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TV Takes: A grizzled Kevin Costner leads ’Yellowstone’

He stars as the patriarch of a seventh-generation ranching family in this show on the Paramount Network.
TV Takes illustration
TV Takes illustration [ LISA MERKLIN | Times ]
Published Sep. 2, 2020

Name of show: Yellowstone

When it debuted: June 20, 2018 (Season 3 just ended)

Where you can watch it: Paramount Network

What’s it about: Oscar and Emmy winner Kevin Costner stars as John Dutton, the patriarch of a seventh-generation ranching family that has amassed pretty much all the open space in Montana. And boy, do they aim to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep it. It’s a modern-day Dallas (and yes, there are even glimmers of the Godfather) set in the gorgeous wilderness. Bears and wolves make cameos.

Is it worth watching? The show is a hit. The grizzled Costner — in a Stetson, spurs and shiny big belt buckle — moves a bit more gingerly around the ranch nowadays. His voice sounds like what you might imagine if you tossed a couple of pushpins into a blender. But there ain’t no doubt who’s running the whole dag-gum state. He’s a man of few words, but every syllable seems to carry the force of a sledgehammer pounding mountain granite into mush. It’s his best role since the Bull Durham/Field of Dreams/Dances With Wolves era ended 30 years ago. A superb cast surrounds him. Featured as his adult children are Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes and Wes Bentley. We could do without some of the secondary plot lines in the bunkhouse. But the writing is crisp, the scenery breathtaking. Reilly, as the fragile yet powerful daughter, steals every scene she’s in. The series has been renewed for a fourth season and oh my, do we have cliffhangers.