Now in its fourth season, Kevin Costner’s wildly successful, Western melodrama Yellowstone is a powerful geyser that keeps spewing off sequels.
Created by Taylor Sheridan, the Paramount Network’s saga revolves around gruff Montana cattle king John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) battle to keep his sprawling Yellowstone Ranch out of the hands of wealthy land developers. At his side are his hellcat daughter/lawyer Beth (Kelly Reilly) and her husband/foreman Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser), who brands devoted ranch hands with a “Y.”
There have already been assassination attempts on John, Beth and John’s son/livestock commissioner Kayce (Luke Grimes), necessitating reprisals. Duplicity emanates from John’s adopted son, resentful Jamie (Wes Bentley), egged on by his bitter biological father, Garrett Randall (Will Patton).
The upcoming fifth Yellowstone season will be comprised of 14 episodes which will air in two installments, beginning this summer.
Meanwhile in its inaugural season, Taylor Sheridan’s ‘origin’ prequel 1883 follows John Dutton’s great-grandfather, Civil War veteran James Dutton (country singer Tim McGraw), his wife Margaret (Faith Hill, McGraw’s real-life wife), their grown daughter Elsa (Isabel May) and much younger son John (Audie Rick). as they travel from Fort Worth, Texas toward Oregon in a wagon train.
Many pioneers were Central and Eastern European immigrants who hired guides to take them across the Great Plains to the West, where they could claim ‘free’ homesteads. Most didn’t speak English, had never ridden a horse or held a gun. While they encounter Native Americans, the leading causes of death were falling off their wagons, disease (cholera) and marauding bandits.
Additional cast members include Sam Elliott, Marc Rissman, LaMonica Garrett and Billy Bob Thornton as a tough, terse U.S. Marshal. Tom Hanks appears briefly in a flashback to the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam (1862), which claimed nearly 23,000 lives but spared wounded James Dutton.
Coming up, there’s 1932,”which will chronicle a new Dutton generation during the westward expansion, Prohibition and the Great Depression in the early-to-mid 20th century. Its central character will be John Dutton’s father.
On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, Yellowstone and 1883 are both engrossing, highly entertaining 8s, streaming on the Paramount Network.