A friend recommended the TV series “Yellowstone”, but our tastes don’t always mesh. I watch DVDs when I work out on the stationary recumbent bike and decided to give it a try. I don’t recall which cable network it airs on and we don’t have a streaming service, so I can’t advise that part. Kevin Costner is the main “name” and character – John Dutton – father of four Dutton adult children and fourth or fifth generation to own the sprawling Yellowstone Ranch. It’s actually filmed in Utah although it’s “Montana” on the TV. This is very much an adult series with complex characters, violence, some occasional nudity, and constant profanity. The cinematography is breath taking and the music is great. An advantage of watching the DVDs is the behind the story segments. The sense of authenticity brought to screen is because all the actors do go through “cowboy camp”. There are lots of horses in every episode and often cattle. Anyone who has lived in cowboy country understands the portrayal.
As for intricate plot and sub-plots, they can be difficult to keep up with. In one telling scene between the Governor and the soon-to-retire Attorney General, she says of John Dutton, “He still thinks it’s the 80’s when no one is looking over our shoulders.” A new Chairman of the Indian Tribe, a developer wanting to build, others seeking to carve away part or all of a legacy they deem as, “too much for one man to own”. The shifting of stances, the intense dysfunction within the Dutton family, the readiness to use violence to achieve a purpose and few characters who are not flawed. Layers are peeled away slowly and steps that seem to go forward take periodic turns. Like many dramas these days, this one can provoke thought and conversation. The casting, acting, writing, and production are all well executed.