Lawmen Bass Reeves (2023) Show Is About Historical Hero

Lawmen Bass Reeves mini-series is a tale about a historical hero of America. It focuses on the life of Bass a former slave and a trend-setting American law enforcement officer.

This Western Drama show is based on “The Bass Reeves Trilogy” books by Sidney Thompson. So, the titles of the said trilogy books include the first “Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves” book, the second “Hell on the Border” book and the third “The Forsaken and the Dead” book, respectively.


Synopsis [official] of the Lawmen: Bass Reeves (2023) Mini Series

About the legendary lawman Bass Reeves, one of the greatest frontier heroes and one of the first Black deputy U.S. marshals west of the Mississippi River.


Rating of the Lawmen: Bass Reeves (2023) Mini Series

FM Rating4.00/5
FM Short CommentsDavid Oyelowo (Bass Reeves) took a while to get his dream project on screen. It is an engaging show. David Oyelowo shines brightly, as he plays the historical Black hero Bass with pride and conviction. Now that we have watched this fascinating Western drama, we loved what we saw.
Rating – Bass Reeves (2023) Mini Series.

Spoiler Free Review of this Historical Western Drama

The introduction

This show is based on the true story of a freed slave named Bass Reeves. It follows him as he embarks on a journey to become the first Black deputy U.S. Marshal. Born in Arkansas, he became one of the first Black lawmen to work west of the mighty Mississippi in North America, now the United States of America.

The storyline

The storyline of this show explores the life of Bass Reeves between 1862 and 1877 period in North America. So, we see two broad phases of his personal and professional life.

The first was his life as a slave of the William S. Reeves family in Crawford County. However, during the Civil War (1861 to 1874) period, Bass escaped as a slave. He made his way to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) where he lived among the Creek Indians and Seminoles. There he learned their language and their way of life.

Then in the second phase of his life, we see his life between 1875 to 1877 period as the lasman. In the year 1875, Judge Isaac C. Parker appointed Bass as a commissioned deputy U.S. marshal. At that time, Judge Parker, who presided over the Western District of Arkansas with authority over Indian Territory.

Thus Bass became the pioneering African American federal law enforcement officer in the western region of the United States, extending beyond the Mississippi River.

Bass Reeves could stake his claim as the most successful nineteenth-century American lawman, arresting more outlaws than any other deputy during his thirty-two-year career as a deputy U.S. marshal in some of the most dangerous regions of the Wild West, he was a slave… It is an important historical work that places Bass Reeves in the pantheon of American heroes and a thrilling historical novel that narrates Bass Reeves’ exploits amid the near-mythic world of the nineteenth-century frontier.

Sidney Thompson, Author

Bass Reeves was one of the most well-known lawmen in Indian Territory, and he was famous for how many (thousands) criminals he caught while serving there.

Trail-blazer David Oyelowo lead the way and others follow

We learned that almost for the last decade or so, the actor and producer David Oyelowo struggled to bring the unbelievable story of Bass Reeves onto the screen. He faced a whole lot of resistance in Hollywood pitching and developing Black-centered stories. David also disclosed recently that Morgan Freeman tried for 30 years to tell the story of Bass Reeves. Then to The Hollywood Reporter, David revealed, “We were told lies that those (Black) stories ‘didn’t travel’ and ‘weren’t global,’. “And when you don’t have the data you just go, ‘OK.’”

David Oyelowo | Instagram

Despite the various hurdles, David pushed ahead and brought Bass’ story alive. As an actor and producer, David Oyelowo has done exceptional work, both on-screen and off-screen.

We loved David’s acting in this show. He has breathed real life into the historical figure of Bass Reeves. The moral dilemma of Bass Reeves has been well etched out in this story. As per his critics, Bass was doing a White man’s job, by acting as their lawful weapon against the poor and marginalized people.

David has portrayed the internal anger and emotional turmoil raging within Bass with clarity and maturity. Not surprisingly, David’s performance has also earned him various acting award nominations, viz., a Golden Globe, a Critics’ Choice and a Screen Actors’ Guild. The other cast members, especially Lauren E. Banks (Jennie Reeves), Demi Singleton (Sally Reeves), Forrest Goodluck (Billy Crow), and Dennis Quaid (Sherrill Lynn), acted well too.

We loved the Chanda Dancy‘s music in it. Lastly, the production entire team must be credited for painstakingly recreating the historical period of 1862 and 1877 in this show.

The conclusion

It is certainly a step in the right direction towards, a greater diversity in story-telling. And this show has been embraced by the audience. We also learned that according to Nielsen, “Lawmen: Bass Reeves” was the streaming service’s highest-rated series premiere worldwide in 2023. Therefore, we along with many others have no doubt, that this is a high-quality show, that tells an important tale of that historical period. It is an engrossing drama.


Spoilers Alert – a peek into the episodes of this Historical Western Drama

A peek into Eight (8) Episodes of Lawmen: Bass Reeves show

Part I (S1, E1) | Nov. 5, 2023

Bass rides into hell. Esau makes a violent impression on Bass. Bass escapes his chains but has to make a hard sacrifice.

Part II (S1, E2) | Nov. 5, 2023

Bass and his family endure tough times on their farm. Bass gets a visit from the law and is faced with an interesting proposition.

Part III (S1, E3) | Nov. 12, 2023

Bass is sworn in and embarks on his first mission as a US Deputy Marshal. The Underwood gang strikes after Bass is let in on a secret.

Part IV (S1, E4) | Nov. 19, 2023

Bass and his new posse man have a fateful encounter at the Women’s Boarding House. Jennie reunites with someone from her past.

Part V (S1, E5) | Nov. 26, 2023

After pandemonium erupts at Bywater’s store, Bass is forced to choose between his oath and family. Sally runs into trouble at the carnival, while Bass confronts an old nemesis.

Part VI (S1, E6) | Dec. 3, 2023

Chaos ensues as a firefight breaks out in Checotah. Bass and Jennie have a painful reunion. Bass has an unsettling realization about the myth of Mister Sundown.

Part VII (S1, E7) | Dec. 10, 2023

Bass struggles with the weight of the badge like never before. After a deadly mission goes awry, the U.S. Deputy Marshal’s fate is left in the hands of someone else.

Part VIII (S1, E8) | Dec. 17, 2023

After a waltz with the devil, Bass, Billy Crow, and Sherrill have a dangerous reckoning with Mister Sundown. Meanwhile, trouble ensues for Jennie, Sally, and Esme back at the Reeves’ farm.


Poster of the Lawmen: Bass Reeves (2023) Mini Series

Lawmen Bass Reeves (2023) Series Poster
Lawmen Bass Reeves (2023) Show Poster

Key Details about the Lawmen: Bass Reeves (2023) Mini Series

GenreDrama, Western
Original languageEnglish (USA)
SeasonOne (1)
EpisodesEight (8)
ReleasedFirst (1st) Episode – November 5, 2023
to
Eight/Final (8th) Episode – December 17, 2023
CreatorChad Feehan
CastDavid Oyelowo (Bass Reeves), Lauren E. Banks (Jennie Reeves), Demi Singleton (Sally Reeves), Forrest Goodluck (Billy Crow), Barry Pepper (Esau Pierce), Dennis Quaid (Sherrill Lynn), Grantham Coleman (Edwin Jones), Donald Sutherland (Judge Parker), etc.
TaglinesSome legends are true.
NetworkParamount+
About – Lawmen: Bass Reeves (2023) Show

Trailer of the Lawmen: Bass Reeves (2023) Mini Series

Official Trailer – Lawmen: Bass Reeves (2023) Show – Paramount+ | YouTube.

Awards won by the Lawmen: Bass Reeves (2023) Mini Series

Awards NamesNominees (or Winners) Names
Critics Choice Awards 2024Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Nominee – David Oyelowo
Golden Globes, USA 2024Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made for Television – Nominee – David Oyelowo
Screen Actors Guild Awards 2024Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series – Nominee – David Oyelowo
Society of Composers and Lyricists Awards 2024Outstanding Original Title Sequence for a Television Production – Nominee – Chanda Dancy
Awards as of date – Lawmen: Bass Reeves (2023) Show

In case you like historical Western Drama, then go ahead and check out our FM article about “The English” mini-series too.

Featured Image & Poster of the Lawmen: Bass Reeves (2023) Mini Series | Pics. Credit: Paramount+


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