My journey with Yellowstone unintentionally began years ago. As a kid who grew up in Eastern Washington State on a farm, obviously, my parents adore the series about modern cowboys in Montana. The show looks like where I grew up, people talk like they do at home, and my parents have been fans since the beginning. Through them, I learned the very basics of Taylor Sheridan’s show. However, I never felt a strong urge to watch the series, I didn’t think it was up my alley. But, my mom is persistent, and eventually, I was badgered into watching the Kevin Costner-led drama, and I’m not mad about it at all.
How I Ended Up Watching Yellowstone
Let’s start here: I did not want to watch Yellowstone, in fact, I avoided it. I’m not the biggest fan of realistic dramas, and I really didn’t think I’d be into a very modern, very serious Western. However, after I started working at CinemaBlend, I realized it’d be useful for me to know at least a little something about one of these most popular series on television… and my mom’s and dad’s birthdays were coming up. So, as a gift to them, I decided to finally watch Yellowstone, and send them PowerPoint recaps about each season as I finished it.
Over the years, I’ve seen clips from Taylor Sheridan’s show – I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve been home, my parents were rewatching the show, and I saw the scene where Beth beats up a saleswoman because she was rude to Monica. By the time I actually decided to start the series, I knew what I was getting into when it came to the violence and the drama. However, I didn’t know how enthralling the series was, and how easily I’d become a Yellowstone fan.
I Realized Very Quickly Why So Many People Love Yellowstone
I hate to break it to all you Yellowstone skeptics, but there’s for sure a reason why it’s such a big hit. Honestly, I was a little disappointed while watching the pilot when I almost immediately realized just how wrong I’d been about the show and how quickly I had fallen hook, line, and sinker into it. However, the disappointment quickly switched into intrigue as I began to binge-watch the show.
In the first episode of Yellowstone, we see a character get branded, there’s a massive battle, a (seemingly) major character death and we’re introduced to the ever-entertaining Dutton family and all their drama. Immediately, I was transported into this dangerous world, and I was struck by how compelling it was and how all the complex stories intertwined to create one wild and epic tale.
While I have a bone to pick with Kayce’s story now, during Season 1 was so invested in his journey back to the ranch and how his family would fit back into the Duttons. Also, seeing Beth absolutely rip a company apart in the first minutes was epic, and set the tone for her entire story moving forward. Basically, the story is so well-developed from the jump that I couldn’t help but be enthralled by it.
Also, the Yellowstone cast is top-notch. Led by Kevin Costner, this band of actors had me fully believing they were cowboys, and they are the reason the audience is able to buy into this sweeping story.
I think the prime example of this is how Cole Hauser plays Rip Wheeler. John’s right-hand man could have easily just been that, however, Hauser plays Rip with such nuance that we fully understand his loyalty to the patriarch through his looks and actions, and eventually, we get the backstory. His love story with Kelly Reilly’s Beth is also not only a great showcase of two powerhouse actors giving it their all, but it’s also a prime example of how Taylor Sheridan has crafted a totally unique and fascinating drama from all angles.
What followed after finishing Episode 1, was a few weeks of binge-watching and lots of phone calls, talks and a PowerPoint presentation here and there with my mom and dad to discuss each season’s events. Between the constant struggle to keep the ranch alive, the political intrigue of Beth and Jamie’s jobs within the ranch and the overarching family drama, this story is one that demands your attention, and it had mine.
Now, Yellowstone, Kevin Costner And Taylor Sheridan Are Everywhere
What this feels like is the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon or frequency illusion. I think that because I’ve become so engrossed in the world of John Dutton, I now have a tendency to pick up on other references to the show and those involved. And I gotta admit, I’m not mad about it.
While I was watching Yellowstone, I was almost immediately dragged into the broader universe of Yellowstone spinoffs and other Taylor Sheridan shows. At work, I did the interviews for the creator’s show Mayor of Kingstown, which was co-created by and stars Hugh Dillon, who was on Yellowstone for a while. At home, my parents were watching 1883 and 1923, and it felt like this vast world on Paramount Network was inescapable. However, I’m not mad about it.
As stated, I love Yellowstone, so I’m totally here for more content like it. However, it’s quite overwhelming, and very odd that there have been so many new shows and a constant swath of news surrounding it.
Aside from the never-ending list of shows from Taylor Sheridan, I also have been surrounded by all things Kevin Costner. Between the drama surrounding Season 5 of Yellowstone and its final episodes, plus the actor’s divorce from Christine Baumgartner he’s been consistently making headlines. However, I’ve also bumped into a lot of his work, unintentionally. For example, I edited a story about one of our writers watching Feild of Dreams for the first time, and you know who is in that? Kevin Costner.
I hope the drama surrounding Yellowstone can sort itself out, and the show will return in all its glory. However, for now, I’m going to bask in my new appreciation of the modern Western and text my mom (for the hundredth time) that she was right, this show is indeed fantastic.
If you haven’t streamed Yellowstone yet, and I’ve convinced you to, or if you are looking to re-watch the cowboy drama, you can watch it all with a Peacock subscription.