This series follows the Dutton Family, owners of the well-known ranch called “Yellowstone”. John Dutton, the father of the family and owner of the ranch, are supported in his every move by his children, Jamie (Wes Bentley), Beth (Kelly Reilly) & Kayce (Luke Grimes). As the show begins several elements are quite evident. Firstly, we understand there is a dark past when it comes to the Dutton family, including a tragic loss. Each family member has a different set of skills and goals in life, but the surname is easily their biggest thing in common.
But John and his family discover that their ranch could be in trouble thanks to local developers and the Indian reservation. All of them have interests in either building around Yellowstone, or worse, they have desires to do whatever it takes to move the Dutton family on and claim the land of Yellowstone for themselves. Can the Duttons do whatever it takes to protect what is rightfully theirs or will they have to play dirty in order to win against large corporations?
Within the first episode, the series introduces its audience to many mysteries and the series takes joy in giving the audience the reveals ever so slowly. In Episode One, it’s not even quite evident how all the characters are connected, and I wondered what role they had in this series, even being unsure if they were a member of the Dutton family. This is a simple and rather effective way of getting viewers hooked into the series. Some of the questions I was asking myself regarding elements such as the family’s past are revealed, but it takes investment and patience. If the viewer can provide both of these, I can say it’s truly worthwhile.
As a plot, Yellowstone is certainly a slow-moving drama series. As it has many characters, the sub plots continue to grow into something bigger and better as the series moves forward. Like all good TV shows, the most exciting elements to the show’s plot occur as the series ends. After beginning the series, I found myself binge-watching the whole thing in under a week as I was invested after completing the first season. I began the second season on Blu-ray straight after.
The visuals of Yellowstone are truly outstanding. Nothing regarding the visuals can be faulted or complained about. Every shot is captured well, and it is simply pleasing to see. These outstanding visuals don’t change whether we are watching dramatic moments as the family deals with a new challenge or watching the family and fellow workers of Yellowstone trying to take control of issues on the ranch. The film’s audio tracks are also just as brilliant and again I have no complaints with the soundtrack. Sound effects are powerful as are the memorable songs. Even when the audio track may seem somewhat subtle, it is still awesome and I wouldn’t change anything.
Performances are pleasing and the show is loaded with many characters. None of these characters are dull, annoying or wooden. Actor Kevin Costner is simply amazing as the owner of Yellowstone and I found it fascinating watching his character trying to do what is best for the ranch, his children, and dealing with his own health concerns. Kevin Costner is a standout. Other actors such as Luke Grimes and Kelly Reilly play unforgettable roles in Yellowstone. Cole Hauser in a supporting role may be giving the very best performance I have ever seen within his career- he owns the screen whenever he is present.
Overall, Yellowstone Season One is truly a stunning TV series. Visually this series is flawless, and the audio track is just as solid. Those who have followed Walkden Entertainment for a while now will know I am not really a fan of Westerns or stories about cowboys, but this is certainly a solid drama with stunning performances that got me hooked within a matter of episodes. The story is naturally a slow burn and the build-up towards the season-ending felt rather rewarding. So rewarding in fact, that I found myself beginning Season Two right after I finished Season One. I guess you might say I am a fan of Yellowstone ranch till the end.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden