“1923” show creator Taylor Sheridan’s approach to storytelling is highly unconventional, and he takes big risks when it comes to balancing tone and telling a straightforward, conventional narrative. The characters always come first, which is a big reason why audiences have fallen in love with Spencer and Alexander and the actors who have helped bring them to life. The stoic, blue-eyed machismo of Sklenar coupled with Schlaeper’s unflinching grace under pressure has proven to be an electric combination. They have a star-crossed chemistry that makes them easy to root for.
The adventures of Spencer and Alexandra as they traverse the globe together play into Sheridan’s strengths as a writer. Each death-defying situation they find themselves in feels like it could be set in a number of entirely different television shows. Yet, somehow, it all comes together, largely due to their unlikely chemistry. “What makes this show different, I think, from Taylor’s other work, is that there is such a sweeping tonal shift from episode to episode,” said Sklenar. “It’s very hard to achieve, and I believe that we did achieve it.”
Just as the characters of Spencer and Alexandra have collided in the most unexpected of circumstances, it should be compelling television to see how Sklenar and Schlaepfer are integrated into the high drama and tragedy that’s going on back home involving Jacob Dutton (Harrison Ford) and Cara Dutton (Helen Mirren) at the Yellowstone ranch. The Dutton family needs Spencer to be the hero and his priorities may threaten to undermine the whirlwind courtship between him and Alexandra. Their romance has all the grandeur of Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in “Out of Africa,” but they’re about to wind up in the Wild West.