A Series I Hate to Love: THE RANCH

“Don’t let your children grow up to be cowboys …”

is the musical refrain of opening credits that follow an introduction to seven seasons  of half hour episodes of Ashton Kutcher’s adult redneck soap opera. I didn’t binge watch more than two or three at a time but was addicted to this show for the many weeks it took me to get them all. Set your remote to skip the credits else you will be haunted by that music all day with its Rocky Mountain images behind a gate to Garrison Colorado population 517.

The characters are folks I’d never intend to befriend, their politics so red state conservative I was appalled, but something about the upside-down ways they show love had me hooked. Two Bennett brothers Colt and Rooster in their early 30’s, work the family’s cattle ranch that has been in father Beau’s (Sam Elliot) family for generations. His moustache and eyebrows walk into the room before him. Beau and Maggie (played by a Debra Winger you won’t recognize she’s had such a good facelift) divorced ages ago but maintain close contact.

Scenes in the local watering hole Maggie bought as a business include many references to drinking, so many I thought the series was funded by the alcohol industry. Have a problem? Have a beer. Or many. Yet the downside of drinking is referred to many times. Both brothers have a history of DUI’S they sometimes and often not were jailed for. A character in the final season who steals from the till at Maggie’s bar nightly won’t admit her own cocaine habit.

I won’t spoil the story lines but there are unintended and intended pregnancies, love lives left and begun again, references to distant relatives in rehab or jail, and yes, a wedding and a funeral. The writing and acting are so good, the belly laughs outnumber the groans, that I suggest you watch and get as I did, a deep look into a reality that still today exists more widely than this aging Democrat would like to admit.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.