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Taylor Sheridan’s neo-Western drama Yellowstone doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to adult themes and content. However, some fans of the Paramount series aren’t convinced the series has earned the full extent of its disclaimer warning at the beginning of every chapter.
Kevin Costner stars as ranch owner John Dutton in the cut-throat drama Yellowstone, which wrapped up its third season earlier this year.
Each new instalment of showrunner Taylor Sheridan’s neo-Western series pits John and his family against ruthless rivals willing to do anything to get their hands on his coveted land.
At the end of the latest season, fans witnessed just how far the Duttons’ enemies are prepared to go to free up the ranch to new investors.
Not only was John gunned down after aiding a fellow motorist, his children Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Kayce (Luke Grimes) were also targeted in a series of coordinated attacks.
After some of the most brutal moments we’ve seen from the show so far, season four is poised to get even bloodier as the surviving Duttons and their ranch hands start to track down their unknown assailants.
Airing weekly on the Paramount Network, Yellowstone has attracted a notorious reputation as one of the more violent new television series.
However, despite arriving with a helpful disclaimer at the beginning of each episode, some fans are convinced the series isn’t quite so mature as the warning may have you believe.
Fans took to Reddit to argue the point when one viewer realised one factor from the disclaimer in particular hasn’t really featured in the series up to this point.
Redditor electron_burgundy posted: “I keep waiting for the drug use. They’re lying to us! Otherwise, great show!”
In addition to the violence, Yellowstone features plenty of sex, drinking and bad language to keep older TV fans satisfied.
Crucially, though, most episodes of the Western series don’t include enough drug misuse to warrant a content warning before the opening credits roll.
On the other hand, a comment did highlight a storyline involving a supporting character which may have been flagged by Paramount.
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They replied: “The meth dealers in Jimmy’s story line, that’s the only thing I can think of.”
Newcomer to the ranch Jimmy Hurdstram (played by Jefferson White) arrives at Yellowstone on the run from a troubled past, looking for a new start.
He’s taken under the wing of formidable yet loyal hand Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) who shows him the ropes and eventually indoctrinates him into the ranch’s seedy underbelly.
In the second season, Jimmy’s past catches up with him when an old friend, meth dealer Blake (Ryan Dorsey) arrives to collect a debt.
Blake decides to send Jimmy a warning by beating Jimmy’s grandfather Dirk Hurdstram (Stanley Peternel) to death, and the Duttons retaliate in spectacular fashion.
While the series doesn’t showcase the selling or using of methamphetamines, Blake and his crew’s appearance is probably enough to warrant a hike in Yellowstone’s age rating.
Plus, Sheridan has teased more to follow after the fourth season, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities to introduce more drug-related storylines to Dutton ranch.
Yellowstone will return with season 4 in 2021 on Paramount and Peacock.
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