Ranch series we love right now because cowboys are super cute

Guilty viewing in the time of Covid

By Paula-Ann Smit

Ranch series we love right now because cowboys are super cute

Ranch TV shows

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the closest I ever came to watching a good ‘ol western series was Hannah Montana. But there’s something about the beautiful open spaces, cowboys earning a good day’s living, and the power and corruption of family dynasties that make you forget about all your worries. And horses are adorable, obviously.

Here are the top three western-themed series on my radar right now. Maybe y’all will have a hog-killin’ time watching them too.

Yellowstone

Location: Montana, bordering Yellowstone National Park, U.S.
Seasons: 3

Oscar and Emmy winner Kevin Costner gets back in the literal saddle as the patriarch of the powerful (and insanely corrupt) Dutton family. Yellowstone ranch is the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, and corrupt politicians and oil corporations want a piece of it — but the Dutton family won’t go down without a dirty fight.

There are about nine 80-minute long episodes in a season, and if you think I watched season one in two days then you are…absolutely correct. I can’t get enough of the Dutton family, and if John Dutton (Costner) asked me to be corrupt for his family I would go above and beyond. Kelly Reilly brilliantly depicts no-nonsense Beth, the only daughter of John. She’s tough as nails and might get along really well with Cersei Lannister.

Heartland

Location: The foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Canada, near the fictional town of Hudson.
Seasons: 13

This Canadian family saga is an oldie but a goodie, having first aired in 2007. Loosely based on the feel-good books by Lauren Brooke, Heartland will pull on your heartstrings from episode one. It follows sisters Amy and Lou Fleming, who must overcome the tragic death of their mother and absence of their father, and succeed running a struggling ranch with their grandfather (and a gem of a man) Jack Bartlett.

This series is a good escape from all the worries of the world, and horse enthusiasts will enjoy watching as the Fleming sisters rehabilitate neglected horses and sometimes even save captured mustangs. Heartland is an easy-going watch for the entire family, and it comes as no surprise that it has been renewed for a 14th season.

Dynasty

Location: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Seasons: 3

OK so technically this isn’t a Western series. No cowboys are involved, but there are a few fancy horses, the luxurious home kinda resembles a ranch, and it has all the family power, corruption and betrayal that I’ve come to love.

Dynasty is a modern reboot of the 80s soap with the same name. It follows two of America’s wealthiest families, the Carringtons and the Colbys, who know no boundaries when it comes to feuding over their fortunes. It has all the glitz, glam and drama of a guilty-pleasure soap. Although some of the acting falls short, Elizabeth Gillies (rich and ruthless heiress Fallon Carrington) has me coming back for more. Australian actress Maddison Brown also brings a lot to the table, and I’m not totally jealous of the fact that she’s Liam Hemsworth’s rumoured girlfriend. Not. At. All.

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