The Ranch

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Netflix original series basically said "let's put the case of 'That 70's Show' on a Colorado Ranch, and make fun of red-states". You'd think with that premise, it would be a disaster -- but it the first couple Season's were good. Then Danny Masterson got "MeToo'd" over "rape", aka having sex with his sleeping wife a couple decades ago, and she stayed with him for 3 more years. Then he was killed off, and the show lost its tone and wandered for another season and a half before mercifully going to the slaughter house.

It's a weird structured series -- 4 seasons, broken into 2 parts each (8 total), with 10 episodes each. It was filmed on a sound stage and it felt like it. The premise is that Ashton Kutcher (Colt Bennet), comes back form his failed football career to work the cattle ranch with his cantankerous father Sam Elliott (Beau Bennett), and his alcoholic older brother Danny Masterson (Rooster Bennett). Ashton also goes after his high school love interest Abby. The show is a ton of Beau calling Ashton and Danny a dumbass... kinda like that 70's show -- while they figure out ways to get drunk, instead of getting baked like on that 70's show. I assume it had the same writers, and they lacked any creative imagination -- other than at thinking up one-liners and dialog, which they were pretty good at.

The show found the right balance, if you like over-the-top offensive jokes (highly sexual)... and while it made fun of dumb hicks working farms (totally belying the sophistication required to run a complex agri-business, or any small business), it somehow kept enough endearment towards rednecks as to be tolerable. Then Season 2 1/2 happened with Masterson getting thrown off the show, and the show went darker, more politically correct, lost a lot of funny, and never found a balance or the right dynamic again.

So it's worth watching until Rooster dies... then it was barely worth watching just to see the story arc's end, somewhat miserably... with a lot more virtue signaling in the last couple seasons. Oh well, we watched it during COVID lockdowns, and it started better than most of the stuff on regular TV.

🗒️ NOTE:
There's a lot of nuance in the Danny saga. I don't claim to know what happened, but ultimately 5 women came forward with a similar story of them having long term relationships (and them staying long after the alleged incidents), but the common thread seemed to be he'd had sex with each of them after they got too drunk to consent. But a lot of it seemed centered around the Church of Scientology (which they belonged) - and this seemed to be attacking the Church (some of it was around promoting a book that one of them wrote)... and the Women claimed they had went along at the time, because the church taught that women should please their men. The LAPD charged Masterson of 3 of the 5 "rapes" that allegedly happened back in the early 2000's.


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