Review – The Ranch


by Taylor Lunsford

As Netflix continues to produce more original content, they are beginning to attract bigger. Hollywood names to be part of their projects. The Ranch is the newest of those products. The Ranch features the reunion of That 70’s Show stars, Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson, as well as legendary tough guy Sam Elliott as a broken family who comes together to save the ranch they grew up on.

While many will look forward to Kutcher and Masterson coming together again for a sitcom, they will be disappointed to know that The Ranch cannot compare to That 70’s Show, where the two actors got their start. The show is mediocre at best, and at times, can be just straight terrible. Through the entire ten-episode first season, I maybe laughed at a joke two or three times. It is difficult to decipher who the producers thought the audience was going to be when they came up with this concept, and it is even more difficult to see anyone calling for a second season.

Audiences will immediately notice the atrocious laugh track which becomes a distraction within the first two minutes of the pilot.  It frequently comes off a poorly-timed and seems to be used as a tension breaker at the most inopportune times. The people who complain about the laugh track on shows like The Big Bang Theory will have a field day with this.

To be fair, the show does get better after the pilot episode.  It is by far the worst pilot this writer has ever seen, and I do not know if I could have continued with the show if a friend had not been there with a beer to help get the awful taste out of my mouth.
The actors do eventually get into a groove with their characters, although, none of them appear to be putting in much effort. Sam Elliot should be ashamed of himself for agreeing to this project, because it is by far the worst thing he has ever acted in. His character is so one-dimensional, and this is overused as one of the shows only jokes. Kutcher and Masterson do have good chemistry with each other, with Masterson throwing one-liners out constantly, but few of their jokes hit.

This show could have worked if it would have reveled in its dramatic moments more, yet it insists on making everything a joke.  Issues that would easily cause major turmoil in most families are played off as comedic here. This makes the characters seem completely implausible, and the audience is unable to connect with or relate to the situations.
The show does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, but it is not enough to make the audience want to see more of this appalling attempt at comedy. Audiences should not give in to their curiosity, and this is a show that should be skipped at all costs.


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