The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

What we’re watching this week: cowboys, con artists and Cillian Murphy

Whether you’re a “Netflix and chill” kind of person or a “Hulu and hang” kind of person—there’s always something to watch. And here’s what we’re watching this week.
arrested+development
Alexa White
We’re the (self-proclaimed) campus authority on all things television and movies. But what are WE watching?

Hey, you. Yeah, you! How are YOU, the lovely reader, spending this week? We, the lovely Life section, are constantly drowning ourselves in different media in a vain attempt to forget the fact that classwork and exams exist. Some of us are the type to get completely absorbed in a movie and change our entire personalities afterward, others have Instagram or TikTok open while a carefully-picked sitcom provides background ambiänce—and many do both. But regardless, we’re always watching something. So here’s what we’re watching this week.

 

1883 ★★★★☆

When you hear Tim McGraw is starring in a Western historical fiction television series, you watch it. Enough said. 

The prequel to Taylor Sheridan’s hit series “Yellowstone,” “1883” follows the early Dutton family (Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Isabel May and Audie Rick) as they travel across 19th century America to reach a better life in Montana. Joining the Dutton family is the fierce Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott) and Pinkerton agent Thomas (LaMonica Garrett) as they guide a group of European immigrants through the Wild West and Great Plains regions.

While I’m not a fan of “Yellowstone,” (I think it’s a wannabe version of “Peaky Blinders”) “1883” hits the mark for me. I’m not here to compare the predecessor to its original, but this show is more compelling, more artistic, and has more dynamic characters that the viewer actually wants to root for.

17-year-old Elsa Dutton (May) narrates the story as she comes of age in a world that she watches grow around her. While Sheridan’s writing for Elsa’s narration occasionally comes off as overly cliché, perhaps that’s just because a 51-year-old man doesn’t know what it’s like to be a teenage girl, so I’ll cut him some slack. Regardless, watching the story unfold through Elsa’s eyes as she experiences love, loss and a newfound zest for life is beautifully done and an amazing perspective choice on Sheridan’s part. 

“1883” has something for everyone: be it the classic Western shoot-off, breathtaking scenery or illustrious depictions of what it means to feel and just be human. As the Duttons venture through this unknown America, we get to witness the nail-biting hardships experienced and remember that these kinds of events truly occurred during this period. 

I don’t want to give too much away and delve into my favorite scenes, but it’s not too late for you to start this Western masterpiece, as Season 1 still has episodes being released weekly on Paramount+. You don’t even need to watch “Yellowstone” to enjoy Sheridan’s historical masterpiece—just know that you’re in for a wild ride.

 

Arrested Development ★★★★☆

Forget “The Office.” Forget “Parks and Recreation.” Forget any sitcom-style show that’s actually mid at best (sorry Michael Scott fans). “Arrested Development” trumps all, and it’s honestly a bit of a hidden gem.

“Arrested Development” follows Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) as he navigates managing his family’s real estate business after his father, George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor), is sent to prison for white-collar crime. Throughout the series, Michael juggles meeting the wants of his overly eccentric family while raising his son (Michael Cera). 

I generally have this show on repeat because the humor never gets old, nor do Gob Bluth’s (Will Arnett) magic shows being performed to Europe’s “The Final Countdown.” Unlike other sitcoms, the humor of “Arrested Development” isn’t thrown in your face; it’s more subtle, which makes it fun to rewatch. You notice little jokes or allusions to previous or even upcoming episodes that you wouldn’t catch with just a single watch-through. Aside from the immaculate writing (seasons 1-3, that is), the characters are all extremely well-developed, and each one has his or her quirks, such as being a “never nude” and Blue Man Group standby.

The only reason I would dock one star from this show of which I speak so highly is because of Seasons 4 and 5. Originally airing on Fox, “Arrested Development” was canceled after three seasons, but Netflix rebooted the show for two additional seasons. While it’s still worth the watch, the latter two just don’t feel the same as the first three. 

 

Peaky Blinders ★★★★★

If you’ve craved a historical crime drama with anachronistic music and an unhinged, morally ambiguous protagonist, “Peaky Blinders” is for you.

Inspired by the original Peaky Blinders gang from Birmingham, the Netflix original of the same name follows the Peaky Blinders post-WWI. Led by the cunning Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy) and his family, Shelby recognizes the opportunity to expand the claims of his gang and transform it into an empire, for lack of a better word. This plot develops across the currently released five seasons and is sure to end climatically when season six draws the show to a close.

I’m currently rewatching this series in anticipation of the final season’s release in February, and I couldn’t love it more. Steven Knight is an incredible screenwriter and creates zany, unpredictable and lovable characters. What’s even more fun and a bit of a hyper fixation for me is the soundtrack of the show, which features Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds among others. Not to mention there are so many fine details in “Peaky Blinders” that it never hurts to do a rewatch—you always find something new.

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About the Contributors
Blythe Bouza
Blythe Bouza, Deputy Life Editor
Blythe Bouza (‘25) is from New Orleans, La., and is double majoring in communication of science and technology and English with a minor in theater. When not writing and editing for The Hustler, you can find her waiting in line for coffee, making niche Spotify playlists or talking about Bret Easton Ellis. You can reach her at [email protected].
Alexa White
Alexa White, Former Graphics Director
Alexa White ('23) is from Traverse City, Michigan, and is double-majoring in secondary education and English. When she isn't writing for The Hustler, she is probably teaching, reading or creating art. After graduation, Alexa plans to be an English teacher and hopes to inspire kids to love reading, writing and exploring their creativity in all forms. She can be reached at [email protected].
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