So we watched the premiere of Season 4 of Yellowstone, last night ...
... and I was very non-plused - in fact, even disappointed.
My husband, Mark, enjoyed it more than I did, but agreed that it had too many "WTF?" moments and appeared disjointed.
Just a forewarning - spoiler alerts for this post.
Okay, so when a show has become a caricature of itself and resorts to implausible stunts to draw in viewers, but it's so absurd that it actually results in the opposite effect, we say it has "jumped the shark."
This show-business phrase originated from that time that Fonzie literally jumped a shark in a pool on water skis of the latter episodes of Happy Days lol
So essentially, "jumping the shark" means you can only suspend the disbelief of your audience so far, before you start to lose them.
In other words, the two-hour premiere was not only disjointed, but highly implausible, too anticlimactic, led us on wild goose chases, repeated story lines, and focused more on gunfights and explosions than it did substance - how these events and struggles emotionally affected the characters other than more calls for gun battles and revenge, which is the last thing that anyone in the situation needs.
For example, for starters, exactly how many times is Jimmy going to fall off his horse and become nearly paralyzed, but instead makes a miraculous recovery?
And after little man Tate shoots an intruder attacking his mother, Monica, both then just disappear from the show completely, for the next two hours?
Now, as we know, Kayce, Monica, and Tate are the only moral centers of the show - when they're missing, we notice.
We see Kayce later, but Monica and Tate - where are they are, after Tate shot the intruder, what happened to them, and why, again, is Kayce now wondering the fields in a Gilly suit? (More on that below.)
And there was no way Beth could've survived that explosion at all, much less with one small strategically-placed, cheekbone-enhancing scratch on her face?
Yes, her back was severely burned, but how is a minor cheekbone-enhancing facial scratch and a severe back burn even possible, since Beth was standing only a feet a way from the explosive package, directly facing it?
And she sure did heal awfully quick, didn't she?
As did John from being shot several times.
As did Kayce, who we already knew was prepared and survived the initial round due to his special forces training, but is later shot and down on the ground, after chasing down the two guys in the van that shot his dad.
When we next see Kayce, it's apparently months later, but he's now inexplicably traipsing through the field in a Gilly suit with a high-powered rifle, like a crazy man, and as if he was never hurt.
We have no idea where he was shot, how many times, nor what the extent of his injuries were, nor do we fully understand why he's dressed like that, months after the attack?
So we're like, "Oh - I guess he's okay - other than he looks like the Grass Man/Sasquatch of Montana, in that ridiculous camouflage, which actually makes him more conspicuous, instead of less, in that environment."
And again, I didn't fully understand why he was wearing that - because John was coming home from the hospital and he was trying to protect him?
Or because he was being overly cautious/vigilant and exhibiting his PTSD on full display, months after the attack?
By the way, SPOILER ALERT ...
Yes, implausibly, everybody survived the Dutton family hit - even though there's no way a couple of them would have survived in real life.
Except apparently that poor mom with a flat tire that was gunned down simply for witnessing the hit on John - right in front of her child, mind you - or Beth's assistant that opened the explosion box - neither of whom were ever mentioned later.
Guess their lives weren't important to mention because they're not Duttons or Dutton-branded hands?
Okay, so - what I initially liked about the show, in addition to complex characters, was their ability to find justice outside of the American plague that is frivolous corporate and political lawsuits, filed by people with more money than God based on BS, simply to try to intimidate and obtain even more money and power - even though truth be told, if the Duttons themselves weren't rich, white people, too, there's no way they could get away with their particular brand of justice, doing what they do :/
However, another American sickness that plagues us is concern just for ourselves and our own families, behaving as if we are living in some post-apocalyptic society, though we are not - and that aspect of the show has actually gotten worse this season.
Apparently, it's only important that the Duttons survive and eff everyone else, including innocent single moms and lowly assistants?
And let's face it, the Duttons aren't exactly a Norman Rockwell painting, and have engaged in some pretty nasty, illegal stuff themselves, and have not themselves been above murder, when all else fails, in order to keep that ranch - not to mention branding your ranch hands as if human beings are your property?
And if John would just sell half of his 500,000 acres to Rainwater, the tribal chief, already, to do with as he pleased and have to deal with corporations himself, this would all be over anyway, but he won't.
And the emotional reactions of the Duttons themselves, and their branded, after the attacks was just like, "I nearly died, haha, oh well, next."
I felt like I was watching a Michael Bay film rather than Yellowstone ...
... long on big explosions and gunfights, short on substance.
The only aspects I liked were these two ...
First, the way that Mo - Rainwater's bodyguard/casino security, - handles that racist A-hole, who in addition to telling the Native American Blackjack dealer that we "gave" and "allowed" Native Americans casinos - also stupidly bragged, truthfully or not, about his part in the Dutton hit, captured on casino security footage - and then demanded a "thank you" for both.
We love Mo - he's a quiet, spiritual bad ass :)
I also liked the introduction of the new potentially adopted "Little Rip" character, although Rip himself is initially unnecessarily cruel/verbally abusive to him at first.
Beth was harsh to him at first, but changes her tune and finds her heart, after she learns more about his situation, which reminds her of a young Rip - but Rip himself was just merciless and unnecessarily verbally abusive, at first, until he realizes he's a little him, 20 years ago, deserves a chance, and that he can be taught.
Hoping it gets better, but it's like they tried to pack too much into too little time?
I realize COVID was a hindrance, but other people figured it out, so-?
I'm wondering if show creator/chief screenwriter, Taylor Sheridan, just didn't try very hard, because he's too busy now working on several new shows, particularly his other 2 series about to premiere - the prequel, "Yellowstone: 1883" and "The Mayor of Kingstown?"
However, that premiere certainly did NOT change my previous list of my top 5 best streaming shows of the year and at least thus far, won't be added, that's for sure.
Sorry, folks, I hate to be so negative about it, but I was sorely disappointed - they can do better!