Yellowstone

Yellowstone

Jun. 20, 2018
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7 3 votes

Creator

Cast

Kevin Costner isJohn Dutton
John Dutton
Kelly Reilly isBeth Dutton
Beth Dutton
Luke Grimes isKayce Dutton
Kayce Dutton
Wes Bentley isJamie Dutton
Jamie Dutton
Kelsey Asbille isMonica Dutton
Monica Dutton
Brecken Merrill isTate Dutton
Tate Dutton
Cole Hauser isRip Wheeler
Rip Wheeler
Gil Birmingham isThomas Rainwater
Thomas Rainwater
Jefferson White isJimmy Hurdstrom
Jimmy Hurdstrom

Video trailer

Synopsis

Follow the violent world of the Dutton family, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. Led by their patriarch John Dutton, the family defends their property against constant attack by land developers, an Indian reservation, and America’s first National Park.

Big publications largely panned the show’s debut in 2018; one called it “soapy trash that badly wants to be taken seriously.” A few critics have treated it worthy of recaps or deeper consideration. But it’s strange that given Yellowstone’s quantifiable success, it doesn’t enjoy the breathless analysis that usually accompanies shows this big. Mostly, you’ll find the fawning for Yellowstone on sites like Country Living, the blog Pioneer Woman, or on Instagram’s Yellowstone Memes, which revel in every cowboy quip—occasionally revealing politics that bleed red. This year for Halloween, Meghan McCain and husband Ben Domenech dressed up as the show’s romantic leads, Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly)—a troubled but shrewd lush with the verbal subtlety of barbed wire—and Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser), the ranch muscle she’s entangled with.

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Yellowstone has been called “prestige TV for conservatives,” which explains a lot. “People perceive all my stuff as red state, and it’s the most ridiculous thing,” Sheridan told the New York Times in 2019. “If you truly look at this show…these are pretty wildly progressive notions. The people who are calling it a red-state show have probably never watched it.”

That may be. Or maybe it’s that Yellowstone buries its progressive notions in soapy scenes, over-the-top violence, and grandstanding soliloquies. But either way, Yellowstone is up to something curious. It’s an entertaining and sometimes graphically violent drama, but one that hooks viewers with entertaining brawls, complex family threads, and a willingness to (mostly) punch up. The show may not enjoy the prestige it wants, but it’s a clever conceit that pulls a nifty trick on its core audience.

There’s also a steady stream of sick burns about California and the white libruls enticed to Big Sky Country, whether it’s mocking pour-over coffee in nearby Bozeman, or scheming developer Dan Jenkins (Danny Huston) delivering this scathing line: “This isn’t California, gentleman. It’s Montana. We can do anything we want here.”

At a glance, Yellowstone does look like a white male conservative power fantasy—and a white conservative female fantasy of the protection that comes with that. Son Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) is a weak-willed college boy who brought his Harvard law degree home to protect his family’s empire. Son Kayce (Luke Grimes), a Navy vet, married Native American woman Monica (Kelsey Asbille), and had a son, Tate (Brecken Merrill), all of whom remain on the reservation, far from the ranch’s perks. Over three seasons, we’ve watched the Duttons negotiate with Broken Rock leaders, whose new chairman, Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham), intends to use his own Harvard MBA to settle an age-old score. We’ve seen a stream of villainous billionaire developers eager to refashion this natural wonder into ski resorts and second homes. We’ve seen alliances change faster than a horse bucks a cowboy at the rodeo.

City folk are endless fodder, depicted as weak, soft-handed interlopers. Most every granola tourist is from the Golden State, and they often meet gruesome ends thanks to their arrogance about the landscape’s beauty, which hides danger at every turn.

As entertaining as it sounds, there’s more going on beneath Yellowstone’s surface. One fascinating through line is the insurmountable struggles of the Native Americans on the rez, who endure poverty, addiction, violence, and suicide, with the elders determined to change that by casino, lawsuit, or land grab. Another involves the hardscrabble existence of the cowboys (and occasional cowgirls) in the bunkhouse: the orphans, drifters and ex-cons Yellowstone Ranch hires, who keep the ranch going with their backbreaking labor and the muscling. In a place that makes its own rules, street justice must be served swiftly with brawn on both sides.

There are only two kinds of men here: Real ones and pussies, a word slung so often in the show—mostly by women, all spun from golden hyperfeminine grit—that I lost count. It’s easy to imagine old-school conservatives—the kind who already had a boner for Reagan but save their biggest boner for Teddy Roosevelt—eating this up.

Yellowstone
Yellowstone
Yellowstone
Yellowstone
Yellowstone
Yellowstone
Yellowstone
Yellowstone
Yellowstone
Yellowstone
Original title Yellowstone
TMDb Rating 8.148 1,700 votes
First air date Jun. 20, 2018
Last air date Jan. 01, 2023
Seasons 5
Episodes 48

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