The more I watch this show, the more I am astounded by the depth of it. On its face, this show shouldn’t be very compelling, especially to someone like me who’s never been steeped in the depicted culture. But there are some truly profound ideas and statements in this show. In today’s episode, Colt tries to deal with the disappointment of his life while Beau deals with a back injury.
Here are some thoughts.
1. There’s some interesting stuff about class gradients here
Not to read too much into a show that is about ranchers, but there does seem to be some interesting observations here. Rooster is coaching the high school football team now, and they’re going to be facing their rivals from a neighboring town. “I hate those guys, thinking they’re so much better than us,” he says. “With their mega Wal-Mart and their second traffic light.” Obviously, the nieghboring town is just as poor and rural as theirs, but they’re fixated on how the neighboring town is so much better, instead of being rivals with a town that might actually be upper class.
2. There’s also a little bit of pointed criticism of the health care system
When Beau throws out his back, he doesn’t want to go to a hospital because he doesn’t want to pay a $200 co-pay. The ruggedness, “rub some dirt on it” mentality of this family is partly built out of necessity. They just can’t afford to be hurt.
3. Colt is not a very respectful guy
Colt is asked to partake in a spaghetti dinner for the high school football team. His former coach introduces him to the new quarterback, and Colt proceeds to tell the story of how he won the team the state championship, which involved deliberately disobeying his coach. The coach standing right next to him. When Rooster points this out later, he tells him to fuck off.
4. In fact, he just needs to grow up in general
When his ex comes by, he tries to kiss her. When she says she just wants to be friends, he basically has a tantrum and tells her to go away. Very mature.
5. The scene with Colt breaking down is reminiscent of this scene from Take Shelter:
Granted, the one on this show is a lot funnier. But there are some remarkable similarities.
6. The drunken tractor scene is an example of this show’s ability to ‘go there’
After Colt’s meltdown at the dinner, he steals a tractor from the neighbors and drunkenly drives down the road until he gets pulled over by a cop, a former high school friend. It comes out of nowhere and it’s hilarious and weird. The show often takes left turns like this that seem to be out of nowhere, but make total sense in this universe.
7. “I peaked in high school”
This is the admission that Colt drunkenly makes and gets at the root of why he’s so unhappy.
8. There’s some well done slapstick
Mostly, he crashes into a door.
9. Beau was in Vietnam
This explains a lot of his stony demeanor and inability to connect with his family. It’s a rare peak into the character and it speaks volumes about him.
10. The show gets at the problem of generational careers
Colt admits to his father, “I’m not sure I want to be a rancher.” Beau understands this and gives him a beautiful speech about how one day he’ll know what he wants to be. He just hopes he’ll be alive to see it.
Check out reviews for previous episodes of The Ranch below!
The Ranch – Where I come From
The Ranch – Some People Change
Tags: Ashton Kutcher, danny masterson, Netflix, sam elliot, the ranch