Paramount Network's non-woke TV series "Yellowstone" was the most-watched show or movie in America last week, according to the Daily Mail.
The two-episode premiere starring Kevin Costner averaged 8.12 million viewers over its two-hour running time, setting an all-time high for both the series and the network. It also set series highs among adults 18-49 with a 1.56 rating, The Hollywood Reporter said.
"Yellowstone" avoids coastal cities and political correctness, putting a lens on rural Montana, the home of Costner's cattle-ranching character John Dutton.
"Yellowstone takes a kind of comfort in the leisurely pleasures of a world where everything is as it should be," Emily VanDerWerff, a TV critic for Vox said.
The show has received little media curiosity despite its high viewership, and the attention it has attracted has been critical.
"Yellowstone tries to be so expansive and soap-operatic that there's barely any realism in it ... testosterone grit-fest," Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter wrote.
Kathryn VanArendonk of Vulture described the show as "supremely masculine," an "American, whiteness-inflected ethos of how 'Yellowstone' yearns for the world to work."
Costner, who also serves as executive producer on the show, was once a Republican turned Democrat. However, he announced during the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries that he had become an independent.
"The Democratic Party doesn't represent anything that I think, and neither does the Republican Party right now — at all," Costner said to the Daily Beast last year.
Costner has been vocal about involving the history of Native Americans in "Yellowstone," something he sees not as a political issue but a historical one.
"It's not always a pretty picture, but it's so wonderful to understand it, and only in understanding it can you develop an empathy, and can understand that we wiped out over 500 [Native American] nations," Costner told the Beast.
After the show's groundbreaking two-episode season premiere, "Yellowstone" will continue this Sunday with episode three.
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