Here's Why 'Dark Winds' Opening Sequence Feels Like a Ripoff to Some Fans
It seems that 'Dark Winds' borrows just a bit too much from other shows.
Gallup, New Mexico – 1971.
It's another typical afternoon for the bank which is currently making a routine money transfer. The cash switches hands until it ends up in an armored truck outside. Then, as the truck begins to leave, it is intercepted by a helicopter that, first, flies overhead before landing ahead – restricting access to the road. There is a violent standoff before the criminals get away with the money.
Shortly thereafter, the helicopter is spotted flying overhead on Navajo land. An elderly man notices the helicopter before making a journey to the Big Rock Motel. Inside a room, he's greeted by a young girl and an Indian healer. The three participate in a "sing" where the individual seeking healing awards the medicine doctor with a "token." Later, when Lieutenant Leaphorn arrives at the motel, he's investigating a gruesome murder scene that involves a familiar face.
The series of events opens the first episode of 'Dark Winds ' and gets the show off to a thrilling start. However, there are some audience members that believe the opening sequence is a direct ripoff. They indicate that the title credits borrow too much from other hit shows like 'Yellowstone ' and 'True Detective '.
The controversy started on Reddit where some posters argue that 'Dark Winds' steals the opening sequence of 'Yellowstone'. While it's true that both sequences begin with a close-up indicating zero trouble, the pan-out quickly reveals far more detail. Thus, the troubling scenes that John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and Joe Leaphorn (Zahn McClarnon) encounter are both similar. It's clear that 'Dark Winds' drew inspiration from 'Longmire' and 'Yellowstone' hence the comparisons.
Nevertheless, other posters argue that the 'Dark Winds' opening is much more like the initial sequence in 'True Detective'. There are certainly a lot of similarities with how the opening credits are presented. The ominous imagery and soundtrack in both shows contribute to the mood that is about to be presented. Moreover, both shows are dark and revolve around lawmen attempting to solve the crime. Thus, the comparisons are fair, if not a little inconsiderate.
For example, another poster made the observation that featuring elaborate title credits and opening sequences is nothing new under the sun. For example, some could argue 'Dark Winds' rips off the title credits of 'Yellowstone' in the same manner 'Yellowstone' is very similar to the opening of 'Westworld '.
In the 21st century, it's extremely difficult to find a TV series that hasn't been influenced by other successful shows. Hollywood is notorious for taking a formula that works and banking on it until exhaustion. However, we believe the assertion that 'Dark Winds' directly rips off 'Yellowstone' is inaccurate.
Yes, all three shows feature similar title credits and opening sequences. Regardless, making the claim that 'Dark Winds' steals anything is a little absurd since TV shows and films borrow from each other all the time.