Tim McGraw Is A Rugged Frontiersman In The “Yellowstone” Prequel And We’re Obsessed

By Meghan Dillon··  3 min read
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Tim McGraw Yellowstone prequel 1883 fair use Paramount+

Tim McGraw is a wildly successful country singer and actor. Luckily for his millions of fans, he’s set to star in the “Yellowstone” prequel “1883,” premiering on Paramount+ on December 19.

Building on the immense success of Paramount Network’s Yellowstone, Tim McGraw will star alongside wife Faith Hill in this historical drama. 1883 aims to tell the origin story behind the Dutton Yellowstone Ranch.

The Origins of the Dutton Ranch

If you watch Yellowstone, you’re familiar with the Dutton family and their ranch in Montana. The Dutton family takes pride in the history of their ranch, and 1883 tells the story of Jim Dutton (Tim McGraw), his wife Margaret (Faith Hill), their daughter Elsa (Isabel May), and young son (Audie Rick) as they embark on their journey from Texas to escape poverty and create a new life for their family in the promised land – Montana. The show also stars Sam Elliot as Shea Brennan, a caravan leader with a mysterious past who guides the Duttons.

Historically, the journey across the Great Plains was a dangerous one. We’ll likely see the first Duttons face hardships on their way to Montana, “the last bastion of untamed America,” which is sure to make the show both entertaining and heart-wrenching. With a great cast (can we talk about how awesome it is that Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, who are married IRL, play a married couple?) and creator Taylor Sheridan’s track record, 1883 has the potential to be an amazing show.

The Return of the American Cowboy and Masculinity

With classic movies like True Grit and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and actors like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, Westerns were a popular movie genre in the mid-20th century. Though the remake of True Grit and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained were box office hits in the early 2010s, the genre seems to be one of the past. This changed when the first season of Yellowstone aired in 2018. Though it’s not a traditional Western because it takes place in the present, its popularity shows that audiences still crave traditional Western dramas, specifically the return of the classic American Cowboy.

Let’s be honest, there’s something really sexy about a cowboy. Clint Eastwood was a heartthrob in the 1960s because he was known for playing the quintessential American cowboy, a trope that’s still romanticized today in popular country songs like “Cowboy Take Me Away” by The Chicks, “Ain’t Always The Cowboy” by Jon Pardi, and “Wild West” by Runaway June. Similar to the bad boy trope, cowboys represent a rugged type of masculinity that’s just…really hot. The cowboy has it all – confidence, competence, muscles, resilience, action, and a sense of justice and protecting the vulnerable.

In the original Yellowstone series, one of the most popular characters is Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes), a rugged cowboy who will do anything to protect his family, and he’s pretty fun to look at. Tim McGraw (who is aging like fine wine) will likely play a similar character in 1883, Here's to hoping that American audiences are thirsting for a resurgence of classic, manly characters (and cowboys, of course.)

Closing Thoughts

The success of Yellowstone proves that American audiences are craving a new era of the classic Western drama, and what better way to give the viewers what they want than an origin story set in the Old West? From the handsome cowboys to the beautiful scenery, 1883 will definitely be a show to watch going into the new year.

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