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TCA Panel on Yellowstone;

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In keeping with the cinematic nature of the new Paramount Network, the series which stars Kevin Costner as a huge ranch owner bumping up against land developers, a Native American reservation and America’s first National Park, was shot entirely on location in Utah and Montana. “In this beautiful place, there’s still politics,” said Costner.

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Ooh - this looks like it could be good.   Not Dallas exactly, but interesting.  And gorgeous visuals. Premieres June 20th.

 

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Yellowstone follows the Dutton family, led by John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the U.S. It is under constant attack by those it borders.

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I'm interested to see how this compares to The Son, where 65-year old Pierce Brosnan is playing a very spry 80-year old cattle baron in Texas at the turn of the 20th century. His attempt at a Texas drawl is the least of the "issues" with that show. I don't know if Costner was considered for that role but it looks like Yellowstone would be a better choice. The concept is already kind of in his wheelhouse.

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I forgot that Taylor Sheridan also wrote the screenplay for Hell or High Water, so I'm definitely looking forward to this.  I have a feeling that Kevin Costner will do much better than Pierce Brosnan.

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**crickets**

Am I the only one who watched this?

It's a solid pilot with strong actors on board but I'm not that into it. It feels dated and soapy. I'm noticing that Sheridan recycles story/character elements from his own work, which is surprising b/c he hasn't been a writer long enough to run out of ideas.

Edited by numbnut
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25 minutes ago, numbnut said:

**crickets**

Am I the only one who watched this?

I think a lot of people dvr to watch on their own time - including me. Hoping to get a chance to watch this weekend.

Soapy isn't a problem for me but one of the reviews compared it to a zoning committee meeting, which doesn't sound nearly soapy enough. :-) 

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The struggle among three interests was interesting. Costner had me at "I'm the player to be named later" 30 years ago, and he's still an actor who can root himself on dirt. To me, Dutton is someone whose privilege allowed him to make virtues of his flaws, and success of his shortcomings. The developer was a tool, but maybe a tool with a yearning. I liked the new chairman's backstory and strategies. Beth seems more of a man's idea of a tough woman -- tough where she isn't strong -- but her assessment of the runaway family man was shrewd and unsparing. (I wonder if she was herself the "third child on the way" when her father had an affair, or more likely, invisibly abandoned his wife and family for the family business.)

Most of all I savored the setting, and the turn to the Shakespearean. Not so much in the writing as in the plotline. But I liked that Sheridan wasn't afraid to go big with language: just not his sense of when and where.

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Haven't seen the episode yet, but I'll watch just about anything for Cole Hauser (and have) so I'm going to give it a shot. If nothing else I can see if it's something Dad would like and suggest it to him because he'll watch just about anything for mountains and horses. 

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I was looking forward to this but there were times when I kind of dozed off.  Plus, there were too many characters to keep track of.  However, this was the pilot so I'll keep watching and give it a chance.  I'll have to watch this one again.

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I like this show. Anything with Kevin Costner is always enjoyable and the supporting cast is very good. The scenery is beautiful. I can't wait for next week. 

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I wanted to like this because I like Taylor Sheridan's other work as a writer.  I was dismayed almost immediately by several elements.  1) Sometimes the scenery does look like the country around Bozeman, where it is supposed to take place....other times it is too, too dry.  2) What Indian reservation is close to Bozeman?  (Wow, the dance costumes look great...thanks, Hollywood!)  3) What oil drilling is happening around Bozeman?  (That is not a rhetorical question...there may be some.) 4) Is the show runner aware that small stakes gambling is legal in Montana, every major city there has a plethora of gambling halls, and consequently the casinos on the reservations are not the posh, resort-style portrayed, and, anyway, as I said, what reservation is that close to Bozeman? 5) Are we to believe that the new tribal council chairman was not actually raised as a member of whatever tribe this is supposed to be?  It has been very difficult for non-natives to adopt  a native child for many, many years, and then, after all that, to raise the child in ignorance of his heritage?  really?

When promoting the show on The View, Costner described the setting as being in the Bitteroot...but the Bitteroot is near the other college town, Missoula.

The south side of Yellowstone, Wyoming,  might have been a better location!  But then it begins to seem like a ripoff of "Longmire. In fact, Sheridan's last movie already seemed like a rip off of an episode in "Longmire," which in turn was based on real events...so I guess the real events can be seen as the basis of both.  

Sheridan is a Texan.  I think he has just moved a Texas situation into Montana, though I do not know why.  I guess he will get away with it because people do not really care about accuracy.  I may give the show a chance, but the story will have to be awfully good for me to continue watching in spite of the errors in setting,

Edited by lazylou · Reason: Added fact
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I'm loathe to abandon a show with such a strong cast but this bored me to tears. It was like a really, really dull version of Dynasty. There were way too many subplots crammed into the first hour. I watched up until the 90 minute mark and finally bailed, I just wasn't paying attention anymore because I just didn't care. Dull, dull, dull. 

Probably the sibling characters and their interaction has the most potential but there just wasn't enough of that and the show seems too determined to give them all big story arcs on their own. The bitchy daughter character was practically a cartoon. She belonged in the CW version of Dynasty she was so over the top.

I don't know if I can give it another try. On the one hand it's summer and there's not much original programming on. On the other hand there's so much crap on streaming these days it's not really worth wasting time on something this mediocre when it almost feels like a chore to sit through it.

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I'm in but the first episodes of new series is usually the worst episode for me - it has to set up so many characters and storylines. I watched mostly for Kevin Costner and the scenery. One thing - Beth's bangs are going to drive me crazy (hair bangs - not the ones on the dresser). Anxious to see John's relationship with the Governor.

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51 minutes ago, lazylou said:

But then it begins to seem like a ripoff of "Longmire. 

Thank you for reminding me.  I knew there was a series I'd seen that this show reminded me of but I couldn't remember it.

46 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

It was like a really, really dull version of Dynasty.

Yes, that too.

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Pretty scenery.

The story seemed bloated and ... unsubtle? From *Dallas* to *The Son* and *Queen Sugar*, I generally haven't tended to like complex family dramas with rambling casts, but that's not the show's fault. I did find something about Kelly Reilly's acting (as Beth) to be quite offputting and she seems especially miscast as a man-eating, manipulative ballbuster. 

I'm slightly interested in the push/pull between Pa Dutton and Kayce but find boardroom and court battles over land/water/borders to be kind of dull. Threaten, threaten, blah blah blah.

In the end I don't care if Dutton loses his entire ranch, but rooting for him to do so isn't (1) enough to keep me interested or (2) likely to happen. Am I supposed to admire that he took time to comfort and put down his horse before (apparently) even checking on the driver of the tractor trailer?

I'm glad that others enjoyed it but this particular try at prestige TV didn't succeed for me.

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I kinda think Taylor Sheridan screwed the pooch with this one.   

I'll give it a couple more episodes before I decide to bail or not. 

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I've traveled thru Montana, and the scenery looks accurate enough to me. But the action (or lack thereof) I found tedious. I'm at a disadvantage, of course, never having been a big fan of rich-family dramas (unless they're historical, or fantasies like GOT). Maybe I'll give this show another week or two and quit if nothing improves.

BTW, I always thought Kevin Costner was overrated. (I used to joke that he gave his best performance in The Big Chill.) 

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

The bitchy daughter character was practically a cartoon. She belonged in the CW version of Dynasty she was so over the top.

Right.  I thought she would make a great  SNL  character.

17 minutes ago, walnutqueen said:

A soapy Western summertime show with pretty scenery?  Hell, yes, I am in.

Exactly what I was hoping for, in fact I was dreaming for an updated, "Bonanza." 

Unfortunately, I thought the characters were all too unlikeable and the plot  was often like a long  city council meeting.

I did like the scenery, and the calf birthing, though. 

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My favorite scene was when John brought his son over to "rest" under that tree. Scenes like that have made me a Costner fan for years. I also really like the Kayce character and the actor.

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I was really looking forward this this.  I'm a major fan of westerns ... back in the good old days ... and I know this isn't exactly that, but I was hoping.  I have to agree with Judy Obscure, I was hoping for an update "Bonanza".   

The one word I have for it is BORING.  I couldn't keep track of who was doing what and why to whom.  And after the first few minutes, I didn't care.

The daughter ~~ I had to laugh.  Seems she mostly just lurks around the house with a cup of coffee and a cigarette.  I mean, come on, really?  

I may check it out next week, but unless it livens up a bit, I'm out.  I'll go back to "Bonanza" re-runs.

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I am anxious to know the reason characters are branded with the "Y". I guess we are to assume out of loyalty to John Dutton and the Yellowstone Ranch. Hopefully things are never as they seem and it's for some other reason - and that's a big ass brand. Even livestock don't have brands that large!  

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the first episodes of new series is usually the worst episode for me - it has to set up so many characters and storylines. 

While that's often true I'm not sure it's something an audience needs to forgive. A show doesn't need to introduce half a dozen simultaneous story lines in the very first episode. That's just confusing. They should present one or two really compelling ones and focus on those to hook you. With so many stories and too many characters you just don't know where to look. I really lost track of what was going on half the time. There's someone who wants the government to use eminent domain so they can grab 30 thousand acres of land from this ranch for a housing development. There's something else about an oil company that the daughter is taking control of. There's something about someone building a city? There's something about a tribal chief doing something aside from trying to keep the cattle that wandered into his territory. There's something else about a shady senator or something working with him. There's something about a junkie or ex-con being scared into taking a job with the ranch, because John Dutton owes his father a favor? Plus a bunch of family dynamic stuff. All in one hour. 

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I did find something about Kelly Reilly's acting (as Beth) to be quite offputting and she seems especially miscast as a man-eating, manipulative ballbuster. 

Doesn't it also look like she's wearing a really bad wig?

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1 hour ago, arachne said:

BTW, I always thought Kevin Costner was overrated. (I used to joke that he gave his best performance in The Big Chill.) 

I must disagree.  I like almost all of Kevin's roles and the movies he's been in.  One of my favorite lines was Bull Durham "I like long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last all night..."  sigh....

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14 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

While that's often true I'm not sure it's something an audience needs to forgive. A show doesn't need to introduce half a dozen simultaneous story lines in the very first episode. That's just confusing. They should present one or two really compelling ones and focus on those to hook you. With so many stories and too many characters you just don't know where to look. I really lost track of what was going on half the time. There's someone who wants the government to use eminent domain so they can grab 30 thousand acres of land from this ranch for a housing development. There's something else about an oil company that the daughter is taking control of. There's something about someone building a city? There's something about a tribal chief doing something aside from trying to keep the cattle that wandered into his territory. There's something else about a shady senator or something working with him. There's something about a junkie or ex-con being scared into taking a job with the ranch, because John Dutton owes his father a favor? Plus a bunch of family dynamic stuff. All in one hour. 

And that perfectly sums up my issue with the pilot.  There was so much going on, I almost dozed off after the first hour.

And that woman's yellow bangs just bug the hell out of me and I'm not sure how much more of her I can take.  

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I almost stopped when the new born calf hit the ground running, but I got as far as "you can walk down the hall or you can fuck me".  That was enough - clean up the language a bit and put this show on one of the major networks in an afternoon soap slot.  Bad, just incredibly bad.  

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6 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I'm loathe to abandon a show with such a strong cast but this bored me to tears. It was like a really, really dull version of Dynasty. There were way too many subplots crammed into the first hour. I watched up until the 90 minute mark and finally bailed, I just wasn't paying attention anymore because I just didn't care. Dull, dull, dull.

I barely made it to the first commercial.  I had the same problem with Open Range and Waterworld and Dances With Wolves.  It's the editing, or something.  Minor scenes take way too long.  Costner lingers where lingering isn't warranted.  I did like Bull Durham and No Way Out.  Haven't seen The Postman.

It's still on the DVR so I might give it another go.

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I was excited for this one...only because Costner, #dang.

I too found parts a little long. And so many people. I was so confused on the family relationships (who was related to who?) and goodness yes, the daughter was terrible. I could have done without her drawn out speeches and weird women are powerful statements or whatever.

I enjoyed the scenery (very pretty!) and the music was a little interesting. I wish it didn't try so hard to feel gritty at times but I'm interested to see where they take it. It felt like Dallas/Dynasty without some of the snark.

I'm in only because summer watching and Costner. He still has it to me. 

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4 hours ago, roughing it said:

I must disagree.  I like almost all of Kevin's roles and the movies he's been in.  One of my favorite lines was Bull Durham "I like long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last all night..."  sigh....

I always get a little weak watching him in "Untouchables," while he's brushing his wife's hair.   Still.  If he's going to keep up that soft, deep mumbling they need to turn down the background noise.

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Is the "senator" who is in the chief's hip pocket a U.S. Senator in Washington or a Montana State Senator? 

Does the governor have the hots for father John, the lawyer son, or both?

Cole Hauser was in the show? What character was he? Didn't recognize him at all.

What is the significance of the branding? Why would the youngest son have it on his chest? Confusing.

They should have set the show and filmed it in the Missoula area. That is the most beautiful part of Montana.

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Watched it last night.  Pilots tend to be a bit clunky, so I'll give it another chance.

I agree with many of you that I really dislike daughter Beth.  I had a hard time focusing with her terrible bangs and crooked teeth.  Shallow I know, but it took me out of anything she was doing/saying.  She is similar to how I feel about Lara on Billions - trying so hard to be badass that it's actually comical.

Another possible miscast is the lawyer brother, Wes?  He looks nothing like any of the others.  I know they could say he looks exactly like his mother, but his features are just so distinct, it's distracting to me.

Edited by roughing it
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The weakest character is the daughter and hopefully she gets better.

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The show is filmed mostly in Utah, near Park City; so was Wind River (I loved that movie).

I agree, Beth's hair looked like a wig.  I saw Flight, so it's hard to think of her as anything other than a drug addict!

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What is the significance of the branding? Why would the youngest son have it on his chest? Confusing.

It wasn't the younger son (Lee) who was brandishing the branding iron with the ex-con in the trailer. It was some kind of hired goon who had a similar look. And I'm not sure what the purpose of the branding is supposed to be. From what I could gather, some guy John (Kevin Costner) knew was asking him to hire his ex-con son at the cattle auction, then this branding iron guy showed up at said ex-con's trailer and told him he'd be working on the ranch from now on. It seems like maybe some of the workers are forced into some kind of weird, indentured servitude at this place. 

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Just watched this last night. The scenery is beautiful. But they almost lost me with the first scene with the accident and Costner had to shoot the horse.

The daughter reminded me of a female J.R. Ewing. It's kind of funny that when a man acts that way he is shrewd, cunning or just plain evil, but when it is a woman she is a bitch. 

I don't know if I like the new Chief of the tribe. He wasn't even raised as Native but he knows all about what the people need. I think that he knows what he needs and will do anything to achieve it.

I feel for the son who is married to a Native woman. I have a feeling that he is going to be torn between two families in this upcoming war.

That is all for now.

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We don't yet know why Kayce -- youngest son of Dutton -- is branded to the ranch, any more than we know why he spells his name that way. The man who wielded the branding iron was Rip, John Dutton's foreman and Beth Dutton's past.

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I watched the episode a second time.  The first time I was overly distracted by my problems with geography.  The second time, I decided I could buy most of the scenery as being the Gallatin Valley, and I can imagine the Crow Res being moved, for the purposes of fiction, a couple hours further west, and, if the Res could be relocated, for the purposes of fiction, so could the oil fields.   And there is a casino on the Crow Reservation...though the last time I drove by, it seemed relatively empty.  So I have suspended disbelief.

I agree with most other comments above..the writers tried to introduce too many plots at once.  And the Governor and Senator look somewhat alike, which confused me the first time through.  This has to be a US Senator...a state senator would not have much influence on Native American issues.

I wonder if Montana law really permits building a dam to power a mine or mill on the same property.  Water rights are a classic problem in traditional Westerns, and in old Westerns, plots often involved a Big Owner blowing up dams, etc., usually for nefarious purposes.  Also, Dutton appears to own all this land outright, but usually those big ranches are composed of big chunks of BLM or Forest Service land that have been leased long term for grazing purposes.  So all the dynamiting up on the mountainside in order to change the course of the river seems oh so unlikely in the 21st century.

However, on second viewing, I decided to put those kind of questions on hold, too.  I do have to say, though, that the good old time Western writers paid attention to such legal and geographic questions.  

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I love what Costner is trying to do.  The introduction of Dutton and of the perils of Montana with the putting down of the suffering horse was awesome.  This told me we were in for quite a ride.  And NO, I do not like animals suffering or dying.  This is fiction, ok?

I appreciate that we are expected to think.  Check that.  I cherish when we are made to think.  Sooooo much of entertainment leads us by our snouts to obvious and boring places.  This series has a chance to be different.

For me, the core tension is fantastic.  We may believe that we are all "modern" and "over" basics like land and water.  Headline news:  We aren't.  When harm, in whatever form, comes our way, we react as mankind has since its inception:  Self-interested survival.  Arguments are made as to how enlightened we have become.  To me, this series puts us where we have always been and always will be.  We're fooling ourselves if we think we've really changed all that much.

There is not much in our world which is causing more tension than tribalism in all forms.  The political backdrop in this show is a dang good window into some of it.  The U.S. Senator sympathetic to the tribe's anger and resentments and resultant claims is a really good and important character for us to consider.  Just what is owed?  Is anything owed?  These are massive and ongoing questions.   Good on this series for attempting to ask (force?) them.

The one serious misstep to my eyes was the prodigal son actively cutting away the fencing.  It was a good try to make it right in the big confrontation, though.  Now, he is a pariah on the reservation.  He has no real choice now other than to move home, or a gajillion miles away.  But, this being TV, he'll continue to try to square the circle by staying put and his family (in his code the highest good to protect and honor) will be in great peril.  Ugh.

Another broad issue is the cavalier exposition of the law.   There's a lot to it and it most assuredly would be coming down hard on all sides after the murders and the changing of the river's course.  Here is where I must suspend my greatest disbelief.

It was nice to hear "Ashokan Farewell" (used extensively in Burns' Civil War)  at the funeral service.  

The rest of the eps may be turrible.  I will still honor Costner's vision and his attempt to share it with us.

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On 6/21/2018 at 12:25 PM, lazylou said:

Are we to believe that the new tribal council chairman was not actually raised as a member of whatever tribe this is supposed to be?  It has been very difficult for non-natives to adopt  a native child for many, many years, and then, after all that, to raise the child in ignorance of his heritage?  really?

 

Really. It actually hasn’t been that long (relatively speaking) that adoption of native children to non-native families has been curtailed (the late 1970s). The reason it has become so difficult is because it was exceedingly common in the past for non-native families to adopt native children (children could be taken forcibly and assimilation into white culture was prevalent). Given the age of the actor who plays the Chief (64), it completely tracks that he could have been adopted to a non-native family and raised without knowledge of his heritage.

Edited by MrsWitter
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6 hours ago, Lonesome Rhodes said:

I love what Costner is trying to do.  The introduction of Dutton and of the perils of Montana with the putting down of the suffering horse was awesome.  This told me we were in for quite a ride.  And NO, I do not like animals suffering or dying.  This is fiction, ok?

I appreciate that we are expected to think.  Check that.  I cherish when we are made to think.  Sooooo much of entertainment leads us by our snouts to obvious and boring places.  This series has a chance to be different.

For me, the core tension is fantastic.  We may believe that we are all "modern" and "over" basics like land and water.  Headline news:  We aren't.  When harm, in whatever form, comes our way, we react as mankind has since its inception:  Self-interested survival.  Arguments are made as to how enlightened we have become.  To me, this series puts us where we have always been and always will be.  We're fooling ourselves if we think we've really changed all that much.

There is not much in our world which is causing more tension than tribalism in all forms.  The political backdrop in this show is a dang good window into some of it.  The U.S. Senator sympathetic to the tribe's anger and resentments and resultant claims is a really good and important character for us to consider.  Just what is owed?  Is anything owed?  These are massive and ongoing questions.   Good on this series for attempting to ask (force?) them.

The one serious misstep to my eyes was the prodigal son actively cutting away the fencing.  It was a good try to make it right in the big confrontation, though.  Now, he is a pariah on the reservation.  He has no real choice now other than to move home, or a gajillion miles away.  But, this being TV, he'll continue to try to square the circle by staying put and his family (in his code the highest good to protect and honor) will be in great peril.  Ugh.

Another broad issue is the cavalier exposition of the law.   There's a lot to it and it most assuredly would be coming down hard on all sides after the murders and the changing of the river's course.  Here is where I must suspend my greatest disbelief.

It was nice to hear "Ashokan Farewell" (used extensively in Burns' Civil War)  at the funeral service.  

The rest of the eps may be turrible.  I will still honor Costner's vision and his attempt to share it with us.

I, too, enjoy trying to understand the different plotlines, and are willing to put the time and energy in. Looks like as the series progresses, characters will be picked off as a result of the ongoing war between the Dutton's, the tribe, land developer, government etc. Already we have lost two family members. Looking forward to next week!

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This show is also reminiscent of Don Johnson's failed series Blood and Oil that was set in North Dakota. Kevin Costner is just a more natural fit for this genre.

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Costner's character continually dropping deep philosophical comments into regular conversation could get real old real quick.

Gil Birmingham doesn't seem to age. Good genes or good plastic surgeons?

Branding people? WTF? Worst frat ever!

I know zero about fishing but does riding your horse into the river you're fishing from actually work? It would seem to me like it would either scare the fish away or the horses' hooves would kill or injure a lot of them. Might as well just throw dynamite into the river and catch whatever debris comes flying out.

If nothing else I'm here for the magnificent scenery.

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Ratings-wise it seems successful.  Now I just need to force myself to finish watching it. :-) 

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Boosted by the star power of Kevin Costner, the two-hour series premiere of Yellowstone on Paramount Network averaged 2.8 million viewers in Live+same day to become the most-watched original scripted series telecast ever on Paramount Network — up triple-digits from the net’s primitive averages — and on its predecessor Spike.

https://deadline.com/2018/06/yellowstone-premiere-ratings-paramount-network-1202415767/ 

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