“They’re anti-heroes at best”: Taylor Sheridan’s ‘Yellowstone’ Gets Dissed as Fans Claim Prequels are Way Better for 1 “Positive” Reason

Yellowstone prequels are oddly-placed for their principled portrayal of the Duttons, contrasting with the main show’s morally complex characters.

Portraying the ranching family of the Duttons and their quest over generations to thrive in the legacy of their land, Yellowstone has had quite an impact on the drama genre. Starring Kevin Costner as John Dutton, the series has pulled off compelling storytelling, complex characters, and the exploration of themes such as power, loyalty, and survival.

At the same time, the Taylor Sheridan-written show has also become a larger-than-life fiction series with its several spinoffs forwarding the march.

Kevin Costner overlooking his shoulder as John Dutton in a still from Yellowstone
Kevin Costner as John Dutton in a still from Yellowstone | Paramount Pictures

Forming a narrative that reflects the struggles and conflicts of the American West’s history, the franchise has only received a glow-up ever since its prequel shows, such as 1883 and 1923, have rolled out on streaming platforms. While they have maintained the intense drama and stunning cinematography synonymous with its parent outing, they have more or less differed in their approach to the Dutton family, confusing viewers who chose to start first with the prequels.

Yellowstone prequels are completely different from itself in one aspect

Set in contemporary times, the Kevin Costner starrer has garnered enough acclaim for its story around the largest ranch owners in the United States. In contrast, its spin-offs, 1883 and 1923, set in the past, have focused on exploring the origins of the family’s legacy. As a result, a major difference between Yellowstone and its two prequels stems from their handling of the Duttons – resilient, determined, and tough in the latter and morally ambiguous in the former.

A still from 1883 showcasing the cast
A still from 1883 | Paramount Pictures

The plot for 1883 has James and Margaret Dutton determined to establish a legacy for their family. In pursuit of the same, they endure hardships and showcase survival. Similarly, 1923 has Jacob and Cara Dutton mirror historical struggles from events such as the Great Depression while also putting forward a strong face of authority.

Almost a century later, Yellowstone brings forward John Dutton and his family who play cunning politics and are often far from righteousness. While he gives it all to protect his family’s legacy, there certainly lies a villainous aspect of his character, a far cry from his predecessors. Despite Yellowstone being the cherry on the cake of the franchise, its prequels take the prize home for principled characters.

 

Fans put forward their theories behind this change of heart

Screen-grab of a scene from Yellowstone featuring Kevin Costner with a grin
Screen-grab of a scene from Yellowstone featuring Kevin Costner | Paramount Pictures

A viewer on Reddit put forth this very observation about completely altered family dynamics between the prequels and Yellowstone. Moreover, they also arrived at their judgment of having the Dutton family evolve from “righteous, upstanding, hardworking folk that place family first” to a “divided, despondent, entitled and conniving” set of individuals, making them a perfect suitor for the title of “anti-heroes”.

Replying with their understanding, fans pointed out that the time leap of centuries does indeed play a huge role in the outlook of characters. With each generation adapting to the challenges of their time, the Kevin Costner outing involves modern threats like land developers and political conflicts, and thus, his drastically different moral preferences.

 

Fans put forward their theories behind this change of heart
Screen-grab of a scene from Yellowstone featuring Kevin Costner with a grin
Screen-grab of a scene from Yellowstone featuring Kevin Costner | Paramount Pictures
A viewer on Reddit put forth this very observation about completely altered family dynamics between the prequels and Yellowstone. Moreover, they also arrived at their judgment of having the Dutton family evolve from “righteous, upstanding, hardworking folk that place family first” to a “divided, despondent, entitled and conniving” set of individuals, making them a perfect suitor for the title of “anti-heroes”.

 

Replying with their understanding, fans pointed out that the time leap of centuries does indeed play a huge role in the outlook of characters. With each generation adapting to the challenges of their time, the Kevin Costner outing involves modern threats like land developers and political conflicts, and thus, his drastically different moral preferences.

 

 

 

 

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