Netflix's 'The Ranch' Breaks Away From The Traditional Sitcom Model

A show about bros and bovines.


Netflix on Thursday released a trailer for the upcoming series, The Ranch. The multi-camera sitcom stars That '70s Show alumni Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson as brothers Colt and "Rooster," respectively, who work on their family's ranch in Colorado with their opinionated dad, Beau (Sam Elliott).

While the show's premise may sound simple, there's a lot more going on at this dude ranch — and behind the scenes — than what's seen on the surface.

"[The Ranch] is disrupting the sitcom," Kutcher told A Plus. "Having worked on That '70s Show and Two and a Half Men, nothing changed in the medium that's been around since the beginning of TV."

Kutcher specifically notes some new approaches that The Ranch is bringing to the format, like casting some actors who work mainly in film, taping in front of an audience outdoors, using more subtle lighting techniques, and dropping a few curse words now and then. 

Another big difference is that this sitcom features a lot more drama.

Colt, for example, is a 34-year-old "failed semi-pro football player," according to Netflix, who hasn't seen his father in 15 years and is finally home for a reunion.

But wow — these two have a tense relationship. No wonder Colt bolted!

Colt is also trying out for a local football team in his continuing effort to play the game, despite more than a few naysayers who aren't shy about voicing their opinions on why he should give up on his dream. 

Things get even more complicated when some old flames come back into these men's lives, and there's plenty of city-versus-country clashing of cultures, including a sharply-timed jab at the delightful grain known as quinoa.

With its themes of brotherly love, familial acceptance, pursuing your passions, and reconnecting with your roots, The Ranch is sure to resonate with viewers of all backgrounds and amuse long-time sitcom fans with its new take on the time-tested genre.

"Netflix wants interesting stories with interesting characters, and shows that people will watch again and again," Kutcher says. "Some people are surprised that Netflix is going into traditional sitcoms, but a lot of this show is bucking the trend."

The Ranch premieres on Netflix on April 1.

Cover image: Netflix US & Canada

Disclaimer: Ashton Kutcher is the co-founder and chairman of the board of A Plus.


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