It turns out that Taylor Sheridan is a full-fledged cowboy. That must be why man has excelled in creating the massively expansive universe of Yellowstone. The showrunner was recently interviewed by Variety, where he revealed how he feels about the success of the show and doing what “he knows.” Sheridan appeared before the interviewer on his Arizona ranch, in a complete cowboy getup, which includes a cowboy hat, jean jacket, and spurs in his boots. During the interview, Sheridan was very candid about the massive success of his shows but oddly claimed that its success has more to do with popularity than the show itself. According to Sheridan, “So I don’t know that it’s flattering, because I don’t think they’re doing it because ‘Yellowstone‘ is good. They’re doing it because 15 million people watch it. And they’re like: ‘A lot of people watch Westerns. Let’s make Westerns.'”
Modesty is honestly a great quality to have, and it seems that Taylor Sheridan is chock full of that. Or he may just be pointing out something a bit more obvious. People do love Westerns, and there are many being made right now. On top of Yellowstone, and its own spin-off shows, 1883, 1932, and now 6666, there are many others being produced. Walker, Texas Ranger was rebooted with Jared Padalecki starring in 2021. Outer Range, which stars Josh Brolin, for Amazon Prime Video. NBC is making another called Unbroken, and Fox is aiming for their own called, Hell or High Water. That is a ton of new Western dramas in the fold, so it could be a fad. However, there is no show bigger than Yellowstone right now. The show bringing in 15 million viewers is proof enough of that. Also, three spin-off shows might not have ever happened, had this show not exploded in the manner that it has.
Taylor Sheridan also spoke of his influences, which clearly led to his current style. Famed Western writer, Court McCarthy, wrote No Country for Old Men. That book was turned into a film that starred Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, and Tommy Lee Jones. Sheridan names this man’s work as one of his chief influences. Unforgiven, which starred the legendary Spaghetti Western actor, Clint Eastwood. Dances with Wolves, which was written, directed and starred Kevin Costner. The man who is now the star and chief focus of the Yellowstone series. All these films and books resulted in Sheridan following his dream of making his own styled version of the Westerns he loved growing up.
Clearly, Sheridan lived plenty of his life as a cowboy, and appreciator of the elements that have led the man to make one of the most successful Westerns ever made. Honestly, Westerns may be a resurgence of a fad. The Spaghetti Western was a genre of film that was massively popular in the 1960s and 1970s. The genre has influenced plenty of filmmakers and beyond. Quentin Tarantino is a huge proponent of the genre and has based most of his career on that specific style. Though they were once massively popular, the Western genre sort of fell out of focus, but now it’s back. It could all be a classic case of history repeating itself. Yellowstone is riding this resurgence the highest.
Taylor Sheridan may be convinced that Yellowstone is just part of this fad or resurgence, but it’s truly a monster of a series. Everyone speaks about this show on a consistent basis, and the viewer counts will likely continue to climb. He can be as modest as he would like to, but Yellowstone is a monster hit.