Since a mostly unsuccessful period replacing Charlie Sheen as the other half of the two men in Two and a Half Men, Ashton Kutcher has been predominantly known more for his philanthropy, as the founder of human rights organization, Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children. The organization is geared towards stopping the exploitation of children and child pornography on a global scale. He’s also known to be a venture capitalist. A minority of the population hear the name Ashton Kutcher and still think of him as an active actor as a poll recently showed. Yet, he’s been one of the lead in the Netflix show, The Ranch for three seasons since 2016.
Netflix bullish march to becoming the number one source of entertainment in the modern world has seen it develop and greenlit many shows and films. Unfortunately, a number of them have gone below the radar despite being good. The Ranch falls under that category. It is not a groundbreaking sitcom, but it will surely make you laugh and feel good at the end of it.
The Ranch was developed by Jamie Rhonheimer and Steve Tompkins. The show is exclusive to Netflix produced under the production company, Ranch Hand Productions.
The Ranch – Synopsis
The Ranch is a sitcom set in the fictional town of Garrison, Colorado. The show details the life of a family in the small town, the Bennetts. A dysfunctional family that consists of a rancher father, two brothers, the divorced wife of the father and a local bar owner. They live on the ranch, Iron River Ranch.
Despite its lack of mainstream popularity, The Ranch features some big names in the industry other than Ashton Kutcher himself. Here are the cast of The Ranch
Cast and Characters
Ashton Kutcher – Colt Reagan Bennett
Ashton plays Colt Reagan, a man whose pursuit of a professional football career after a successful career at high school and college level ended with mixed success. He returns to his hometown, Garrison, to his father’s ranch after 15 years. Although his primary motive of return was the continuing pursuit of a pro-career by trying out for a semi-pro team, he ultimately stays and helps his father and older brother on the family ranch.
Due to his long absence from the ranch and the family, Colt has little to zero ranching skills and this, along with the disappointing end of his football career makes him the target of jokes on the ranch. His character traits include being a heavy drinker and has a tendency not to use his common sense. He does, however, have a big heart.
The show so far has done little to state categorically the teams Colt has played for but other than Florida State and Saskatoon Cold, his shirts on the show suggest he has played for teams like Barcelona Dragons, Orlando Predators, Minnesota Axemen, Philadelphia Soul, among others. In recent episodes of the show, Colt is currently married and expecting his first child.
Danny Masterson – Jameson Ford Bennett
Danny Masterson plays Jameson Ford who usually goes by the name, Rooster. The show’s dynamic makes a comparison between Jameson who stayed on the ranch and shouldered the responsibilities and Colt who left in search of a means to become a big shot.
As the older brother of Colt, Jameson is a more level-headed thinker although he does harbor some bitterness towards Colt for leaving the responsibilities of the ranch to him alone and the fact he lives in Colt’s shadow. Not exactly perfect, Jameson flaws include alcoholism and sex addiction.
Danny Masterson, who like Ashton Kutcher is also an alumnus of That 70s Show has appeared in several films and television shows. Danny was on The Ranch for 3 seasons. Much like the flaw of his character on the show, Danny was written out in the third season as a response to allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
He was accused of rape by five women, with a sixth accusation coming from Cedric Bixler-Zavala, the vocalist for the band, At The Drive-In who claimed his wife was raped by Masterson. Netflix., therefore, released a statement on December 5, 2017, firing him from the show. So far, he hasn’t been charged by the police.
Debra Winger – Margaret “Maggie” Bennett
The veteran actress plays Margaret Bennett, the mother of Colt and Jameson on the show. Debra is a stage, film and television actress and has been acting since 1976. She has appeared in notable films like Terms of Endearment, A Dangerous Woman and Black Widow. She has been nominated and won several awards.
On The Ranch, she is divorced from Colt and Jameson’s father, Beau (Sam Elliot). She owns a bar and lives in a trailer behind. Her characterization paints her as an open and caring person to whom her sons usually come for advice. She is also a hippie and a chronic marijuana smoker.
Elisha Cuthbert – Abigail Phillips-Bennett
The Canadian actress plays Abigail, a Garrison High School teacher and was the high school sweetheart of Colt. In recent episodes of the show, she’s currently married to Colt. Before The Ranch, a much younger Elisha Cuthbert featured in America’s action-packed counter terrorism TV series, 24. She has also appeared in films like Just Before I Go and Love Actually.
She started her career in 1996 and is currently married to Dion Phaneuf, a hockey star who plays for the Los Angeles Kings.
Sam Elliot – Beau Roosevelt Bennett
Veteran actor, Sam Elliot plays the grumpy old man, Beau Bennett. He’s the patriarch of the Bennett family and he is characterized as a difficult man to work with who is perpetually annoyed with everyone and everything. As the father of Colt and Jameson, Beau is portrayed to have a strained relationship with his sons. He hates modern technology and inventions and is a vocal critic of politicians. He is also a Vietnam War veteran.
Played by Sam Elliot who has been the leading Hollywood man for ranch roles and cowboys due to his physique and Western drawl. Sam has been in the acting industry since 1968 and has notable films to his credit such as Road House, The Big Lebowski, Thunderbolt Ross. His recent performance in A Star is Born has earned him critical acclaim.
Outside of the ensemble of the main cast, recurring actors and actresses on the show include Barry Corbin, who plays a hearing-impaired veterinarian and close friend of Beau, Dale Rivers. Others include Megyn Price, Kathy Baker, Wendie Malick, and Kelli Goss. The show has featured some special guests such as Jon Cryer, who was a co-star with Ashton Kutcher on Two and a Half Men. Others are John Amos, Jim Beaver, Nancy Travis, among others.
Season and Episodes
If you are looking to kick back, grab some popcorn and enjoy some of the farm humor of The Ranch, but you are wary of having too many episodes to catch up on, don’t.
The Ranch so far has just three seasons and each season has 20 episodes. Each episode, like the average runtime of a sitcom, is 24 minutes long. The show is also divided into Parts, which each parts being 10 episodes long.
The Ranch has received fairly or mostly positive reviews depending on whatever Film/Television review site you trust. The show currently has a 70% rating on the aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes based on over 120 reviews. On Metacritic, it has a score of 56/100 based on the reviews of 20 critics.
Other Important Facts About The Ranch
The show films in Burbank, California
Although the show is set in Colorado and its opening sequence shows scenes from Norwood and Ouray in Colorado, the show is actually filmed on a sound stage in Burbank, California.
It doesn’t have a laugh track, per se.
While you might hear laughing on the show as a typical laugh track, it is not. The show is filmed in front of a live audience on its soundstage studio in Burbank.
All Episodes are named after American Country Music Songs
The Ranch takes its connection to American rural culture very seriously. All of the show’s episodes are named after country music songs. The first part of the show is named after Kenny Chesney songs, the second part after George Strait, the third part is named after Tim McGraw, the fourth is after Garth Brooks, and Dolly Parton rounds up the fifth part of the show.
The Parts are released separately
One of Netflix’s benefits is it allows you to binge an entire season of a TV show at once, saving you of the dread and anxiety of waiting a week for new episodes. However, that is only partly true for The Ranch. While each part’s 10 episodes are released at once, the complete season isn’t.
There is a Fourth season
For those who are looking to start binging and are worried Netflix might yank the chain when they’ve fallen in love with the show, fear not. Netflix announced on October 31, 2018, that the show has been renewed for a fourth season.
The show’s theme song “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” is sung by Lukas Be and Shooter Jennings.