The English bring a new look at westerns

The process of occupying the west coast of the United States was not pretty or easy. It was so bloody that the expression “no man’s land” was certainly born in this arid, chaotic, violent, and anarchic scenario.

The white immigrants who proposed to go there decimated the indigenous population and expelled the Latinos to the south and exploited the Chinese also emigrating. However, in cinema, it was the real local people who were portrayed as the “villains” or comic relief, for decades and decades being misrepresented on screen. The Western genre was hugely profitable for Hollywood and is still copied and revered to this day. Unsurprisingly, with today’s awareness of inclusivity, it is no longer possible for stories to be told as they once were. Series like Billy the Kid and The English suggests that platforms and studios haven’t given up on the genre yet, but needed to update it.

In the case of The English, we have a native good guy and an English noblewoman fighting together in a tale of revenge shattered dreams, and a few surprises. Without linearly telling the story, at first, everything seems especially confusing, but once the plot is tied together, it works. In 1890, Lady Cornelia Locke arrives in the United States ready to avenge her son’s death, but no gunman agrees to help her (we’ll find out why later) and she needs the involuntary support of Eli Whipp, a former scout for the Pawnee Army with whom Cornelia forms an unlikely alliance.

Over the course of the forced friendship of two wounded souls, love and complicity develop, however, the cruelty of prejudice and the reality of the times in which they live can get in the way.

Yes, there are clichés in the narrative and sometimes more attention is lost with the different angles of the scene, but it works. When the dots are tied, we get another perspective on everyone.

An interesting account of how much the conquest of the American West meant to everyone.

Overseas, the series has been available on Amazon Prime Video since November 2022. It’s worth checking out.


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