The mid-season finale ofYellowstone Season 5 in recent days has not only left fans of the hit Paramount Network drama underwhelmed — it’s also generated a wave of sentiment that we’re not used to seeing associated with creator Taylor Sheridan’s many shows for the network.
That sentiment we’re referring to is actually outright blowback from fans, who — now that Yellowstone won’t be back until the summer — are taking this opportunity to unload on a show they’re starting to find so many issues with. In fact, based on the Rotten Tomatoes scores, Season 5 of Yellowstone is currently the lowest-rated season of a Taylor Sheridan-created show as of the time of this writing.
Fans largely dissatisfied with Yellowstone Season 5
Critics seem to have, finally, come around to appreciating the series, about the Dutton family and their ranch empire in Montana. On Rotten Tomatoes, they’ve given the latest season of the show a strong 86%. Fans, on the other hand, are pretty much eviscerating it.
Yellowstone currently has a terrible 27% audience score on the review site — a far cry from the 83% audience score the show started out with way back in Season 1.
For the longest time, fans of the show — a kind of red-state Game of Thrones/Succession-style drama, bristling with dynastic squabbles and the machinations of a ruthless family patriarch — felt like part of a special tribe. The show was ignored for so long by the mainstream media, and industry awards eluded it. But it spoke to an America that wasn’t being represented or depicted in buzzier fare emanating from either coast.
‘A storyless, preachy bore’
Five seasons in, meanwhile, the show seems to have lost some of that special magic that drew fans to it in the first place. “A great, original, entertaining show has turned into (a) storyless, preachy bore about ‘cowboy life good, city life bad,’ one Yellowstone fan laments on Rotten Tomatoes. “Endless shots about cow herding and horses, cowboys saddling up … going nowhere … Sheridan, you have too many projects going on and you have neglected the star in your arsenal.
“Give us an interesting story with an old Western charm and don’t waste your talented cast. Otherwise, cancel the series.”
It gets worse from there.
“One word … BORING!” another fan opines. “They’re slowly turning Yellowstone into a show that belongs on the Hallmark Channel.”
The 1-star reviews keep coming for the show’s fifth season. They call for “less political crap.” Others lament that Beth’s character is too one-dimensional and that the show has gotten too slow, too predictable, and too over-long. “This season,” adds another, “has been painfully dull and a real slog to get through. The writers have decided to fluff out each episode with cheesy music montages instead of any meaningful storyline or dialogue. If you wrapped up this season into a movie it would resemble every bad romance movie made for Netflix.”
Other Taylor Sheridan shows
The good news is that if you’re sick of this one you can always switch over to one of Sheridan’s many other shows for Paramount Plus (like 1923, Mayor of Kingstown, Tulsa King, and 1883.) And beyond those, he also has at least four other announced shows in the works for Paramount’s streamer (as well as at least one untitled show he’s alluded to that no one knows anything about yet):
- 1883: Bass Reeves: This one is a spinoff of the 1-season 1883 and will tell the story of the first Black deputy US marshal west of the Mississippi River. Bass Reeves not only led a law enforcement career full of exploits like apprehending thousands of criminals — it’s also said that his life was the basis for the story of The Lone Ranger. No official release date for the show has been confirmed yet.
- Lioness: According to Paramount, this Zoe Saldana-led series is based on a real-life CIA program. Saldana will portray the station chief of the Lioness program who manages and leads undercover female operatives. (Coming this year).
- Land Man: Billy Bob Thornton will play the crisis manager for an oil company in Sheridan’s Land Man, based on the podcast “Boomtown,” which is said to be starting production this year.
- 6666: This Sheridan drama about the history of the famed Four Sixes Ranch in Texas will air on the Paramount Network, but then will almost certainly stream on Paramount Plus after that. No word on a release date yet (sometime this year is the latest estimate).