‘The English’ Is Both The Best And Worst New Western On TV


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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“The English” came out on Amazon Prime Video on Nov. 11, and while it should be watched by everyone, it definitely won’t be for everyone.

I can’t tell quite what the producers were going for with “The English.” The acting is incredible, and I would be shocked if co-stars Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer don’t come through the 2023 awards season without some new trophies for their mantles. Even some of the supporting cast will likely receive a nod, simply because the acting is so superb.

But the actors often mumble, so the point of the conversation is missed unless you’re paying total attention or have the subtitles on. The script is repetitive, and though hones a point, it also undermines the presentation of the story, as if the writers don’t trust the viewers to remember what happened just a few scenes ago.

More than anything, the setting and cinematography are beautiful. The sets are so incredibly well made that they’re completely believable as the old America, long before the west was truly won — if it ever really was. Yet the director also went for these long, faraway shots of action scenes that totally diminish the power of the story.

Despite the weirdness of the script and direction, Blunt and Chaske are so insanely talented that you almost can’t help but keep watching. I personally can’t wait to finish the series, but more as a form of true escapism than for expert storytelling, and I really don’t think it’ll be for everyone. (RELATED: Did ‘Yellowstone’ Drop A Major Spoiler Years Ago That We’ve Ignored Until Now?)

What I can say for true, unadulterated certainty is that “The English” is totally incomparable to “1883” and I’m sure whatever will happen with “1923,” and it’s ten thousand percent better than that travesty of Hollywood, “The Power Of The Dog.