“Yellowstone”: Your next bingeworthy show


Courtesy of Paramount Network

The Dutton Family, portrayed by Luke Grimes, Wes Bentley, Kevin Costner and Kelly Reilly (pictured left to right), defends their Montana ranch in the midst of a three-way generational battle for land in Paramount Network’s acclaimed series “Yellowstone.”

Alivia Cook, Contributing Writer

Have you ever wanted to experience the rough-and-tumble of Midwestern ranches and to explore the conflict between land developers, ranchers and Native American tribes? Well, Paramount certainly provides all this and more in their TV series “Yellowstone,” which premiered in 2018. While the first season only aired nine episodes, viewers were instantly hooked. With its action packed plot and incredibly talented cast—starring Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly and Kevin Costner—“Yellowstone” is incredibly appealing. Now, in November 2022, season five is in the midst of being released and the drama just keeps unraveling. 

The show centers around the Dutton family: the sixth generation to own and operate the largest ranch in Montana, the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. Running near the ranch is the Native American reservation Broken Rock, which recently elected a new high chief, Thomas Rainwater, who is determined to reclaim their entire land. Additionally, big land developers from the city of Bozeman want to expand their housing developments onto the Dutton’s land and decide to take them to court. However, the Duttons have a lawyer in the family, Jamie, protracting the conflict. Despite their legal battle, both parties continue their illegal businesses behind the scenes.

The first season opens with a car accident where you meet John Dutton, the Livestock Commissioner of the Montana Livestock Association and the head of the Dutton family. During the opening scene, John is forced to shoot his dying horse to put it out of its suffering—the first but certainly not last instance of violence in the show. The episode continues to show the conflicts between the Native Americans and the Duttons. After some of the Dutton’s cattle wander onto Broken Rock land, the Native residents refuse to allow the ranchers onto their land to retrieve them. At the same time, John has a much larger problem to deal with, as John’s son Kayce is married to Monica Long-Dutton, a Native American woman, and the two have a son together.  A conflict begins to arise due to the unwelcome presence of Kayce on the reservation. As the episode continues, viewers begin to meet more of the Duttons and discover their roles within the family, on the ranch and in the conflict against Bozeman.  

As the show progresses, it becomes increasingly violent. If you’re not a fan of murders, beatings or just violence in general, then “Yellowstone” might be a show to pass on. However, this show has more to watch than just violence. The drama between the family, the Native American tribe and the outside developers, each trying to lay claim to the land, completely engrosses the viewer. Each hour-long episode entices you to binge an entire season in one night.

A couple of spinoffs have been created from the initial “Yellowstone” story line, the first of which, “1883,” premiered in December 2021. The series is the prequel to “Yellowstone” and shows the origin story of the Duttons, specifically how they flee Texas in poverty, come to power and acquire their signature ranch in Montana. Only comprising ten episodes, “1883” ended in February of this year. The second spinoff, “1923,” will be a sequel which follows another generation of the Dutton family, however this time, they are fighting the Great Depression, the end of the West and prohibition. Filming for this began in August of this year, set to air Dec. 18, 2022. It is reported that this show will have two seasons of eight episodes each. Lastly, another planned spinoff titled “6666” will be set in the present day on the Four Sixes ranch in Texas, with no production or premiere date yet.

If you’re looking for a show that is full of drama, violence and the quintessential Western aesthetic, delve into “Yellowstone” and watch as it becomes your newest binge-worthy show. Get to know the Duttons and experience the fight for the ranch.