Written by on May 15, 2024

Tales of power and greed have been around for decades in movies and TV shows. Those programs were mostly pointed at a good versus evil angle where in the end the good guy won out. In the late 1970s and early 80s the evening landscape of television became the place of dramas that had extended story lines like daytime soap operas. Stories carried over from episode to episode with a conclusion at the end of the season for the most part and in most cases most of the characters weren’t very good people. Shows like Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing, and a few more were full of people just trying to get their own piece of the pie and they would step over ech other to get there. Other similar shows have come and gone on network television, but the stories became stale, and audiences moved on. In the early 2000s things shifted with cable stations taking the reins and making edgy dramas like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and Game Of Thrones. The sex, language, and brutal actions were taken to movie levels. More than that the writing was much better with more complex characters and more risks being taken. That brings us to the Kevin Costner staring show Yellowstone on Paramount and other streaming services like Peacock and Hulu. If Dallas is the grandfather of the modern TV drama, then Yellowstone is the great grandson taking everything to another level on steroids.

Yellowstone is set in Montana and debuted in 2018 and has had a solid following since then. Costner’s John Dutton is trying to keep the family ranch in the family while fighting off challenges from the local Indian Reservation leadership and developers that only see money where John sees his legacy. The Dutton family is comprised of Jaime (Wes Bentley), Beth (Kelly Reilly), and Kayce (Luke Grimes) and his wife Monica (Kelsey Asbille) with their son Tate (Brecken Merrill). The extended family is a bunkhouse full of cowboys led by Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) that are loyal to one man only – John Dutton and will do anything to protect the ranch and the family. Each season sees a challenge to the Yellowstone Ranch and the lengths people will go to take or keep what they have. Just like the previously mentioned shows the ranch is built on power that the Dutton family has accrued over the last century or so through politics, money, and, if necessary, murder.

First off, there are no “good guys” on this show. None. Everyone has done something bad or multiple things because they can’t change their ways. Even when John tries to be a better man and grandpa and you see him and Tate sharing close moments the mists of how bad everyone is still is there waiting to spring up again. Characters you try to like or at least sympathize with will suddenly give you a reason from their past or upcoming actions to change your opinion. Sure, there are people that are putting Rip and Beth on pedestals for their tough exteriors and badass attitudes. But in reality, they are awful, and they just have fans due to being “cool” in their evilness. That’s the draw of the characters in the show in that they are written and acted so brilliantly that you find yourself cheering for this Sopranos like family led by a modern-day JR Ewing as if they are heroes. Even in Game of Thrones there are good people that you really should be cheering for. Here you’re just put on the side of the bad guys that are fighting for “family”, so it feels like a noble cause. You’ll eat it up though because there’s not much wrong with this show. While the discussions around who should be owning the land are well brought up, they also show how even those helping the Dutton family can quickly turn on them for their own interests. The scenery and imagery are absolutely stunning and the adventures and tribulations of all the characters are engrossing and make this show highly bingeable adding in that the seasons are only ten episodes long. It has even spawned two prequel series. Just know that there are five seasons, but the 5th is incomplete as on set tensions between creator Taylor Sheridan and Costner hit an impasse last year and the conclusion of the series is in jeopardy. However, it sounds like things may be getting patched up so by the time you get caught up we hopefully won’t have to wait too long for new episodes to get filmed and put up for consumption. Yellowstone‘s draw is so powerful that the arguments off set are even threatening it. Get it on your watchlist now before the show ends up at “the train station”.

Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current track