For some reason, leftists are peeved at Kevin Costner’s series, Yellowstone, because it is a “conservative” show. Who can ever tell what idiocy wafts through a left-winger’s confused head, of course, but like nearly everything else they “think,” this contention is wrong. Yellowstone is NOT a conservative show.
The series conceived by producer and writer Taylor Sheridan, now in its fifth season, is a gritty, sweeping soap opera epic set in the great American western state of Montana. If features wide landscapes, proud cowboy traditions, and characters constantly talking about rugged self-reliance.
But it is not a show aimed to relate conservative principles even as it almost seems to be cloaked in them.
The series stars Costner as John Dutton, the owner of the legacy ranch, The Yellowstone, which his family founded just after the Civil War in the 1880s. It follows Dutton, his family, and loyal employees as they battle enviro nuts, rapacious real estate developers, and even local Indian tribe members, all of whom want his ranch disassembled and its lands distributed to others.
OK, yeah, that “sounds” like a sort of conservative-leaning plot, right?
But looks can be deceiving. Firstly, there are no heroes in this show. No character is someone you can root for, except maybe for Dutton’s son, Kayce (Luke Grimes), who seems to be the only upright person anywhere to be found in the series, but who is also a somehawhat minor character.
Costner’s Dutton is portrayed as a stubborn, single-minded force of nature who is not above ordering the murder of anyone who opposes him. But it is easy to miss the fact that he also rarely gets his own hands dirty, preferring instead to have his employees and sons do his killing.
His daughter, Beth (Kelly Reilly), is a psychotic, out of control, and ruthless banking professional who’s only interest in the law is in how she can use it to destroy her and her father’s enemies. She is also violent, drunk, and wholly without morals.
Dutton’s adopted son Jamie (Wes Bentley) is a mewling, weakling who falls under the control of every self-interested operator that he meets, and this season is even turning against his own family to enrich himself.
Loyal ranch boss Cole Hauser (Rip Wheeler) might seem like the no-nonsense kind of man you could rely on. But he is also a merciless killer who mistakes loyalty for morality.
Ancillary characters are not given gauzy treatment, either. Business men are all portrayed as arrogant, unprincipled goons who place cash over everything, and who are not above a wink and a nod at murder to attain their ends. The rich and powerful — including the stars of the show — use politics and the law as weapons, not as civilizing forces. And we’ve even been treated to mindlessly positive portrayals of the LGBTQ agenda along the way.
Indeed, the characters go on and on like this, each one more blood thirsty and free of a moral compass than the next. None of this is a portrayal of “conservative principles.”
So, no, there is nothing innately “conservative” about the show.
However, creator Taylor Sheridan does have the ability to put his left-wing messages of anti-business, pro gay themes in a show with great subtlety, without beating you over the head with it, and making his shows entertaining on top of it all.
In fact, his storytelling is so compelling that he has already spawned two successful short series detailing the history of the ranch before our modern era with his already aired Yellowstone: 1883 and the currently airing Yellowstone: 1923.
Sheridan’s Yellowstone universe also might “seem” conservative” since leftist TV media reporters and reviewers hate it because in their facile reckoning they think it’s conservative.
Take, for instance, the hate-filled review of the series by the Toronto Sun’s Warren Kinsella, who wrote:
‘Yellowstone’ is stupid. Like: really, really stupid. Like, soap opera stupid. Like, stupid enough that it makes ‘Dallas’ resemble Shakespeare……Among conservatives, ‘Yellowstone’ isn’t just a hokey TV show about cowboys and horses and the Wild West. To them, it is The Way The World Should Be. To them, ‘Yellowstone’ is the perfect antidote to the Deep State, woke folk, and liberal coastal elites.
To them, ‘Yellowstone’ is a love letter to lonely conservatives, who long for the return of their spray-tanned messiah, presently flushing the nuclear codes down one of the 1,000 toilets at Mar-A-Lago.
This idiot’s “review” misses the mark in every way possible showing that he went into it with a preconceived notion and then just went with that without actually taking a second to really look at the show at all.
So, why do conservatives like it? The fact is, unlike liberals, conservatives are able enjoy a show even if it does not exactly line up with their world view. And it the show doesn’t punch you in the face with its extremist, left-wing agenda, conservatives will flock to it. Especially if it is cinematic, sumptuous, and compelling as Yellowstone.
Sure, Yellowstone has a legion of conservative fans.
But Yellowstone is not a show that extols conservative principles.
It’s just a good show that is more interested in telling a good story than it is in promulgating a left-wing narrative.