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Paramount Network

‘Yellowstone’ From Paramount Network Has The Makings Of A Classic Television Show


Paramount Network’s summer hit Yellowstone concluded with a bold Season 1 finale on Wednesday night. From start to finish, Taylor Sheridan’s Montana-based series delivered realistic and gritty episodes that has most viewers excited to see it return for season two in 2019. My initial piece from after the pilot episode appears to be correct, as Paramount Network has a true hit on their hands with this western series.

 

So what makes Yellowstone an exceptional and promising show that could have a long and successful run that eventually has it classified as a classic?

 

Setting

A lot of people might not get too excited about a show that’s set in Montana, but Yellowstone feels like a classic throwback type of western for the modern age. HBO’s new show Succession was also a success this summer, getting renewed for a second season, but Yellowstone is arguably that while set with cowboys instead of billionaire media types—and arguably a clear step or two above HBO’s show, which isn’t easy to do to the best network on television.

 

The scenes are beautiful, and it’s a wonder that another network hasn’t poured resources into making a modern-day western show. It helps that Taylor Sheridan was willing to take on a heavy workload to make this happen after major big-screen successes, though.

 

Representation

Most shows today aren’t about middle America, but Yellowstone represents an area of the country a lot of people are in to. Not that Yellowstone is a shallow show for simple people—because it certainly isn’t. But at the same time, it’s for the common man and woman because a lot of the show is people working hard and grinding every day, dealing with real-life things.

 

Characters and Story

The family dynamics and politics in Yellowstone are awesome. John Dutton is under siege from all directions from the outside, and he has complicated relationships with all of his children. Rich land developers and Indians that want their land are represented, and we get an inside look at many forms of politics—from government politics to ranch politics to family politics.

 

Many characters—mainly Kayce—are getting pulled in different directions, which makes for an interesting dynamic. And Rip might be the best character of them all as probably the toughest guy on the ranch; he can give a death stare that’ll strike fear in most people, but he appears to be a fair, caring, and an extremely loyal guy.

 

Flashbacks (starring John Lucas and Gretchen Mol) add more depth and intrigue to the story, and there could be more of them moving forward. Also, there are funny moments and one-liners throughout because the conversations and reactions are so realistic and great.

 

Acting

Academy Award winner Kevin Costner highlighting an exceptional cast is the headline, and he gives as good of an acting performance as ever on the show. But, really, almost everyone has at least one memorable scene, and the first-class acting is what helps breathe life into all the well-written characters.

 

Continuity

There’s no question having Taylor Sheridan run the entire show by directing every episode helps the story move forward seamlessly. It doesn’t happen often, with Twin Peaks (David Lynch) and Mr. Robot (Sam Esmail for Seasons 2 and 3) as the only series that come to mind where the showrunner directs each episode.

 

Realism

Put all this together, and Yellowstone is a realistic story in which anything can happen. The character arcs seem like they are going to be awesome (and they’ve already been awesome through one season), so it’s difficult to predict the storyline—which makes the show a thrill each week. No fancy tricks will be necessary to get people to keep watching Yellowstone, because it’s based in realism, with a deep story and intriguing characters in a stunning and underrepresented setting.

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