Fans may be disappointed, but for Ashton Kutcher, The Ranch ended at just the right time. The actor spoke about his show's conclusion in a recent interview with Marc Maron on the WTF podcast. Kutcher said that he did not want The Ranch to overstay its welcome, insulting one of his previous shows in the process.
"The story [of The Ranch] was told," Kutcher told Maron. "I love everything that we did. Everybody there was still highly in love with each other... We got to the point where we were able to let everybody know [that] this was the last season, and that we were going to wrap it up, so everybody had time to find their next gig."
Kutcher felt that The Ranch had reached its natural conclusion by the end of Season 4, and he did not want to draw it out. Even if he did, he admitted that the new age of streaming means that there is little to be gained from letting a show outlive its lifespan.
"Netflix owns the show, so it's not like there was this big syndication boon that's going to come if we shoot two more seasons," Kutcher explained. "I've been on shows where you keep going, and you keep going, and then you've got a brother who's a gorilla."
While he did not refer to it by name, it was clear that Kutcher was referring to Two and a Half Men here. Kutcher became the series lead in 2011 when Charlie Sheen left amid mental health and substance abuse concerns.
Interestingly, the gorilla storyline Kutcher was referring to was from one of his first episodes on the series in Season 9, titled "One False Move, Zimbabwe!" In it, his eccentric character Walden learns that he was raised alongside a gorilla, as his mother was a primatologist. He and the gorilla had a brotherly rapport, which many fans cite as a major shark-jumping point for the series.
In spite of this, Kutcher did four seasons on Two and a Half Men before it came to an end. Speaking more directly about the show, Kutcher admitted that the character he played on Two and a Half Men was not the one he signed up for when he took the job.
"I went and met with [series co-creator] Chuck Lorre and he seemed like a really smart guy, and he had an idea for this character that I thought was really interesting, which wasn't the character that I wound up [playing]," Kutcher said. 'I got the script and was, like, 'Well, that's not what we talked about.' But he had an idea for this character that I thought was interesting."0comments
In spite of everything, Kutcher made sure to say that he "had a really good time" on Two and a Half Men.
"I actually went through a divorce [with Demi Moore] when I was on that show, which is a really hard thing to do," he said. "Having a family while going through that, I needed that. And those people were all there for me and supported me... and it was phenomenal."