, 08.16.2022 11:38 AM

My latest: the shit is gonna hit the fan over this one, y’all

Yellowstone is stupid.

Like: really, really stupid. Like, soap opera stupid. Like, stupid enough that it makes ‘Dallas’ resemble Shakespeare.

Also: Yellowstone is stupid for its politics. Which are deeply, unashamedly conservative.

Now, before y’all fire off (yet more) hate mail to my editors, and (yet more) hate tweets to me, I plead this in my defence: y’all wanted me to stop picking on People’s Party Pierre, so I’m doing that.

I’m going to pick on Yellowstone instead.

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.

Consider the evidence.

Screeching around the Montana countryside in a suspiciously-clean, tank-sized Limited Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi, perennial cowboy actor Kevin Costner plays John Dutton III with two (2) facial expressions: pained and more pained.

Here are the people he and his psychopathic children fight with:

• Native Americans, who would like the land back that was stolen from them, please and thank you.
• Over-educated, effete environmental protestors, who the Duttons get arrested, only to have their leader sprung from the slammer so John can have sex with her.
• The Government of the United States, which (as noted) above, is run by Deep State apparatchiks, bent on enslaving the God-fearing Duttons with jack-booted metaphoric stormtroopers.
• The aforementioned coastal elites, typically from California, who want to build golf courses and hotels, and thereby cut into the Dutton’s bottom line.

Indians, environmentalists, bureaucrats, liberals: those are the people with whom the Duttons do battle, every week – often with real guns, and sometimes trips to a euphemistic “train station” somewhere in Wyoming, where their assorted enemies are knocked off and then tossed off a cliff. If that doesn’t sound like a conservative wet dream to you, you haven’t been paying attention.

But pay attention to Yellowstone folks do, week in and week out. They can’t tear their eyes away, as idiotic as the plotlines may be. It is one of the most popular shows on TV, with as many as ten million Americans watching it every Sunday night. (In Canada, there is a higher viewer demand for Yellowstone than 99.7 per cent of any other TV dramas.)

Why? Well, sure, it harkens back to simpler time, when men were men, and women resembled the pneumatic Beth Dutton (who may be a sociopath but who always obeys her Dad).

But the main audience for Yellowstone, I suspect, is conservatives. As no less than the New York Times offered in a 1,600-word think piece this week, “Liberals aren’t watching Yellowstone for cultural reasons, and conservatives love it for ideological ones.”

Because Yellowstone is ideological, and it is conservative. But don’t get me wrong, effete liberal coastal elite I may be: I grew up in Calgary, totally surrounded by conservatives. If I didn’t make peace with them, I would be even more lonesome than I am now. I generally like conservatives: unlike we progressives, they actually have a set of beliefs.

And, now, they have their own show, presided over by Kevin Costner and his two (2) facial expressions. It’s dumb and dumber, it’s stupid, but everyone (not just conservatives) watches it.

Case in point: me. I confess I will probably watch it again, when it returns with season five in mid-November.

So who’s stupid now, Warren?

[Kinsella is in a punk rock band called Shit From Hell. That tells you all you need to know.]


  1. william shakesfeare says:

    Relax. Worry when the real Dutton yahoos come for our water. America is drying out. We have a lot of the Great Lakes. They have guns. Lots of them and they may have seen their last democratic election and fascists don’t do thirsty.
    Just a thought.

  2. Steve T says:

    All of that is probably true (I’ve never seen Yellowstone). However, here’s another possible reason it is popular – it is the antidote to dozens if not hundreds of TV shows that are the exact same oversimplified stereotype-fest for the left.

    Any critical analysis of most modern popular TV shows (in particular dramas) would indicate that they cater to the vast oversimplification of “white hetersexual men bad” and “corporations bad”. It’s been going on so long that it almost seems normal – but make no mistake, it’s just as ridiculous as Yellowstone.

  3. Arron Banks says:

    I think of shows like “Yellowstone” (and any non-serious drama really) in the way one Youtube reviewer recently put it about how poorly written the female characters on the high grossing “Top Gun: Maverick” were: it’s a fantasy for a specific demographic (notably male and conservative though not exclusively). Women and liberals have their numerous Hollywood films and TV shows that play into their fantasies, having a relatively harmless one for the other team isn’t necessarily always a bad thing (as long as we all recognize it’s just that; a fantasy lol).

  4. EsterHazyWasALoser says:

    Hopefully Ms EsterHazy doesn’t discover this show; being subjected to hours of Outlander was bad enough (not to mention that execrable “Grace & Frankie” thing. OTOH, anybody watch the Woodstock 99 doc on Netflix?

  5. Jason says:

    It’s okay, Warren. You can go back to shitting on People’s Party Pierre any day of the week with my stamp of approval.

  6. Rick Roberts says:

    My problem with the show is the plot, such as it is. It’s pretty bad when viewers can predict most of the episode from the first 5 minutes.
    Oh yeah, Dutton is sleeping with the governor, one son is (or was) the attorney general and another one the quasi military livestock commissioner.
    Simple doesn’t start to explain it.

  7. Pipes says:

    There are trace elements of metal in a snowflake. I’d rather just admire the snowflake and not think about the greater implications of its content-chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. I guess my point is, I watch Yellowstone as it gives me the opportunity to remember the cowboy I was when I was 6 and once again ride into the sunset.

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