So far, Netflix has had a good track record on its original content. From Orange is the New Black, to House of Cards, to Daredevil, to Fuller House, these shows have lasted a few seasons and will go for more. However, when it comes to comedy, Netflix is kind of a mixed bag, the previously mentioned Fuller House was not well-received by critics as it was the audience, and Flaked and the Netflix-only fourth season of Arrested Development have had mixed reviews. I would appear Netflix is trying again to succeed outside the dramatic realm with The Ranch, and this is what we know about the new Ashton Kutcher/Danny Masterson comedy series with its release date and review.
The two stars who made it big on That '70s Show are back, playing equine obstetricians on The Ranch. Ashton Kutcher plays Colt, a failed football pro who returns to a family ranch to take part on the activities. Danny Masterson plays Rooster, Colt's underappreciated older brother, and it looks like much of the episodes deal with their relationship.
Sam Elliott, an actor who is well-known for his "cowboy" look, plays the boys' no-nonsense father Beau. Debra Winger plays the boys' mother, who owns the bar in the Colorado town setting. The show also has appearances by other veteran actors like Elisha Cuthbert, Kelli Goss, Barry Corbin, Kathy Baker, Megyn Price, and Ethan Suplee.
Considering that Kutcher and Masterson have been worked together for eight seasons of That '70s Show, they have been wanting a reason to get back together, according to USA Today. So far, there have been some pretty negative reviews from the Boston Globe and Deadline Hollywood.
Many of the complaints state that The Ranch, which is developed by Two and a Half Men showrunner Don Reo and producer Jim Patterson is essentially a by-the-numbers situation comedy with nothing new to add to the genre. It does say that the show has a lot of heart with a lot of "Aww" moments, and part of that is the performances of Winger and Elliott as the old married couple still together after decades.
The advantage of having The Ranch on Netflix's streaming channel is that the show isn't framed by its timeslot. Episodes can now be more than 22 minutes to finished its story if need be, and not have anything left on the cutting room floor, which includes material that would have to be censored for the networks. Also, many have commented that the lighting of The Ranch is darker and moodier than most situation comedy lighting, creating at least a different type of look from most sitcoms.
The Ranch will debut on Netflix on April 1 with 10 episodes, and then will have another 10 episodes show up later this year at an undisclosed date. It is unusual for any Netflix show to have anything above 13 episodes, but it looks like The Ranch will have about the same amount of episodes that a network situation comedy would have.