Frontier women had it pretty rough in the American West, but they knew how to take care of themselves when and if the situation presented itself – like it does in the new excellent Netflix mini-series Godless.

Set in the 1880s American West, the series centers on a small mining town in New Mexico called La Belle, which is mostly run by women. We find out that their menfolk were killed in a mining accident, so it’s up to them to keep the place thriving – and thrive it does under their guidance. This includes the town’s new mayor Mary Agnes McNue (Merritt Weaver), who inherited the job from her late husband, and Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery), who became the local horse rancher when her Native American husband is shot down. There’s also Alice’s tough mother-in-law Iyovi (Tantoo Cardinal). Let’s just say, the women decide to make a go of living in this frontier town, with or without men, and do a damn good job at it.

There are a few men left in La Belle, mainly the aging town sheriff, Bill McNue (Scoot McNairy), Mary Agnes’ brother. He lost his wife in childbirth, and now holds a candle for Alice. Bill also has a deputy sheriff, young Whitney Winn (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), whose a bit of a jerk, but when Alice takes in a stranger (after shooting him for trespassing) and finds out he’s a wanted outlaw named Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), things start to go haywire.

Alice discovers Roy is actually a good guy and an excellent horse wrangler. He is also on the run from his former outlaw gang because he betrayed its leader, the brutal and evil Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels). Now Frank is hunting Roy down in the most methodical and violent way – and eventually all paths are going to lead him to La Belle, where Frank may be getting more than he bargained for when he meets its rifle-shotgun-pistol packing female denizens.

The performances are all top notch, especially from Dockery, who sheds her former Downton Abbey self to dig deep as a frontierswoman, and from the always good Weaver, who really gets to chew grit in this. McNairy also does a fine job as the beleaguered and lonely sheriff, while O’Donnell plays the earnest and stoic Roy like the anti-hero he is. And then there’s Daniels as the sadistic Frank, a performance hard to watch on many levels but searing nonetheless. The actor steps out of his comfort zone to portray a multi-layered and menacing villain.

The great storytelling from creator Scott Frank puts a nice spin on a classic Western melodrama by focusing on women being the heroes who fight just as down and dirty as the men, but also maintain their rugged femininity. It’s not hard to imagine such a scenario in which women might be forced to run things. In Westerns, they are usually portrayed as being tough, adaptable, doing what they can to survive in such an unforgiving environment, but the men are still the ones who save them. Godless is refreshing in how honest it paints the female characters, who also get to kick major ass. If you are looking for the best tv services, make sure to check TV Aerials Chester, you won’t regret using their services.

Godless is currently streaming on Netflix. Definitely binge-worthy. Check out the trailer!

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