Monday, September 20, 2021

Netflix series balances comedy and drama

Netflix released part two of its new series “The Ranch,” starring Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson and Sam Elliot, Friday, October 7. The 10-episode release picked up where the first half of the season left off, catching viewers up on the life of the Bennett family.

The episodes this side of season one are still full of comedic gold, packed with quick one-liners and lewd sexual innuendos. But the episodes also highlight deeper family issues such as divorce, business betrayals and loyalty.

Elliott’s character, Beau, the patriarch of the Bennett family, seems to be a little harder on sons Colt (Kutcher) and Jameson (Masterson) as he struggles with growing old, maintaining the ranch and navigating his relationship with estranged wife Maggie (Debra Winger).

His toughened demeanor, proved now to be more than just a ‘front,’ puts a strain on the boys’ relationship with each other and the family dynamic as a whole. As Beau struggles with the changes on the ranch, the family feels the pressure to appease him, while longing to begin their own lives separate from the ranch.

Kutcher and Masterson, known for working together on the comedy series “That 70’s Show” in the early 2000s work well together in both cases. This time around, the duo works well with comedy, as well tackling family dramas. “70’s Show” alumnus Wilmer Valderrama also makes a guest appearance through part two, making it a reunion of any ‘00s kid’s dreams.

Some of the plot line was predictable, especially the season’s closing plot twist that finds Colt in an awkward position between two women is his love life. But overall, the show is as funny as ever, while still tying in moments of deeper thought, making it one of Netflix’s better original shows.

The Ranch season two has been confirmed, with a slated release date sometime in 2017.

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