With Yellowstonein its offseason as we all prepare for the season five release in November, many have turned to Amazon Prime Video’s Outer Rangeto fulfill the void of western shows.
The show stars famed actor Josh Brolin, who plays Royal Abbott on the show, and it’s based around the Abbott family who are trying to figure out what happened to their daughter-in-law Rebecca.
However, the family has to deal with a number of opponents, like their neighbors the Tillersons, who are trying to take over their land.
The two issues spark a chain of events throughout their small town, and all hell breaks lose.
Many have compared it to a “sci-fi” version of Yellowstone, almost like a mix of Yellowstone, Ozark, and Stranger Things all in one, and features a soundtrack that boasts stars like Johnny Cash, Colter Wall, and Dolly Parton.
With that being said, Josh Brolin himself and creator Brian Watkins recently sat down for an interview with Varietyto discuss the show, along with the comparisons that’ve been drawn to Yellowstone, with some even saying Outer Range is “piggybacking” off the hit show.
Watkins weighed in on the difference:
“The idea of a showdown is not a low-stakes, mumblecore event. It is a literal showdown, there’s a payoff at the end and the fun of that is what I hope we tapped into for ‘Outer Range.’”
Brolin also added:
“‘Yellowstone’ was the first, like we were with ‘True Grit,’ in bringing back the Western, and that’s a great thing. If you piggyback on that trend, you feel like you are piggybacking.
But if you are coming with something within the genre that’s wholly original, then you feel good about it. There’s nothing other than horses and cowboy hats and maybe warring families in ‘Outer Range’ that reminds me of ‘Yellowstone.’
We feel stuck, we feel like we want to reach up to a higher plain, or at least imagine a future that is different than the current place we live in.
In that way, the Western is this real emblematic narrative of how and what we do with our dreams … so I’m thrilled there is such an investigation of the nooks and crannies of it right now. It’s a good time to write about cowboys and gunslinging.”
Are they piggybacking off the Yellowstone success? Absolutely. I mean, you gotta strike while the iron is hot. But are the two shows very different? Totally.
Personally, I enjoy Yellowstone much more (and that soundtrack is phenomenal), but you have to be down for some Sci-Fi to get into Outer Range. The new Josh Brolin series also uses a lot of CGI for the mountains and landscape, but hey, to each their own.
Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan doesn’t think that the copycat game is necessarily “flattering” however, since it’s about capitalizing on money, not his show:
“So I don’t know that it’s flattering, because I don’t think they’re doing it because ‘Yellowstone’ is good. They’re doing it because 15 million people watch it.
And they’re like: ‘A lot of people watch Westerns. Let’s make Westerns.’”