‘Yellowstone’ Ranks as Most Popular Series This Year on Major Streaming Platform

by Courtney Blackann

It’s definitely no surprise to our Outsiders that “Yellowstone” was ranked the most-watched television series by Roku users. The show’s wild success is a testament to Taylor Sheridan’s impressive vision for the western drama. Further, the Dutton family’s complex dynamic and modern tale of cowboys living on the edge has spurred the spinoff “1883.”

Even sweeter, because of “Yellowstone’s” dedicated fanbase, “1883” received record viewership for its premiere, which was the highest in six years for a streamed TV series.

“Yellowstone” notably follows John Dutton, played by Kevin Costner, as he tries to save his vast Montana ranch. The Dutton family is made up of imaginative, yet real, characters who battle personal demons and enemies of the Dutton property. The Sheridan epic is beautifully set in the Montana hills and serves a gritty narrative. Simply put, fans can’t get enough of the Duttons.

Despite its wild success, “Yellowstone” still hasn’t received any major awards. However, Sheridan says he could care less what critics think. Don’t get us wrong, the show is, indeed, critically acclaimed. But the popular series has yet to see major hardware.

Taylor Sheridan’s Take on “Yellowstone” Critics

“I don’t care if critics hate it and I don’t care if they like it,” Sheridan says. “I’m not resentful. I just simply do not care. I’m not making it for them; I’m making it for people who live that life. The audience has expanded beyond that because, you know, a lot of people love westerns.”

Additionally, Sheridan’s vision of the show is less of a western soap opera and more of a continual story of hardship and determination. The creator makes it a point to bring authenticity and conflict to the forefront. And it doesn’t hurt that the cinematography is stunning.

“I think one of the reasons the critics haven’t responded to Yellowstone is that I’m breaking a lot of story rules,” Sheridan says. “I’ll jump the plot ahead for no reason whatsoever except that I wanted to, and it’s entertaining. The people who get it eat it up, and the people that try to look at it with a critical eye see a mess.”

He goes on to say:

“But that’s what I love about Yellowstone, the way that it flows from being campy to melodramatic to intensely dramatic to violent. It’s every old western and new western and soap opera thrown together in a blender. And yes, I think it infuriates and confounds some people who study storytelling. They don’t understand why this thing’s such a hit.”