The People vs Beth Dutton: ‘Yellowstone’ Fans Come for Men Claiming She is ‘Badly Written’

by Jon D. B.
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Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton in Yellowstone Season 4. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

Whether you love to hate or hate to love Beth Dutton, the onset of Yellowstone Season 5 has her at the forefront of the entertainment conversation once again. And few television characters are as divisive as the Dutton daughter, so the cattle-skin gloves are off.

When Kelly Reilly introduced us to Beth in 2018, her electric embodiment of the fearless financier took television audiences by surprise. The role is not only unlike anyone Reilly’s ever played, she’s also wildly unique to modern television. With the writing of Yellowstone mastermind Taylor Sheridan, Beth would steamroll her way into the hearts of millions, becoming a Western icon in the process.

The Shift Came with ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4

Nowadays, there’s everything from wine glasses and blankets to t-shirts and bumper stickers with Beth’s lines (And Reilly’s face) on them. But it took a few years – and a few key lines of dialogue – to get to that point. And once the machine that is now Yellowstone caught on to Beth’s hold over America, things began to change.

It all started with a little one-liner that goes something like this:

“You are the trailer park. I am the tornado.”

Beth Dutton, Season 3, Ep. 5

It was the line heard ’round the world. It’s a snappy piece of dialogue, too; one that Sheridan made sure Beth earned through one hell of a first-half of Season 3. Then came the raucous Yellowstone Season 4, and Beth was gunning for the one-liners right out the gate.

Before we could even finish an episode of being back in Beth’s world, she landed this one on us:

“I am the rock therapists break themselves against.”

Beth Dutton, Season 4, Ep. 1

A shift came with this line. It’s clever, sure, but a bit too on-the-nose; even for Beth Dutton. Audiences weren’t given any time to breathe with Beth before she began, well, being herself. It didn’t stop there, either. As the season continued, Beth felt like she had a quota for one-liners that had to be filled: One per episode, or the people riot.

‘In a world populated by Kayce, Monica, John, Rip, and others who continued to speak as human beings, something about Beth began to feel out of place

Is this accurate to audience’s hopes? For some, sure. There’s no more quotable character on television today. Personally, I found Season 4 highly entertaining, which is exactly what Yellowstone is: entertainment. But I also found myself a bit put-off by some of Beth’s more unnatural sounding dialogue. In a world populated by Kayce, Monica, John, Rip, and others who continued to speak as human beings, something about Beth began to feel out of place.

It was only during scenes where the dialogue felt forced, however. And this was far from a Beth-centric problem, too. So why does Beth get the sharply pointed hate online?

Sexism is a prevalent issue, yes; something that will shock precisely no one reading this article. But outside of men (and women) screaming BURN HER on the internet, there’s a much more likely candidate for the hate.

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Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton in Yellowstone Season 4. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

Reilly’s such a powerful actor that if she gives a one-liner her all, it’s going to stick with you forever. And so far, the London-born actor has done nothing but 100% convince us she’s the heir to a broken Montana ranch the size of Rhode Island. Reilly’s all in, and as a result, her lines are not easily forgotten.

But there are some who simply can’t get past Yellowstone‘s moments of forced dialogue. Has Beth become a “badly-written” cliche? Them’s fighting words, indeed, so it’s time to get the fans in on this debate.

‘Yellowstone’ Fans Delve Deep: For & Against Beth Dutton

If there’s one place online to find unfiltered opinions at-length, it’s Reddit. And just in time for Season 5, one fan has opened the flood gates on our very question over on Reddit’s Yellowstone Board.

The honor belongs to Housing_Dilligent, who comes for the many men shouting “Beth is terribly written” on the social media platform with a rebuttal of her own.

“I’ve seen the main arguments being ‘bad writing’ but I think y’all just don’t like strong women?” she begins. Shots fired!

The Redditor also cites multiple cases of Redditors saying Beth Dutton is “Written like a man thinks a strong woman should act,” but says this “is also BS because women like her exist and I’ve met them.”

To Housing_Dilligent, a passionate female fan, “All of the Yellowstone characters are severely flawed and have very unlikable features, so why single out Beth?” It’s not like Kayce Dutton “is father of the year, or Jamie isn’t conniving and ruthless,” she continues. “Someone give me a real reason Beth should have multiple threads about why she sucks.”

Fellow fan female_gazing09 takes the bait, and jumps right in. “I don’t think you’re wrong (and I also love Beth and she’s my favorite character). But I do really hope next season provides a little more growth for her because those are my favorite moments,” she adds. “Like when she lets her guard down and eats breakfast with (for) Rip. Or when she has to apologize to John. I think those are her shining moments.”

But,” as the Redditor emphasizses, “they wouldn’t work if we didn’t see the truly ‘terrible’ side of her also. That’s what makes those softer moments important and impactful. I’m hoping that the kid/Carter and being married now is an opportunity to show more growth from her next season.”

Beth Dutton is Central to the ‘Strong Women’ Debate

It’s another Redditor, however, that tackles this Beth Dutton defense head-on. “Strong women do not scream at, yell at, and physically attack people in fits of rage,” sandpiper2319 replies.

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Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton in Yellowstone Season 4. (Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

“They have better control of themselves. A man acting like she does would not be considered ‘strong.’ He would be considered a bully,” they continue. “Unfortunate that you cannot consider a woman to be strong unless she is violent.”

While some of this rings true, Beth is certainly one of the least violent characters on Yellowstone. Every man in her life has wracked up an unbelievable body count through repeated murder (or beaten others to a pulp). But Beth rarely resorts to physical violence. Instead, her method of choice is absolutely psychological warfare. And in that department, no character on television today has Beth beat. Female or male; one-liners or no.

The debate rages on regardless, one that’s sure to burn brighter after every episode of Yellowstone Season 5. And whether you love or hate her, Beth Dutton is sure to be back with a vengeance come Nov. 13.

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