The Ranch is in Laughter Drought
Television shows can’t get any drier than The Ranch
May 11, 2016
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Anyone with Netflix has probably stumbled upon the original series, The Ranch. After watching the trailer, I was immediately unimpressed by the set design, and after viewing the pilot, I stand by my first instinct: This isn’t going to be good.
The whole story isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. The son of a divorced couple comes back home to his family’s ranch because he has a football tryout (he left the ranch to play football in the first place.) When he realizes the family ranch is in financial trouble, he decides to blow off his football career to help out. It’s all pretty cliché.
Even the relationships between the family members are nothing that makes you ask for more. It’s all been done, and frankly overused. I admit that there were a few funny scenes that made me laugh, but the constant over acting by Ashton Kutcher who plays the football player son, Colt, makes it hard to watch. I found myself constantly checking how much time was left until the show was over, and that’s never a good sign.
Even the names prove the show is trying too hard; Colt, Jameson (who goes by Rooster), the older brother who stayed at the ranch, and Beau, the grumpy, slightly racist father. Isn’t that a little too country? However, all these characters are played by exceptional actors, Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Debra Winger and Sam Elliott.
Still, the actors can’t really make up for the less than adequate set, storyline and acting. Everything is incredibly over acted, and you almost can’t help but laugh at what is supposed to be a serious heartfelt scene. The writers seem to pull every cliché interaction possible. There’s the brother leaving the ranch and not speaking to his father for years, the younger brother feeling stuck at the ranch, and, to top it all off, a drought that can ultimately lead to the father losing the ranch. These plotlines are overused and hard to watch.
The comedy wavers between the undeveloped humor of middle school students and the unsophisticated humor of today’s adults. Sex jokes, racist slurs and idiotic behavior riddle the show. For a good amount of the episode, Kutcher–who was delivering a calf– had his arm rammed up the rear-end of a cow, and the writers “milked” that one for the next 30 minutes, using the smell as a continuous joke!
If you’re looking for a genuine laugh, do not start here. The only thing you’ll find is an elite cast wasting their time on an inane show that more than likely won’t get another season. The Ranch gets about 3.4 out of 10.