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TV Series Review

"Meanwhile, back at the ranch …"

The cliché seems to come from old silent movies. Moviegoers at the time weren't used to the whole whiplash scene changes that we are today. So to transition from one plot point to another, directors often made use of "screen titles" to indicate that, "Hey, we're shifting time or moving locations now, so don't freak." And at first, the phrase probably referred to, y'know, an actual ranch.

But those screen titles were expensive to put together, and budget-minded directors sometimes used slides from earlier movies: "A year passed" was a favorite recycled slide, for instance. Or "wedding bells," because almost all silent movies always had some sort of nuptials. And even though not all silent movies had a ranch, somehow that slide, "Meanwhile, back at the ranch …" got used again and again anyway.

See? Now you can impress your friends with a new little nugget of old information. I wanted to make sure that you reading this review was not a complete waste of time. Because, frankly, the show we're reviewing here might be.

A Little Ranch Dressing

Colt Bennett was a high school football hero back in the day. A talented quarterback, he wowed the small town of Garrison, Colo., with his athletic acumen and then rode off the family ranch with nary a look back—the possibility of superstardom within his grasp. But while Colt could throw a football with the best of 'em, he also excelled at getting thrown out of every organization that gave him a chance. He drank too much, slept around a lot and had a habit of punching team mascots in the face. At age 34, it seems unlikely that the Patriots'll be giving him a call anytime soon.

But when he returns to the ranch, things aren't much better. See him on the street, and you’d think Colt was living the dream—albeit a different one than he had before. He’s finally settled on the ranch, married to the girl of his dreams (Abby) and together they have a newborn daughter.

But Colt and Abby can’t help but wonder if marriage isn’t for them as they struggle to keep their love afloat in Season 7. Colt’s pops, Beau, is still slaving away at the ranch day and night but now has his new bride, Joanne, to hopefully make him a bit happier. And as for Colt’s older brother Rooster, well, Rooster is presumed dead after his motorcycle is found at the bottom of a cliff. Colt and Beau aren’t buying it. In fact, they think that Rooster was murdered, and they’re still trying to unravel the mystery. (In reality, Danny Masterson, who plays Rooster, was kicked off of the show after sexual assault allegations surfaced).

And now that Rooster is gone, former soldier and goofball Luke (played by Dax Shepherd) is the new hand at the ranch. And with Luke’s arrival and Rooster’s departure, The Ranch has gone from pure comedy to drama-filled soap.

The Big Bovine Theory

Even if it has gotten a little soapy, The Ranch still feels very much like a standard Chuck Lorre comedy (think The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly and star Ashton Kutcher's old show, Two and a Half Men) but without all those broadcast restrictions that Lorre felt were so irksome. Sure, Kutcher's Two and a Half Men character Walden Schmidt may have talked about sex all the time on CBS. Netflix might show him having it. And those "clever" made-up phrases for various private body parts or sex acts that successfully dodged the censors in Men? No need for that obfuscation, either. If Beau's ranch was showered with as much rain as it is profanity, well, the place would be a fish farm instead of a dust bowl.

In the first episode, Colt confronts his pops with the man's tendency to drive people away. Colt left. Beau's wife, Maggie, left. If the gate's left unlatched even the cows will leave. Sounds like a hint that maybe we should leave, too.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

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Objectionable Content

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Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

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Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Sept. 13, 2019: "Perfect Storm"
The Ranch: April 1, 2016 "Back Where I Came From"



Readability Age Range





Ashton Kutcher as Colt Bennett; Elisha Cuthbert as Abby; Grady Lee Richmond as Hank; Danny Masterson as Jameson 'Rooster' Bennett; Debra Winger as Maggie Bennett; Sam Elliott as Beau Bennett; Megyn Price as Mary; Kathy Baker as Joanne; Dax Shepherd as Luke; Kelli Goss as Heather; Barry Corbin as Dale; Josh Burrow as Nick






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On Video

Year Published


We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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