The hierarchy of Yellowstone’s Dutton clan is about to receive quite the shake up, as is the status of the show that follows the family’s saga. Despite consistently ranking as one of the most popular programs in the world from the moment it first launched back in 2018, Yellowstone looks like it might just be surpassed by its own prequel series, 1923, when the latter’s first episode hits Paramount+ on December 19. From what we’ve seen, there are at least five key factors at play when it comes to the very special concoction that is 1923, and we’ve outlined them below, starting with the presence of the unassailable cinematic icon that is Harrison Ford.
1. Harrison Ford as Jacob Dutton
Now, we’re not here to throw shade at Kevin Costner – we have nothing but love for Dances With Wolves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and Field of Dreams to name but a few of his classic flicks – but let’s be honest, no one can touch Harrison Ford. He’s Han Solo and Indiana Jones for heaven’s sake. Those two roles alone secure the man a tier in the Hollywood pantheon that’s entirely his own. And now that he’s taking on the role of Jacob Dutton – ancestor to Costner’s John – there’s really no competition as to who ranks as the most formidable fellow ever to lead the Dutton family.
2. Helen Mirren as Cara Dutton
A close second on our list of reasons 1923 will absolutely dominate is Helen Mirren. Already no slouch in the cinematic icon stakes, if the show’s latest trailer is anything to go by, her tough-as-nails performance as Cara Dutton is set to be something exceptionally intimidating. In her own words, “Men kill quick, with a bullet or a noose. But your fight is with me, and I kill much slower.” Chills.
3. Jerome Flynn as Banner Creighton
The man she’s addressing in that particularly pointed piece of dialogue is third on our list of reasons 1923 could well overshadow the series that inspired it. In our estimation Jerome Flynn is a strong contender for Game of Thrones MVP, thanks to his incomparable performance as lovable sellsword Bronn and while it’s unclear whether he’ll be bringing that same brand of brash, devil-may-care charm to his 1923 role of Banner Creighton – he looks a little more broody this time around, but that works for us too – he’s welcome back on our screens any day of the week.
4. A Fascinating Time in History
The fourth reason our anticipation for 1923 is sky high is simply because of the time in which the show is set. While Yellowstone takes place in the modern day and its original spinoff 1883 visited a time in the wild west that’s been exhaustively documented by cinema for decades, the new show transports us to a time that’s less thoroughly explored. Taking place between the end of one world war and the start of another, the show recreates a fascinating time in history, when the massive fallout from the first of those global conflicts was still being felt the world over and issues like prohibition were challenging American society in ways the population had never encountered before.
5. The Parallels of 1923 vs 2022
This leads us to the fifth and (almost) final reason we feel like 1923 can’t start streaming soon enough: the remarkable parallels between the struggles portrayed within the show and those the world’s currently wrestling with. It’s no secret the globe is dealing with some pretty heavy issues at the moment and many of them look like they’ll be reflected in 1923, which could well give us some valuable insights into the situation in which we currently find ourselves. Not to be too much of a bummer about it, but despite the perceived progress we like to think we’ve made over the last century, the fact of the matter is that we’re still faced with rampant sickness, history-making droughts and the tragedy of war, not to mention elevated levels of civil unrest and racial tensions. If the trailers are anything to go by, 1923 will tackle all of that and more, helping us better understand ourselves by providing insights into our forebears.
6. BONUS: A Limited Release 1923 “Moonshine”
While we’ve already rounded out our five reasons why 1923 could well bypass Yellowstone, there is one more reason we’re so excited for it, but we don’t want to give too much away here. All we’ll say is watch this space exclusively if you’d be interested in securing your very own bottle of 1923-branded gin, serving up a mix of floral, earthy, herbal layers with a slight cinnamon undertone from the masters at Archie Rose Gin.
Don’t miss the first episode of 1923 when it launches on December 19, and in the meantime, be sure to check out the show’s latest trailer above or sign up to Paramount+ via the link below.