One Poorly-written Yellowstone Character Shows That Spin-off Shows Splitting Taylor Sheridan’s Focus Could Cause Even Bigger Problems After Kevin Costner’s Exit

Taylor Sheridan’s balancing act between original content & its burgeoning spin-offs gives birth to critical conversations!

Since its debut in 2018, Yellowstone has ascended to become a juggernaut on TV, bewitching audiences with its rugged landscapes & intricate family drama centered around the powerful Dutton clan. Created by Taylor Sheridan, the Paramount series portrays family dynamics, power struggles, and fierce loyalty to land & legacy.

But what happens when a poorly written character, like young Tate, becomes a hot topic among fans, raising fears that spin-off shows are diluting Sheridan’s focus on the main series? This situation becomes even more dire with the shocking departure of juggernaut Kevin Costner.

With a focus on power struggles & family dynamics, Yellowstone has gained popularity as a TV series since its 2018 premiere.

Introduced in the inaugural season as the young son of Kayce Dutton (played by Luke Grimes), Tate Dutton, portrayed by Brecken Merrill, was innocent amidst the tumultuous world of ranching and politics. However, as the series progressed, Tate’s characterization failed to resonate with fans & critics alike.

Yellowstone: Tate’s Character Arc Raises Concerns About Taylor Sheridan’s Series
While Yellowstone continues to win our hearts with its intense drama and stunning scenery, one character has left fans scratching their heads: Tate Dutton. Despite being the only child in the show for the longest time, the character’s poorly written character development has reservations raised among viewers.

Tate (Brecken Merrill), who debuted in Season 1 as Kayce Dutton’s son, is portrayed as a young, innocent boy who looks up to his father. However, fans have faulted the writers for doing a “terrible job” of creating a not-so-compelling storyline for Tate, making him appear cowardly and annoying at times (via Reddit). Tate’s dialogue seems forced and unrealistic for a child his age, according to fans who have expressed their disappointment.

Tate’s poorly written character raises concerns that Taylor Sheridan’s focus is stretched too thin on spin-off shows instead of the main series.

Merrill’s acting abilities were put to the test at the start of Season 4. But this was not the first time, as Tate’s traumatic storyline has required the actor to explore a wide range of emotions on multiple occasions. As one viewer noted (via Reddit):

Brecken [Merrill] aka Tate Dutton is a great actor but he really needs more parental supervision… this kid testifies a shootout involving his dad… [kills] a rattle snake in an enclosed space, [survives] a rushing river and hypothermia, and i ‘m only like 4 episodes in. Tough kid.

But the issues surrounding Tate’s character are just the tip of the iceberg. With news of Kevin Costner’s exit from the show due to script delays, concerns over the future of Yellowstone have intensified. The actor, who plays patriarch John Dutton, revealed in an interview with GQ that Taylor Sheridan’s focus on multiple spin-offs has caused delays in completing scripts for the main series.Tate’s poorly written character raises concerns that Taylor Sheridan’s focus is stretched too thin on spin-off shows instead of the main series.

Kevin Costner’s Critique: The Role of Spin-Offs in the Yellowstone Universe
Back in 2023, Kevin Costner announced his exit from Yellowstone, shortly before it was made public that the show would contain after the second half of its fifth season. But since then, Taylor Sheridan and Paramount have not been on good terms with Costner.

Kevin Costner revealed in an interview with GQ that Taylor Sheridan’s focus on multiple spin-offs has caused delays in completing scripts for the main series.

In an interview with GQ, Costner expressed frustration over the production delays, attributing them to Sheridan’s commitments to the various spin-offs:

The scripts never came. And so then at one point they told me that we don’t have an ending or anything. I said, ‘Well, if you want to kill me, if you want to do something like that,’ I said, ‘I have a week before I start. I’ll do what you want to do’.

According to Costner, “other shows became more important”, in reference to the several spin-offs that have recently been given the go-ahead. As the actor explained, he was eager to continue his role on Yellowstone but was met with uncertainty as Sheridan juggled the demands of spin-off productions.

Moving forward, the fate of Yellowstone now rests on Sheridan’s ability to realign his creative energies and prioritize the main series. The departure of Costner, a linchpin of the show’s success, underscores the urgency of resolving these issues. Splitting Sheridan’s focus across multiple projects could spell disaster for the main series, potentially leading to a decline in quality akin to the missteps of Game of Thrones.

We hope that Sheridan can steer Yellowstone back on course, ensuring that future episodes do justice to the rich narrative tapestry and keep fans engaged. Afterall, we only have half a season to go before the story concludes.

Stream Yellowstone on Peacock.

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