'Yellowstone' Creator Taylor Sheridan Has Strong Message for the Show's Haters

Yellowstone is one of the most popular shows on television, earning major viewing numbers and is well-reviewed by critics. The Season 4 premiere earned an astonishing 8 million total live viewers, a number almost unheard of in today's fractured television landscape. It was the most-watched cable series telecast in four years. However, it is continually shut out of major awards nominations

In a new interview with the New York Times, showrunner Taylor Sheridan addressed that disconnect, explaining that he isn't bothered by it. "I don't care if critics hate it and I don't care if they like it," he admitted. "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."

Despite an 85% critics' score on the Rotten Tomatoes aggregate, Sheridan feels like Yellowstone is unfairly criticized. "I think one of the reasons the critics haven't responded to Yellowstone is that I'm breaking a lot of story rules," Sheridan mused. "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. But that's what I love about Yellowstone, 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."


However, Sheridan knows exactly why Yellowstone has such devoted fans. "Here's why: It's wickedly acted and the location is fantastic, and we're peeking into a world that no one really knows," Sheridan said. "I am chewing the scenery and having a blast doing it, and the actors are having a blast as well. It is powerhouse actors getting to say some real chewy stuff." Yellowstone Season 4 airs on Paramount Network Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.