1883: Even Taylor Sheridan’s Perfectionism Couldn’t Save Yellowstone Spin-Off from Making 1 Egregious Historical Error That’s Hard to Defend

Taylor Sheridan and the curious case of perfect teeth in 1883.

taylor sheridan, 1883

SUMMARY

  • Taylor Sheridan is hailed for his attention to detail and the historical accuracy of his ‘Yellowstone’ franchise.
  • However, one inaccuracy in the prequel ‘1883’ regarding the characters’ teeth questioned Sheridan’s reputation as a perfectionist.
  • Sheridan once talked about why he wanted to tell a true and accurate story of the American West in ‘1883.’
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Taylor Sheridan has become the talk of the town ever since the release of Yellowstone, a neo-Western drama series that follows the conflicts around the borders of Yellowstone Ranch. The series is currently in its final season with part one already out. The second part is all set to premiere towards the end of the year. Apart from Yellowstone, Taylor Sheridan has created two prequel series for his show, 1883 and 1923. Two more spin-offs will also be released in the future.

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Taylor Sheridan's 1883
A still from 1883 (2021 – 2022)

When it comes to 1883, Taylor Sheridan has been praised for the show’s historical accuracy, something which he hired a team of historians for. There is no doubt to the fact that the director’s attention to detail was mind-blowing. However, there is a very subtle yet noticeable inaccuracy in the prequel series that might question Taylor Sheridan’s perfectionism – the characters’ teeth.

The Historical Inaccuracy in Taylor Sheridan’s 1883

Gratiela Brancusi as Noemi in 1883
Gratiela Brancusi in a still from 1883

Taylor Sheridan made sure that every prop and costume on his set would be built from scratch in order to maintain the accuracy of the period. The director has always been applauded for his perfectionism and attention to detail when it comes to his projects. Perhaps this is why when the characters in 1883 had perfect and regular teeth, Sheridan’s reputation as Mr. Perfectionist started to be questioned.

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While the United States of America started seeing the development of dentistry in the mid-1600s, it wasn’t until the late 1800s that dentists became popular in the country. According to Collider, the first dental college was opened in 1828, in Bainbridge, Ohio, and it would be quite unlikely that residents of frontiers would have access to the luxury that is a dental checkup.

Moreover, dentistry today is quite different than what it used to be in the early days. Meaning, that people who visited the dentist back then would have to go through painful and/or expensive procedures to have a perfect smile. This is why, it’s quite unusual to see Sheridan’s characters have great teeth in a show that is set in 1883.

While it would’ve been great to see 100% historical accuracy in the prequel, it goes without saying that paying attention to the many characters’ teeth would have been both time and resource-consuming. It looks like Sheridan chose to give importance to other elements of the show that were more essential to the story.

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Why Being Historically Accurate is Important to Taylor Sheridan

Taylor Sheridan also played Travis Wheatley in Yellowstone
Taylor Sheridan as Travis Wheatley in Yellowstone (2018 – present)

Talking to The New York Times, Sheridan opened up about his dismay over the current state of Western stories. He was asked why the first prequel of Yellowstone was set “so far in the past” to which he replied.

“The pioneers have never been portrayed accurately. Many of the pioneers came from Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia, and they hired guides to take them West. They didn’t speak the language. They’d never seen a horse. They’d never held a gun. And they had no idea that this land actually belonged to another group of people.”

Clearly, Sheridan wanted to take the responsibility of telling an accurate story upon himself, and he sure did a great job. Executive producer David Glasser also praised the director for his perfectionism. He told Deadline how Sheridan had every piece of the set built from scratch just so he could ensure historical accuracy.

“Every piece of wardrobe, guns, even saddles weren’t what they are today. Everything had to be built, top to bottom.”

Well, Sheridan’s attention to detail is not famous for no reason!

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Stream Yellowstone on Peacock Premium and the spin-offs on Paramount+.

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Written by Mishkaat Khan

Articles Published: 1154

Mishkaat is a medical student who found solace in content writing. Having worked in the industry for about three years, she has written about everything from medicine to literature and is now happy to enlight you about the world of entertainment. She has written over 500 articles for FandomWire. When not writing, she can be found obsessing over the world of the supernatural through books and TV.