8/10 After a fantastic debut, “Yellowstone” returns for an extremely consistent second season, as both seasons have received an 8/10 from me. The vast majority of characters were already introduced in season one and there aren’t too many new characters to join the fold this season. Of the new characters however, two new villains pose such a threat that they unite three opposing forces (John Dutton, Dan Jenkins and Thomas Rainwater) to fight a common foe. Seeing the dynamic change from season one with being mortal enemies to having to work together was an interesting one. I loved how virtually all of the characters from main ones to supporting ones have something to do and get a character arc this season. I often thought the show was setting up for one thing only to have my expectations subverted as the show took a different direction. The writing and direction continue to be top notch and although he didn’t direct any episodes this season, I was very glad that Taylor Sheridan wrote or co-wrote every episode as his brand remains all over this season. Just like in the first season, Sheridan continues to slowly let the story unfold as he has multiple seasons planned out instead of throwing every strong idea out at once and then scrambling to come up with stuff for our characters to do as future seasons progress. Characters stay true to who they are and never do things outside of what is believable for them. There is more action this season compared to season one, although the vast majority of it takes place in the second half of the season. After a first successful season, some shows get too cocky and arrogant and have massive expansions and blow out their budgets with needless extravagance. They go with the “bigger is better” mentality and only raise the scope, not the quality. Season two of “Yellowstone” wisely avoids this mistake and keeps things grounded and believable while the stakes remain high for the Dutton family. There are still some unresolved issues that you know will come up in season three but enough conflict gets resolved to leave you satisfied when the season ends. My only complaints this season were that the season does start a little slow, especially compared to how thrilling the second half of the season is and I had one major problem with episode seven. Despite the climax of episode seven being perhaps one of the best parts of the entire season, the episode stood out for the wrong reasons due to its music. These episodes tend to have one or two modern country songs (usually one at the beginning and then definitely one closing out the episode) but episode seven felt overstuffed with songs, as if the director of that episode couldn’t just let the score take over or allow any room for silence and it was noticeable. Besides episode seven sticking out like a sore thumb musically and the first half of the season being much slower than the second half, this is still the most consistently great show currently on television and I pray we don’t see a dip in quality like other great shows have had near the end of their runs (i.e.- “Game of Thrones”, “Dexter”). As June and season four get closer, I am excited to begin season three and catch up on the best thing Paramount+ has to offer subscribers.

#TheTateEscape / #GrimesDoesntPay / #RipPoker / #LiveStockTrader / #TakeCattleAndRoll / #BethAndTaxes

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