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Lawmen: Bass Reeves

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HARDENED Based on an historical figure, David Oyelowo stars as Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, a runaway slave turned lawman, in Lawmen: Bass Reeves, streaming on Paramount Plus. - PHOTO COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT PLUS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Paramount Plus
  • HARDENED Based on an historical figure, David Oyelowo stars as Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, a runaway slave turned lawman, in Lawmen: Bass Reeves, streaming on Paramount Plus.
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What's it rated? TV-MA

When? 2023

Where's it showing? Paramount Plus

Real-life Bass Reeves (1938-1910) was born into slavery and owned by Arkansas state legislator William Steele Reeves, and when the Civil War started, Reeves' son George R. Reeves acquired ownership of Bass, joined the Confederate Army, and took Bass with him. Bass eventually attacked George over a poker game argument and escaped into Indian territory, where he learned to speak five Native American languages: Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Creek.

After the Emancipation Proclamation, Bass returned to Arkansas, married his wife, Jennie (Lauren E. Banks), had children, and tried his hand at farming until 1875 when Judge Isaac Parker (Donald Sutherland) swore in Reeves in as a lawman. During his 35 years in law enforcement, Bass made more than 3,000 arrests, killing 20 men in the line of duty. In short, he was an amazing historical figure and ripe for the picking by series creator Chad Feehan (Southland, Rectify, Ray Donovan).

The miniseries depicts many historically accurate moments in Reeves' life as well as fictionally embellishing other elements, and it's a gripping, albeit slow burning, story with a terrific supporting cast including Dennis Quaid, Barry Pepper, and Garrett Hedlund. A must-see for Western fans. (eight 32- to 57-min. episodes) Δ

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