"Into The West" Mini-Series on TNT....Epic or Meh?

Into The West official site.

Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg.
Starts in the year of 1831 in the first episode.
Second episode ends in 1846.
This mini-series is worth watching for several reasons…sure it’s the well-trodden path of history that tells the story of the white settlers encroaching further and further upon the lands of the Indians, but I like the WAY how the characters start off virtually together (the Wheeler family from Virginia) and the three brothers and sister of the Lakota Tribe (Thunder Heart Woman, Running Fox, Dog Star, and Loved By The Buffalo) and how they dispersed and on occasion, intermeshed during parts of the series, which really revolves primarily with Jacob Wheeler and Thunder Heart Woman who became husband and wife which binds the two families loosely. At that point, the interactions between white settlers, the Indians and the Mexicans spreads the family and tribe out towards different parts of the fledgling country to a believable story of births, hardships, death, conflict during the Expansion period. I’m not sure how based the series is in reality, if it was written based on Jacob Wheeler’s journal or if the story is entirely fictional.

Whatever the case is, it’s certainly entertaining. I’d like to hear from other folks about their impressions or how the series came about (fact or fiction).

I watched the first episode and, while it fulfilled my worst fears about recycling cliches from other movies, I still decided to tune in to episode 2 because I have a weak spot for westerns.

After watching episode 2, I’ve given up.

Why didn’t they just remake “Centenial”. Or, better yet, just show the “Centenial” miniseries from some time back-- I actually think that was better.

Not “meh”, but “bleh”.

Oh… Didn’t the first episode begin in 1825? Not that it really matters all that much.

You might be right about the year started, I just remember seeing 1831 early on in the first episode.

As for Centennial (how long ago was that on? 1980-something?), wasn’t the characters fictional (except for the historical ones). I don’t remember watching the series, but my mom read a lot of Michner books. I found out after touring the website, the main characters here were based on actual people (both settlers and Indians), which I do find somewhat intriguing, since a few of them died unpredictably just like real life. It does make for interesting TV.

Can you remind me a bit about Centennial?

[QUOTE=Yeticus Rex]
Can you remind me a bit about Centennial?[/QUOTE

It’s exactly the same as INTO THE WEST. :slight_smile:

Pennsyvania farm boy (Mennonite) goes West and hooks up with trappers, then marries Indian woman (half-Indian to be correct) and we follow their descendants.

Mitchener’s books are pretty formulaic, but I think *Centenial *was one of the best, and the miniseries was quite good.

Centennial was good. Maybe it’s the fog of memory, but I think miniseries in the 80’s were exceptional. Roots, Rich Man Poor Man, The Thorn Birds, Lonesome Dove. Good stuff.

And Centennial had Stephen McHattie, sort of a Lance Henriksen type. Unconventional looks, lots of charisma.

What’s the deal with magical indians? I only watched a chunk of the first episode but the natives had some sort of magical healer who was blessed by the buffalo. It’d really throw us off to see miracles performed by the white men but do we expect the noble savage to put on a different show?


*Roots *and Rich Man were 70s, btw. And Lonesome Dove was 90s (1990 to be exact).

Lonesome Dove was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Great acting (great actors) and good writing.

I’m just guessing that the Indians who have/had a totally different culture that was deeply rooted in nature and believed that Nature was a driving magical force that was readily witnessed by them on a daily basis. My WAG is that the Indians who were already thriving for thousands of years without modernized equipment, weapons, housing, etc. had no need/awareness to turn towards science to simplify their lives. Their faith in Nature to provide for them was more than enough for them, all they needed was some sort of “interpreter” of Nature to help them understand any possible changes in their future. They learned a few things about medicine through natural herb usage and such…but they didn’t need to create medicines.

As for the magical healer (Blessed By The Buffalo), he was spared by the buffalo as they stampeded over tribe, killing all of the group except for him. They showed the previous shaman (who was already deceased and was a spirit) protect this child as a buffalo spirit…while the rest of the group was trampled to death all around him. He got the name Blessed By The Buffalo after the incident when they the tribe discovered that he was the only one spared. For all we know (as white men), the kid got lucky…but to the tribe, it was a sign that he was to be chosen to be the tribe’s spiritual leader for such a “miraculous” event.

The Indians also took note that the white man was not connected spiritually with nature and not capable of “magic”, but was a threat against Nature and their connectedness to it.

I’m very much enjoying Into the West. I’ve never watched Centenial or any miniseries like this one, so it’s still a fresh experience for me. So far, I’ve found it to be very engrossing.

Up and down.
I hope the third episode improves. :slight_smile:

Decidedly meh. The first episode was a snoozefest but it was handy to figure out who was related to whom. Second episode? Ridiculously melodramatic. Sure, women suffered in the west but let’s make every single woman suffer! “Into the West” is to westerns what “The 4400” is to sci-fi.

Would I be considered extremely shallow if I confessed my biggest reason to watch this mini-series is because the native american actor who plays Prairie Fire is one of the handsomest men I’ve ever seen? Oh, okay I’ll get over it.

And of course my original praise for the *Centennial *miniseries had nothing to with Barbara Carrera…

Only if you don’t think I’m shallow for watching it only because Keri Russell is in it.

Mmm… Keri Russell.

How many of these guys are really Native Americans?
Are they speaking Souix and how well?

This reminds me of something I thought about when I was watching:

Is it just me, or are all the native american lines spoken with with very little emotion? Like they’re just being rotely spouted out, not experienced by the character? I find the native american parts less than satisfying because I don’t sense much emotion from the characters and because I find the narration the producers felt was “necessary” to advance the plot distracting. It’s almost like I’m not watching a native american scene, I’m watching someone (the narrator) interpret a poorly-acted recreation of a scene.

That’s what I was getting at in a rather round about way, especially with names like Anthony Parker and Zahn McClarnon. :slight_smile:

Meh. I watched only the first episode and gave up.

Turek, maybe they are trying to hard to show pride when they talk that way which in turn makes look like they’re animatrons. The only exception I can think of was when Dog Star and Running Fox heatedly argued about keeping or changing their culture to resist the intrusion of the whites (beginning of second episode). But, you’re right…they do seem to be droning their lines.