‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves‘ is a Western television series crafted by creator Chad Feehan, offering an intimate look into the extraordinary life of the groundbreaking Bass Reeves, the first African-American Deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River. The captivating series features the brilliant David Oyelowo as its lead, alongside a stellar cast including Lauren E. Banks and Demi Singleton. The show is an enthralling journey through the Wild West and wonderfully depicts the inspiring legacy of a true frontier hero. Here are 8 more shows like ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves’ that you must see.
8. Godless (2017)
‘Godless,’ a gripping Western miniseries created by Scott Frank, transports viewers to the 1880s American West. The plot centers on the town of La Belle, populated mostly by women after a mining accident claims the lives of its male residents. The women must defend their community against a menacing outlaw gang. Starring Michelle Dockery, Merritt Wever, and Jeff Daniels, the show brilliantly explores themes of survival and solidarity in the face of danger. In a thematic connection to ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves,’ ‘Godless’ underscores the resilience and bravery of individuals, echoing the spirit of trailblazers like Bass Reeves in the Wild West.
7. The Pinkertons (2014-2015)
‘The Pinkertons’ shares thematic similarities with ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves’ as both are Western series delving into the law enforcement of their respective eras. While ‘Bass Reeves’ focuses on the life of the first African American Deputy U.S. Marshal, ‘The Pinkertons’ explores the adventures of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, a private security and detective agency in the late 19th century. Created by Kevin Abrams and Adam Moore, the series stars Jacob Blair, Martha MacIsaac, and Angus Macfadyen as they solve cases in the Wild West, offering a unique perspective on law enforcement and justice during a turbulent time in American history.
6. Billy the Kid (2022-)
‘Billy the Kid,’ a Western drama series created by Michael Hirst, offers an intriguing glimpse into the 19th-century American Old West, connecting it thematically to ‘Lawman: Bass Reeves.’ The show stars Tom Blyth as the notorious outlaw and gunslinger, Billy the Kid, recounting his life journey from humble Irish beginnings to his exploits as a cowboy and central figure in the Lincoln County War. Much like ‘Lawman: Bass Reeves,’ ‘Billy the Kid’ explores the complex lives of figures in the Wild West, shedding light on the challenges and adventures of these iconic individuals.
5. Joe Pickett (2021-2023)
‘Joe Pickett‘ is an American television series based on C.J. Box’s popular novels, created by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle. The show follows the life of Joe Pickett, a dedicated Wyoming game warden, as he navigates the challenges of law enforcement and conservation in the remote and rugged landscapes of the West. Starring Michael Dorman as the titular character, the series explores themes of justice, preservation, and the complexities of rural life, drawing parallels to ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves’ in its portrayal of individuals upholding the law and facing the untamed frontier, albeit in a contemporary context.
4. Lonesome Dove (1989)
‘Lonesome Dove’ and ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves’ share common ground as both are set in the American Old West, offering compelling tales of lawmen and life on the frontier. Directed by Simon Wincer, ‘Lonesome Dove’ is a classic Western miniseries based on Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The story revolves around retired Texas Rangers Woodrow F. Call and Augustus “Gus” McCrae, portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall, as they embark on a perilous cattle drive from Texas to Montana. The series is known for its rich character development, epic scale, and exploration of friendship, loyalty, and the challenges of the Wild West, much like ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves.’
3. Deadwood (2004-2006)
‘Deadwood‘ and ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves’ share a backdrop of the American Old West, portraying the complexities of frontier life. While ‘Bass Reeves’ follows the first African American Deputy U.S. Marshal, ‘Deadwood,’ created by David Milch, unravels the lawlessness and ambition of a burgeoning South Dakota mining town in the 1870s. The show features an ensemble cast including Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, and Molly Parker, weaving a gripping narrative that mirrors the Wild West’s gritty and unpredictable nature. Both series capture the essence of historical lawmen, outlaws, and the untamed spirit of a bygone era, making them riveting windows into American history.
2. Justified (2010-2015)
‘Justified‘ is an exhilarating Western crime drama that’s a must-watch for fans of ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves.’ Created by Graham Yost, the series revolves around the sharp-witted Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, played by Timothy Olyphant, as he enforces justice in his unconventional style in his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. With its dynamic characters, sharp dialogues, and a fine balance of action and humor, ‘Justified’ offers a thrilling modern take on the lawman genre. It’s a compelling exploration of moral ambiguity and the complexities of law enforcement, making it an enticing choice for those who enjoyed the tales of justice and conflict in ‘Bass Reeves.’
1. Longmire (2012-2017)
‘Longmire‘ is an absolute must-watch for enthusiasts of ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves.’ Inspired by the ‘Walt Longmire Mysteries’ novels by Craig Johnson, the show, created by Hunt Baldwin and John Coveny, follows Sheriff Walt Longmire, portrayed brilliantly by Robert Taylor, as he upholds the law in Absaroka County, Wyoming. Like Bass Reeves, Longmire embodies a sense of unwavering justice and determination, grappling with the challenges of modern crime in a rural setting. The series dives deep into the complexities of law enforcement, human nature, and the vast landscapes of the American West. With a stellar cast including Katee Sackhoff and Lou Diamond Phillips, ‘Longmire’ intricately weaves gripping narratives, making it a close-to-home choice for anyone who appreciates the timeless allure of courageous lawmen like Bass Reeves.
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