Yellowstone and Longmire fans will love this new Western TV series
Thanks to the resounding success of Yellowstone, the Paramount Network neo-western starring Kevin Costner as a Montana rancher, the TV western is back. Yeah ! The new influx of heroes wearing cowboy hats means the genre has branched out into hybrids of various genres and characters; Yellowstone is a family drama about ranchers, its spin-off 1883 is a period piece about the settlers, AMC+ That dirty black bag is a pulpy action piece about bounty hunters and the like. One of the latest shows to join the Stampede is Joe Picketta traditional game warden drama set in present-day Wyoming based on the CJ Box novels, and if you’re a fan of the drama of Yellowstone or the mysteries of the murder of Longmireyou’re going to want to check it out.
I talk about it now because Joe Pickett is a Spectrum Original, meaning the only people who got to watch it had to be Spectrum cable customers, but as of Sunday, May 15, it’s now on a major streaming service in Paramount+. Makes sense, as Paramount is looking for a series to complement 1883, a Paramount+ exclusive. (Paramount+ is not the streaming home of Yellowstone although Yellowstone is a Paramount Network series; Paramount still blames itself for giving the broadcast rights to Yellowstone to Peacock.)
Joe Pickett stars Michael Dorman (For all mankind) as Joe, a mild-mannered Wyoming game warden with a wife and children who is tasked with protecting the land and its wildlife from poachers and other baddies. What separates Joe from Costner’s John Dutton or Tim McGraw’s James Dutton is that he’s not a prototypical TV hero, and he’s certainly not treated as such by the show or by those he meets. “You’re just a game warden” is the refrain he usually encounters, establishing his underdog status as a man who must earn respect, despite wearing a uniform and badge. . Dorman’s cold demeanor accentuates this even more; he’s just a guy with good morals who wants to do his job. But part of the joy of Joe Pickett watch Joe not back down from threats and become a hero, even when a gun is pointed in his face. And yes, many guns are pointed in Joe’s face throughout the first season.
Most of those guns start pointing at his face after the corpse of a man he had a fight with earlier shows up on his doorstep and Joe becomes the only member of the law enforcement community determined to understand what happened. Joe’s investigation brings him into all sorts of people, from a rival crime family to suspects with hawks to the local sheriff who doesn’t appreciate Joe snooping around. Add to that the lawless nature of this part of the country and you’re in the mood. The feeling of Joe Pickett is a man against an establishment, and that being a game warden is a lonely job.
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Fortunately, Joe has his wife Marybeth (Julianna Guill) by his side. The former lawyer decides to get involved in the case with Joe, even though she is expecting their fourth child. The two make a great team, aided by their affection for each other and their stable relationship, which is a bit of a rarity in TV days. Seriously, nominate these two for TV Couple of the Year because they’re darling and supportive of each other.
Joe Pickett is an especially good watch for those who want to tone down the seriousness of Yellowstone. By comparing, Joe Pickett is more folksy (in a good way), balancing daring gunfights and face-offs with some awkwardness, like a pair of silver-haired, emu-owning older sisters who like to sing “Here Comes the Hotstepper” or the va- Playful back and forth between Joe and Marybeth. But Joe is the real star here, an underdog hero to cheer on, and Joe Pickett idealizes the work of a game warden with sincere admiration. He may be riding the switchbacks of Wyoming and communing with the land alone, but now that Joe Pickett has been renewed for a second season after becoming Spectrum’s most-watched series and rumor has it that it won’t be alone for long.
Joe Pickett is streaming now on Paramount+ and Spectrum On Demand.
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