It’s the most-watched cable TV, streaming show in history. Now in its 5th season, the neo-western “Yellowstone” commands audiences of more than 12 million with some episodes. The series showcases a tough talking, hard living Montana family with a massive ranch, “Dallas” style (Remember that 80’s TV show?). The ranch, named Yellowstone, is supposedly the largest spread in the state. Four seasons had gone by before my wife and I finally tuned in to season 1, episode 1. Why? So many Christians had raved about it and claimed it was a must-see experience. We expected Hollywood to go gutter with sex and violence as in most movies, but we quickly found that Yellowstone was far worse that imagined.
After the first 15 minutes I lost track of how many times God’s name had been used in vain; how many crude sexual expressions, including the F word, had been tossed around in casual comments. Then there was a sex scene with two of the main characters. It was violent, abusive, and bordering on S&M. It was so bad that even the scoundrel Larry Hagman (remember him) must have rolled over in his grave. But what’s worse is the amoral universe of depraved values exhibited by each character. (If you’re not familiar with that word “amoral” it means totally lacking any sense of rightness or wrongness.) The word immoral supposes a standard from which character and behavior departs. AMORAL connotes being without ANY sense of consequence regarding actions and intentions. Let me repeat that. Amoral means having NO concern about the consequences regarding one’s actions and intentions. Psychopathic!
The themes of Yellowstone are murder, shooting victims not once but multiples times to emphasize the violence. Taking the law into one’s own hands; politicians bought and sold; betrayal; cutthroat manipulation. That’s Yellowstone. One character opines that the only way to stop evil is to kill it. The lead female character, Beth Dutton, daughter of Yellowstone’s owner, responds with the venom of a Jezebel demon, “The way to kill is to be meaner than evil.” Her self-interest and that of her rancher father is the only thing that matters. The character Rip, Beth’s lover, describes killing as “a favor.” Beth adds, “I believe in loving with your whole soul and destroying anything that wants to kill what you love.” For those lines, she has attained the status of a cultural heroine with a line of T-shirts saying, “Don’t make me go Beth Dutton on you.”
Yellowstone is a moral low point for American culture. It is cinematic proof of the biblical description in Judges 17:6, “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” To which Proverbs 14:12 adds. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” You may argue that “Yellowstone” is just a movie, but I warn you that if you become immersed in watching this series, you contribute to the moral demise of America and your soul may be in jeopardy of Hell!