Yellowstone Is ‘Designed for Them to Hate’ According to Show Creator

By: Alex | Published: Jan 30, 2024

Taylor Sheridan, creator of the hit show “Yellowstone”, made recent comments that were defiant of critics.

Some critics have decried the direction the show has taken and criticized it for its narrative structure and the way it handles characters. These criticisms have led to the show getting negative reviews, despite how successful and beloved it is by its audience.

Sheridan Doesn’t Care about Critics

During a New York Times interview, Sheridan spoke candidly about his feelings for haters of “Yellowstone.”

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“I don’t care if critics hate it, and I don’t care if they like it. I’m not resentful. I just simply do not care. I’m not making it for them; I’m making it for people who live that life. The audience has expanded beyond that because, you know, a lot of people love westerns,” Sheridan told the New York Times.

Taylor Sheridan’s Theory about Why People Have Criticized the Show

Sheridan offered a theory on why the show seems to rub critics the wrong way.

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“I think one of the reasons the critics haven’t responded to Yellowstone is that I’m breaking a lot of story rules. I’ll jump the plot ahead for no reason whatsoever except that I wanted to, and it’s entertaining. The people who get it eat it up, and the people that try to look at it with a critical eye see a mess,” Sheridan explained to the New York Times.

Yellowstone Mixes Themes and Genres

Another point that Sheridan noted that may work against the show is its ability to mix tones and genres.

A bison grazing in Yellowstone Park.

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Sheridan told the New York Times that, “the way that it flows from being campy to melodramatic to intensely dramatic to violent. It’s every old western and new western and soap opera thrown together in a blender. And yes, I think it infuriates and confounds some people who study storytelling. They don’t understand why this thing’s such a hit.”

The Negative Reaction from Some Critics Might Be Intentional

Taylor Sheridan had previously been a guest of The Joe Rogan Experience. During his interview, he told Joe Rogan that the show sometimes goes out of its way in its design to make critics hate it. 

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“In that, I have a lot of opportunities to poke fun, but also kind of point out different points of view, and kind of really study a way of life and a world. There’s a lot of defiance in the way I do it. It’s not surprising that critics hate it because it’s designed for them to hate,” he said.

Yellowstone Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score

Rotten Tomatoes is an aggregate website that examines the reviews of users and top critics and turns them into a score.

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On Rotten Tomatoes, the show has a critic score of 84%, which is a positive score. This goes to show that most respected critics who have reviewed it have a positive perception of the series. If most critics are liking the show, it’s unclear how the show can be designed to make them hate it.


Yellowstone Season One

The most critically panned period of the show was during season one. “Yellowstone” season one only had a 57% positive rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes out of 53 reviews. Critics outlined issues with the likability of its characters with some not finding them compelling.

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Brian Lowry wrote in his review that, “Yellowstone gets bogged down in minutia and politics, and generally winds up being about as exciting as watching a zoning-commission meeting.”


Audience Score for Yellow Stone

The audience ratings for “Yellowstone” are also quite positive. The average audience score for the show on Rotten Tomatoes is 76%. While this score isn’t the highest, it is still indicative of a generally well-liked show.

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In contrast to the critic scores, season one of “Yellowstone” was much better received by audience members. The show has an 83% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes from over 1,000 ratings.


Yellowstone’s Awards

Despite Sheridan’s claim that the show is designed to make critics hate it, the show has won seven major awards and has been nominated for 44 others. 

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It won a Golden Globe in 2023 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series. The award went to Kevin Costner for his role as John Dutton, the owner of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch and patriarch of his family.


Taylor Sheridan’s Previous Work

Sheridan is a successful filmmaker in addition to being a TV show creator. His first feature film as a director was “Vile”, released in 2011. It is a horror film that follows a group of people trying to escape captivity after they get trapped in a locked room.

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His latest film “Those Who Wish Me Dead” is a 2021 thriller starring John Bernthal, Aidan Gillen, Finn Little, and Angelina Jolie. It follows a young boy who witnesses a murder and is forced to flee from killers who mean to silence him.


Yellowstone Ending Coming Up

Sheridan’s “Yellowstone” comments come in the wake of news that the show will be canceled after its fifth season.

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One possible reason for the cancellation is the show’s star Kevin Costner is moving on from the series. This has caused a feud between Sheridan and Costner, which caused Esquire to speculate that Costner may not even return for the show’s finale.


The Future for Taylor Sheridan

Sheridan is already at work on a new western project that many fans are hoping will be a suitable replacement for “Yellowstone” after it ends. 

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This project is based on a book called “Empire of the Summer Moon”. Dallas News reported that Sheridan bought the rights to tell the story of Comanche leader Quanah Parker. At this point, it hasn’t been revealed whether this project will be a feature film or a series for television.