking Bad, Ozark, and Stranger Things... it's no wonder I'm not writing. Lol

I believe that the Twilight Zone episode where the children find a magical land at the bottom of their swimming pool also inspired M Night Shyamalan's movie, Lady in the Water. I'm a huge fan of Twilight Zone because the twists remind me of a good piece of flash fiction. That would be a great prompt! Take a Twilight Zone episode and put your own twist on it. Or take a character from an episode and plant them in a new scenario. Or reverse engineer a TZ episode and insert your own characters and change the plot elements slightly. Voila! Easy flash. :)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Linda--Thanks. Yes, when you find something that's good, it's easy to binge.

Sue--Did you see the Big Bang Theory episode where they encountered the female lead from Firefly on a train. I've never seen Firefly. Should I?

Angela--Those WOULD be good prompts. I will have to check out that movie. It's stuck with all these decades, so it must have been good. ;)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

We did see that episode of Big Bang Theory (speaking of things I need to rewatch). I loved Firefly. LOVED IT. No seriously. So much. It should have been as big as some other franchises in my not-so-humble opinion. Loved. It. Watch the series before the movie.

Cathy C. Hall said...

I love westerns and I know I'd binge on Yellowstone and 1883 if I had whatever it comes on but I have enough trouble resisting all the stuff I already pay for... and heaven help me if I come across Twilight Zone. I will watch till the cows come home (and I know exactly the episode you're talking about--The Bewitchin Pool, it's one of those heart-wrenching ones).

Sioux Roslawski said...

Cathy--Really? You know the title? That is amazing. (I'm glad I'm not the only one. ;)

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