When it comes to choosing what to watch these days, we faced with both the luxury and the overwhelm of so many choices. I generally have a hard time starting on something new with several seasons; it seems like a commitment to begin on a story that goes on for tens of episodes. I recently started watching such a show with my parents, though. Yellowstone is five seasons in length and, through gently plugging away at it after dinner, we’re nearing the end of Season 4. A couple of times a year, I’ll watch something and think, “This is going to be one of the best things I’ll have watched this year”. The year before last, ‘Mare of Easttown’ and ‘Your Honor’ made that cut for me. We’re barely into February and that’s how I feel about ‘Yellowstone’. It follows the Dutton family, cowboy owners of a Montana ranch, with the family dynamics, those amongst their employees, and the conflicts that play out between them, the indigenous population of the Broken Rock Indian reservation, and various land developers. There is a strong main arc with nuanced sub-plots and development of characters. It gets your attention right from the get-go, and you find yourself invested in so many of the characters and the narratives that bob and weave as the story progresses. It features some brilliant cast performances, with Kevin Costner as the lead and Kelly Reilly and Cole Hauser also playing memorable roles. It was created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson; Sheridan also wrote and directed the powerful ‘Wind River’, a murder mystery set on Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation, which Sheridan said he wrote to raise awareness of the issue of the high number of Indigenous women who are raped and murdered on and off Indian reservations, with little attention being paid to these occurrences by the outside world. Sheridan’s cowboy identity comes from his mother, who was originally from Waco, Texas and loved to visit her grandparents’ ranch in the area. She says she wanted her own children to similarly “have an opportunity to learn firsthand about the peaceful feeling of freedom in nature”. And so the Sheridan family bought the Cranfills Gap ranch in 1978, when Sheridan was 8 years old, and they would spend weekends, holidays and summers there. // 6th February, 2023 —
Jas Hothi is a writer, coach & author of The Indie Author. READ HIS BLOG or sign up for his newsletter to receive a free copy of his book HERE.