Not Another Western
Written by Ana Jones
It was the number one rated pay television drama in the USA last year. It has a 2022 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series and was 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards nominated for Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program. It also has, not one, but three awards in the Best Fictional Drama category from the Western Heritage Awards… Welcome to the world of Yellowstone.
Don’t let the name, the infrequent southern drawl, or the cowboys and girls fool you, this one-hour drama is more than a mere western.
Yellowstone chronicles the Dutton family, led by John Dutton (Kevin Costner), who controls the largest cattle ranch (Yellowstone) in the United States. Stan Australia best sums up the series: “amid shifting alliances, unsolved murders, open wounds and hard-earned respect – the ranch is in constant conflict with those it borders – an expanding town, an Indian reservation and America’s first national park.” And that is just episode one!
Every episode is jammed packed with the drama that surrounds Dutton’s three grown children and in and surrounding the ranch – often with explosive results. The children include Beth (Kelly Reilly of True Detective), Kaycee (Luke Grimes, Fifty Shades franchise) and Jaime (Wes Bentley, American Horror Story), each with their own secrets to uncover.
The series has just been renewed for season five. Before then though, you can get to know the Dutton’s, along with Josh Holloway (Lost), Eden Brolin (Beyond), Hassie Harrison (Tacoma FD) and Jennifer Landon (The Front Runner), who joined in season three. All seasons are available on Stan with season four seeing Australia's own Jacki Weaver in a recurring role, giving Beth a run for her money.
But drama isn’t just reserved for the little screen. The seasoned actor who plays loyal Yellowstone ranch hand Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith known for Tombstone), will not be in attendance with his castmates for the Screen Actors Guild Awards in April because he does not have the required vaccination status. As he explained in a recent social post: “I’m not vaccinated, I will not get vaccinated. I haven’t been vaccinated since I was a little kid. I don’t vaccinate my dogs, I don’t vaccinate my horses. I’ve never had a flu shot. I never will. I believe they compromise your immunities.”
If you enjoy Kevin Costner films such as Robin Hood, then Yellowstone will not disappoint. However, consider the MA15+ rated scenes and language, as they can be confrontational at times. This does subside somewhat.
Yellowstone is co-created by screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Wind River, Hell or High Water and Sicario) and John Linson (Sons of Anarchy, Lords of Dogtown). Executive producers include John Linson, Art Linson, Taylor Sheridan, Kevin Costner, David C. Glasser, Bob Yari and Stephen Kay. Each 1-hour episode is predominantly filmed in the US state of Montana with Season five currently in production. It has an IMDb user rating of 8.8/10.