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Why Yellowstone's Danny Huston Thinks The Show Resonates With Audiences

Like a thief in the night, Taylor Sheridan snuck his modern western "Yellowstone" into the hearts and minds of Paramount Network viewers. The writer who penned "Sicario" and "Hell or High Water" introduced fans to the Dutton family in 2018, and its popularity has only grown from there. Every season, the series seems to smash some record, making it one of the most-watched shows on television.

Focusing on a rich cattle ranching dynasty in Montana, "Yellowstone" features all the hallmarks of a criminal enterprise. Branding, murder, and cover-ups are just some of the ways that the Duttons hold onto their livelihood. But if you thought this story would be about cowboy outlaws with a heart of gold, you would be wrong. Moral ambiguity is a purposeful theme in the series, and no character is untainted by it. So much so that Season 1 antagonist Dan Jenkins (Danny Huston) is arguably the most reasonable person vying for control of the land. Dan doesn't exactly make it through Season 1 unscathed, but Huston still has many complimentary thoughts on the series.

Hanging is just the beginning

In Season 1, "Yellowstone" joined the many gritty dramas that feature anti-heroes. Or, more accurately, villainous protagonists. The Duttons may be a family viewers want to root for, but they are some of the most immoral and unethical characters on television. These shades of gray are so severe that it makes even supposed antagonist Dan Jenkins look tame. The land developer wants to carve out the Dutton estate, but the ranching empire has brutal tactics to stop that from happening. The Season 1 finale climaxes when Rip (Cole Hauser) and Kayce (Luke Grimes) string Dan up in a noose. This event is just a precursor to what the family can do down the line. "Yellowstone" becomes more popular by the second, and Danny Huston attributes this to the complex situations that unfold.

"I'm delighted that people are enjoying it," Huston told TV Insider when Season 2 premiered. "I think it's as simple as that. As long as the show has an audience, there's a lot of story here, and the palate is rich. There's many characters, new characters, that are being introduced, and a lot to explore in this majestic landscape." Even Dan's supposed demise doesn't turn out as expected. He survives his hanging to continue a fraught dynamic with John Dutton (Kevin Costner) throughout Season 2 until his eventual death. From sibling rivalry to mass graves, "Yellowstone" continues to raise the bar for what viewers will allow these reprehensible characters to do.