The following is a quick review of the first season of The Ranch, a Netflix Original Series. The review is based on the ten episodes released on April 1st, 2016.
The Ranch is the newest ‘Netflix Original Series’, and it boasts a pretty stellar cast. Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson, who both appeared on That 70s Show, reunite as brothers who work on their father’s ranch, and that fact is what really got me interested in the sitcom. I had a lot of fun with That 70s Show, and wanted something just as good from The Ranch. But I’m not sure it is good enough to be in that type of comparative conversation.
The Ranch sees Colt Bennett (played by Ashton Kutcher), a 34 year old former college quarterback, return home to work on his father’s (played by Sam Elliott) ranch with Colt’s brother Jameson ‘Rooster’ Bennett (played by Danny Masterson). Colt is stuck in a rut, and doesn’t know whether or not he should just quit his dream of becoming a professional quarterback.
I really, really like Ashton Kutcher – I always have – and he is my favorite person in the cast. Colt is a much sadder character than his characters from Two and a Half Men & That 70s Show, and I liked seeing him take on this kind of sitcom character. Though neither Masterson nor Elliott’s characters, at least I thought, were that different from what we know them from. But Kutcher, Masterson, and Elliott are all perfect for their roles.
The Ranch was created by two former Two and a Half Men producers, and is, for the most part, a by-the-book laugh-track sitcom. What is very different, though, is the fact that the show is allowed to use profanity, and its episodes can (pretty much) be as long as the show-runners want them to be.
But that last thing is sort of a problem for the show as the episodes don’t always have enough content for each and every episode, thus the show leaves us with episodes that linger too much on generic sitcom-scenes. This does make some of the episodes feel very drawn out, and that was a problem.
Ultimately, while I didn’t love the show, I think there is a lot to enjoy with The Ranch, there are many worse laugh-track sitcoms on television, and I would definitely be open to watch more episodes in the future.
I, honestly, think that the series opener might be the best episode of the season based solely on the amount of chuckles it got from me, but where I thought the series stood out was with the more dramatic moments. The Ranch‘s best moments might’ve been the ones that saw its characters question where they were in their lives.
– I’m Jeffrey Rex