HomeCELEBSThe Western is at its peak

The Western is at its peak

- Advertisement -


When you reach the top, what do you do next?

That’s what’s on John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) mind at the beginning of the fifth season of Paramount Network’s western “Yellowstone” (Sundays, 8 EST/PST, ★★★ out of four), after he begrudgingly ascends to the highest office in Montana . It’s also probably on the mind of Taylor Sheridan, creator of “Yellowstone” and two spinoff series (Paramount+’s “1883” and “1923”), now the master of his own little TV universe just as John is master of his not-so- Little swath of Montana land. Both Sheridan and the man he created are at the top of their game, but there is a risk that both of them may fall.

“Yellowstone” is the biggest series on TV, massively popular even as streaming takes over and Hollywood goes through massive change. In its fifth season it remains one of the most reliably watchable series around, a Sheridan-specific cocktail of soapy melodrama, violence, romance and gorgeous mountain views that keeps viewers wanting more. But it’s hard not to wonder when the Western, which is beginning to show its age, should come to an end.

More:Kevin Costner talks ruling as ‘Yellowstone’ governor, and real politics: ‘I’m disappointed’

Season 5 brings more of the same, righting some of the messier narrative wanderings of the inconsistent fourth season and giving audiences what they want: John against the world, daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly) against adopted son Jamie (Wes Bentley) and son Kayce ( Luke Grimes) and his wife Monica (Kelsey Asbille) against their very bad luck.

Sunday’s premiere picks up on election night, when John easily wins the race for governor, which he only entered to spite Jamie, and is now stuck with a lot of duties he couldn’t care less about. It’s fitting that, when dressed in a suit for his gubernatorial life, John almost always wears a black tie, as if he’s at a funeral for his rancher life.

Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton and Cole Hauser as Rip Wheeler in Season 5 of "Yellowstone."

Beth, however, is ecstatic at her father’s new position and the perks that result from it (being cruel to her brother, more money and power). Her somewhat rushed marriage to ranch hand Rip (Cole Hauser) is going well, at least as far as their dysfunctional relationship can. The youngest Dutton, Kayce, is settled into family life with pregnant Monica and his work with the livestock enforcement agency.

More:Everything to know about ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 (and see Kevin Costner as Montana’s governor)

There are, of course, always forces trying to take the Duttons down and take their land away. The first two episodes made available for review set up a number of conflicts and villains, including rich Caroline Warner (Jackie Weaver) and fixer Sarah Atwood (Dawn Olivieri).

‘Yellowstone’ Season 5:How to watch it

Even as “Yellowstone” remains the entertainment equivalent of a nice steak dinner – always good, always predictable, no real need to fuss with the formula – there is just the slightest hint that things are going stale in Season 5. New characters and conflicts are introduced, but they feel just a shade too repetitive of seasons past. There’s the bullish female executive and the rich outsider, and the same members of the Dutton family seem to wind up in the hospital over and over again.

Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton in Season 5 of "Yellowstone."

At a certain point the same old comfort food can get tired: audiences hunger to try new flavors. “Yellowstone” has not passed its expiration date yet, but the new episodes suggest that it is not a well that can be drawn from infinitely.

A series as popular as “Yellowstone” isn’t going to end too quickly, not if its corporate overlords have anything to say. But the longer it runs, the greater the chance the series will lose its luster. Eventually, maybe soon, the sun has to set on the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch for a final time.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
Must Read
- Advertisement -
Related News
- Advertisement -spot_img