I am admittedly very late to the party, but I started binging Yellowstone this week and I no longer care about anything else. If you’ve never heard of the TV show Yellowstone, you’re probably not alone. It’s on the Paramount network, which isn’t the most accessible or popular channel. It’s also very easy to lose track of new TV shows when there are so many new shows being thrown at you on a daily basis. None of that should matter anymore, because I can guarantee Yellowstone will be your new favorite show.
Yellowstone follows the life and story of ranching family patriarch John Dutton, played by Oscar and Emmy winner Kevin Costner. He’s incredible as the centerpiece of the show, but what makes the show great is the depth of the ensemble cast. My personal favorite so far (I’ve watched the first 2 seasons) is Rip, played by a grizzled Cole Hauser. When he first popped on the screen in episode 1, I recognized the actor but couldn’t quite remember why. After a little IMDB digging I realized it was from the 2019 Nic Cage classic Running with the Devil. I would never hold it against another actor for being cringeworthy in a Nic Cag movie (it’s almost impossible not to be) but it no longer matters because Cole Hauser is a MAN among men in this role.
The rest of the cast is equally as good: Luke Grimes (Fifty Shades of Grey), Kelly Reilly (True Detective S2), and Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games, American Horror Story) play Kayce, Beth, and Jamie Dutton. Along with Rip, they’re John’s main backup for helping to fend off the two legged and four legged creatures encroaching on the massive amount of land owned by the Dutton’s.
The casting is top notch, and although the plots couldn’t be any more different, the character makeups remind me a lot of Modern Family. If you listen to our podcast, every episode we talk about which movies and TV shows we’re currently watching. One of my favorite parts of Modern Family is how fully formed the characters are from episode 1. You feel like you know each character individually and they also fit into the ensemble seamlessly which allows you to focus on immersing yourself in the storylines. There are no false notes, and Yellowstone does that with it’s characters equally as well.
The plot itself and particularly the ‘solve everything with punching’ character traits reminds me a lot of Sons of Anarchy. Kayce Dutton has the look and personality of Jax Teller, while his sister Beth is a younger, possibly more ferocious Jemma. The positive difference between the two for me is Costner vs Ron Perlman’s Clay. Costner’s John Dutton is ruthless and conniving when needs to be, but he’s such a great actor and has enough sympathetic traits (his illness, his love for his grandson) that you root for him without hesitation. Costner’s main foes through the first two seasons (Dan Jenkins played by X-Men supervillain Danny Huston and Thomas Rainwater played by Taylor Sheridan favorite Gil Birmingham) are really only “villains” because of how much you root for Costner. Their motives are completely understandable and it makes for a compelling drama when you have two equally relatable sides doing battle.
The Taylor Sheridan Effect
A huge reason for the success of the show is the creator/executive producer/writer/director Taylor Sheridan. Dating back to 2015, Sheridan has written Sicario, Hell or High Water and Wind River, three of the top notch action/thrillers of the last 5+ years. On Yellowstone, he is the co-creator, executive producer, has written 30 of the episodes and directed 9 of them. The guy just knows how to make a great, compelling drama. As soon as I saw his name pop up in the credits during episode 1 I knew I was going to love this show and 20 episodes later I have yet to be disappointed.
Tell Me Right Now How I Can Watch It
Hopefully I’ve done a solid job of describing why you should watch it, but now you need to know how. Paramount isn’t the most accessible network, and I’ve been watching via Peacock TV. Obviously there’s a monthly cost for the streaming service, but you’re going to pay regardless of how you watch. At this point, your only job this Easter weekend is to watch Yellowstone. Be warned: you won’t want to do anything else until you’ve watched all the episodes.
Everyone should have known Michael Keaton was going to be fantastic as the host of SNL, but he exceeded my expectations. Keaton has the two things that are necessary to be an excellent host, and they were both on display Saturday night: he has excellent comedic timing and he doesn’t take himself seriously. The second thing seems kind of obvious, but a lot of celebrities come on and won’t throw themselves into characters because their afraid of damaging their own egos, but not Keaton. He played wacky characters all night, but none were weirder than himself in the final sketch of the night. ‘Easter Candy’ was like a deranged version of a Mr. Rogers Easter Special, and Keaton plays himself going through an Easter basket with his assistant/maybe wife Portia. Bobby Moynihan shows up halfway to make a poop noise and it’s just so weird and so wonderful. The best part about SNL is that after FORTY YEARS on the air, they’re still not afraid to get weird. It amazes me that at 70 years old Lorne Michaels is still in tune with his writing staff and let’s them be as wacky as they want. They could easily put out safe sketches and a get a few laughs, but they’re never afraid to go for the home run and just blow you away. I also wish I was in the writers room for this sketch, because I’ve always wanted to know how much the writers wrote and how much the host added his own style to it. The writers definitely came up with all of the jokes, but I have to imagine Keaton created the voice, and his facial expression after he told the audience he gave up cocaine for Lent was amazing. This is Keaton’s first time hosting since 1992, so I can’t imagine he’ll be back soon, but anytime he’s on that stage SNL is in good hands.
Easter is Sunday, and nothing says Easter like a human being dressing up like a bunny so small children can sit in their lap. In what I hope becomes a proud tradition here at Average Nobodies. I’ve compiled the creepiest Easter Bunny’s from around the internet and placed them here just in time for Jesus to rise from the dead or whatever the hell is supposed to happen Sunday. Happy Easter everybody!