Garry really wanted to watch Yellowstone. He was being his own special kind of nag. Every time we watched something else, after it ended he would say: “NOW can we watch Yellowstone?” Subtle. Very subtle. I had wanted to watch a couple of movies, “Black Beauty” among them. “Black Beauty” (Disney+) was nothing like the book. Even though I adore horses, it was super treacly. Maybe someone thought the original story, set in London in the late 1800s, would not “speak” to the current generations. Or as Hollywood frequently does, felt they wanted the name of the book, but not story. I find that very annoying. If you’re going to write something entirely different, call it something else. 

By then I was ready to watch “FUCKING YELLOWSTONE!” This series was produced by none-other than Kevin Costner, He has made a couple of great movies, a lot of mediocre movies, and some really awful movies including his version of “Wyatt Earp.” I’ve tried to watch it, but haven’t gotten through the first 10 minutes. It was released at the same time as “Tombstone.” Costner did his best to try to prevent Tombstone’s release. Costner was a top dog in Hollywood those years and thought he could do anything. He couldn’t, but he tried hard.

He was unsuccessful. Over the years, “Tombstone” has become many people’s favorite or nearly favorite western. It’s definitely my favorite. I can do dialogue with it. On the positive side of giving the show a try, he made “Bull Durham” and “Tin Cup,” both of which I like a lot, especially “Bull Durham” which has a great script, cast, and they can all act. Even Costner acts and currently, he has become just a bit wooden. He’s good at “small, personal” roles. Not as great at “big” movies. Think “Water World,” (1995) for heroic movies where he wasn’t.

Thus going into this series made me twitch. It might be okay. We had just finished the last two seasons of “Longmire.” I love the original books by Craig Johnson, a writer from Wyoming. The series is smart and intelligent. The series has wandered far from the books in terms of script, but the characters are more like the characters in the book. A bit more “roughed up” to make them more violent (of course) and more energetic. In the books, there’s a lot of sitting around with witty dialogue. The series is more shoot’em up and tense. I like the show anyway. You get to see nuanced characters who learn something from previous episodes and don’t always do the same thing every show. Sometimes, top-quality scriptwriting.

“Yellowstone,” or as we have come to call it “Fucking Yellowstone,” is like Longmire on steroids, meth, and cocaine. “Yellowstone” may be the show which uses the “fuck” most often. Garry looked up the reviews. There were a handful of people who objected to the obscene language, often because it is gratuitous where fuck is used to replace commas. We start counting “fucks” as soon as opening credits are finished and are disappointed if they don’t hit a full dozen three or four minutes into the show. Sometimes the fucking use of fuck in every paragraph is like a magic act. Where can I fit the word fuck? Oh, how about here?

It’s a violent show which fortunately does not show actual blood and gore. It was shot in Montana, possibly on Costner’s land. I’d have to check this out because I could be wrong. It’s about a particularly brutal rancher and his equally violent, dysfunctional family. They are trying to hold on to their enormous ranch and cattle and horses in the face of mobsters and corporate degenerates (who also say fuck every third word). All these “city folk” want to destroy the land by building casinos, hotels, and power plants while drilling for oil or are they already drilling? The opening credits suggest it, but so far, I haven’t seen the oil rigs. They did dig up a dinosaur, though. That was cool. I know a lot about the dinosaurs up in Montana and Wyoming. I think Wyoming gets the big prize for the best ever set of Tyrannosaurus bones. You’d have to research this, but that was the last I heard.

So every night, the show goes on. Lots of murders and shoot-outs. All the cowboys look alike. It’s a bit weird because I watch the show and I’m not sure who is who. They all have the same kind of beard, 10-gallon (or however many gallon) hats and they swear constantly. These days, when Garry’s had enough of the previous night’s Colbert and Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, and John Oliver, he turns to me and says: “You want to watch “Fucking Yellowstone”?

“Fuck yes,” I reply.

Then we watch the fucking show. It’s a good time for me to catch up on email being as the plot is pretty much the same as every “big ranch” movie you’ve ever seen, albeit the language is a lot more raw. Do you think they talk that way the do so they will seem “tough?” I’d like to sum it up by saying it’s a lot like Dallas with family intrigues, mob money, corporate angst, and a lot of people with significant attitudinal issues. Their family dinners are about as bad as you might imagine. They are just a fucking tragedy.

If you’ve seen “Rustler’s Rhapsody,” this is a similar story except “Yellowstone” lacks the humor and with of “Rustler.”

Also, I’ve begun to think of Yellowstone as perhaps the real backstory to the Ponderosa. This is what happened behind the sweetly g-rated show. Forget all that nice, friendly family fun on the giant ranch. This is the way it really was. No one is nice. No one is kind. There’s no “soft side” to “dad” or ranching. Or even any hope that things will get better because just running the ranch means everyone is deeply in debt.

I think maybe last night was the end of a season. Not sure. We haven’t been keeping track and I’ve missed a lot of parts of each episode because this is also the time of night when I realize I’ve got nothing ready for tomorrow’s post, so I start putting posts together. This is a show for people who want violence, horses, the new old west, with more violence, thuggery, and guns, Native Americans are behaving only half as badly as the White People around them, but I have a feeling they will catch up. Just give the show one more season. The mob is moving in. Uh oh!

Also, I should mention that in terms of style, especially the way visuals are used, the design of the credits, and the brilliant way they are using music. The music really IS excellent and might be the highlight of the series along with its cinematography. It reminds me (a lot) of the HBO series “Tombstone.” Whoever is directing it worked for or was heavily influenced by that earlier show. It certainly has the cinematography and pacing down perfectly.

For Western fans, if you can cope with the violence and foul language, go for it. Just don’t take it too seriously. Fucking right!

Categories: Entertainment, Family, Hollywood, horses, Western movies

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18 replies

  1. So, we’re talkin’ BONANZA, or BIG VALLEY, with the word “FUCK” thrown in every so often?

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, with the word fuck used hundreds — possibly THOUSANDS of times — per episode. It’s like Goodfellas — with horses.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t really think so. Like pretty much every story, writers think or are taught how to introduce the beginning and plot, the middle with introduction of an issue or danger or such problem, and then the process of solving or not solving any or all of those issues. Just like the Hallmark movies. I’m old now, but I used to love Bonanza, The Big Valley, Rawhide, and The Roy Rogers Show. Still do.


      • Garry like 1893 which is part of the series. They have really toned down the language and the violence, but they pretty much spoiled the show for me in the first couple of seasons. I love Westerns. I don’t even mind cursing when it’s a reasonable part of the natural speech. But Yellowstone was not only foul in language, it was also ugly on a lot of other levels. Not for me.


  2. I had to laugh at your description of Yellowstone: “is like Longmire on steroids, meth, and cocaine.” My husband loved Longmire. He watched it twice and really hoped for another season. Alas. Not gonna happen. But he will not remove if from our listing on Netflix. Fuckin’ hoping for another season…. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe they’ll change their mind about Longmire. They have before. If they don’t bring back the show, the books are pretty good and in audio, even better. And Craig Johnson churns out a book every year like clockwork. We’re ALL still hoping for one more fuckin’ season.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Haha, so Garry wears you down. A bit like my husband sometimes. I must admit, Marilyn, I haven’t watched Yellowstone or Tombstone.


    • I stopped watching Tombstone (the mini-series, not the movie) because it was the kind of gory violence that gives me the creeps. I probably wouldn’t be watching this, but Garry is. I don’t even know what’s going on most of the time because I’m writing. But he finds it “interesting,” especially the way the script veers from soap opera to street thuggery in a nanosecond.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. There are a few movies and TV shows that I’ve just got up and walked out on because of the profanity. Some film makers and audiences seem to think that profanity is effective and realistic. It’s not. It’s just vulgar and unnecessary. Have you ever watched a good Movie or TV show and when it ended and you said to yourself “That was really good, but it would have been better if there was a whole bunch of swearing in there.” NO, you haven’t . Because it wasn’t needed and would actually have taken away from things. I feel the same way about so-called Comedians who stoop to sex jokes. They have no imagination are playing to an audience of like-minded idiots. It’s sad to see any production that may have been worthy of my attention destroyed by small minded garbage like this. Costner, who has been in some great stuff (like Field of Dreams) has really hit the bottom of the barrel.


    • I wouldn’t mind the profanity if it had some kind of significance. But they use it like commas in the sentence. It has actually become a joke. Garry looks at me and points out no one has said FUCK in three or four minutes, but sure enough, someone does. It is, to say the least, unimaginative. I’m sure they think the cursing makes the show seem tougher, but it really doesn’t. A few swear words thrown into a script when appropriate is one thing. This is something else. And I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean it to be funny. Which it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoy “Yellowstone,” even though it’s violent, dysfunctional, and has few, if any, sympathetic characters. But the filmography is stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is one fucking awesome series for its useage of the “F” word more often than bullets mowing down good and bad guys.

    See you at sundown — this town isn’t big enough for both of us, Pilgrim. Ya better come packin’.

    Fuckin A – you illiterate boor. Y gotta bodge?

    Yeah, I got a bodge and your fuckin’ necking is gonna be swinging in the mother-fucking breeze, pilgrim.

    Happy Trails, my fuckin’ buckaroos.

    Liked by 1 person

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