1883‘s portrayal of the lives and struggles of pioneering American settlers from the late 19th century has been celebrated for its authenticity and historical accuracy, but one detail stands out to irk the most hardcore of period drama fans — the 1883 cast’s teeth. While the Yellowstone prequel’s tale of the old wild west is entirely fictional, true stories inspired the characters in 1883. Set in the late 19th century, within the lands claimed by the U.S. government through the Louisiana Purchase, 1883 reveals the roots of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch empire in Montana.
1883 revolves around the struggles of the ancestors of Yellowstone‘s John Dutton (Kevin Costner) as they left Tennessee in search of greener pastures in the frontier. There’s also Thomas (LaMonica Garrett) and Shea Brennan (Sam Elliot), former Union soldiers leading a group of German and Romani settlers searching for the same. 1883‘s depiction of diseases like smallpox and cholera further added to the authentically bleak and grim picture that Taylor Sheridan painted in the spinoff. 1883 also dove deep into how the pioneers both survived and died while attempting dangerous river crossings, fending off bandits, and leaving their precious material possessions behind for a lighter journey. While 1883 shares many key elements with Yellowstone, unlike the original series, 1883 is a period drama that’s thematically closer to traditional Westerns. 1883 viewers, however, have pointed out the fact that all of 1883‘s characters have clean, healthy teeth, which was very uncommon in the late 19th century.
1883 Cast Teeth Historical Inaccuracy Explained
Although dentistry in the U.S. started developing in the mid-1600s, there weren’t that many dentists by the late 1800s, especially in frontier towns. Even in the cities and economic centers where dentists were much more common, their services were too expensive or painful for most. This is why it’s strange that the entire cast of characters in 1883 have either regular or perfect teeth. That said, the 1883 show’s historical accuracy issues don’t really interfere with immersion. As some fans argue, the makeup and/or CGI costs of historically accurate dental work would siphon time and resources from the show’s other more important visual elements, all of which are more essential to depicting the Wild West in a convincingly authentic manner.
Is The Show 1883 Historically Accurate?
Even though 1883‘s strength lies in historical accuracy and authenticity, it’s also not a documentary. Rather, 1883 is a prequel spinoff series to one of the most entertaining and fast-paced neo-Western dramas of all time. It only makes sense for showrunners to focus their resources and efforts on elements that contribute more to establishing 1883‘s overall atmosphere. While there’s truth to the opinion that the 1883 show’s historical accuracy isn’t perfect, 1883‘s numbers on streaming platforms like Paramount+ and Peacock speak for themselves. 1883‘s historical innacuracies, in hindsight, were never that bad, unoffensive, and didn’t interfere with the story being told.
Despite the controversy about the 1883 cast’s teeth, the show remains a fairly realistic depiction of the socio-political realities and harsh material conditions faced by American pioneers. It also offers crucial insights into the roots of not just the modern ranching industry, but also of the deep divides between white and Native Americans. Whatever misgivings might be fair concerning the 1883 show’s historical accuracy problems, it remains a fresh and highly compelling take on the played-out narrative of surviving in the Wild West.
Is 1923 The Second Season Of 1883?
Although 1923 was originally planned to be the second season of 1883, both eventually grew into their own independent spinoffs. While 1923 also tells the story of another generation of Duttons, there are enough decades between the two timelines to make 1923 considerably different than 1883. In fact, with Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren in 1923‘s cast, the spinoff clearly seeks to establish a standalone timeline in Taylor Sheridan’s neo-Western universe. Sheridan’s decision to flesh out these two very different eras as separate productions suggests that 1923 might not suffer from the 1883 show’s historical accuracy issues, especially as the era being closer to the present makes it easier to simulate for television – dentists were more common in the early 20th century.
Why Yellowstone Prequel 1932 Changed To 1923
Following 1883‘s conclusion, it was announced that 1932 would instead be called 1923, which is related to earlier concerns about 1923‘s historical accuracy. The reason why Sheridan’s 1932 changed to 1923 is that back in 1926, Montana actually became the first state in the union to repeal prohibition. As 1932 was billed as a story about how the Westward Expansion and Prohibition shaped the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, it made sense to change it to 1923 — just three years before Montana repealed the law. In fleshing out the middle parts of the Yellowstone timeline, 1923 has accurately tackled historical events such as the frontier sheep wars of the early 20th century and the regrettable existence of Catholic boarding schools for Indigenous Americans. Though the controversy about the 1883 cast’s teeth may seem silly in hindsight, it may have also contributed to why 1923 is taking extra care to remain faithful to history.