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Ranch Dressing

I'm not sure why I like the show The Ranch. I just do.

We all have things like that in our life, don't we? Things that have no redeeming qualities to check off in your personal LIKES category, and yet...

Well, wait. There is Sam Elliott. Sam Elliott is always going to check off my personal LIKES.

But in this, he plays the unapologetically conservative redneck Beau Bennet. A cranky, meat-eating, Broncos-loving, wise-cracking redneck.

I kinda love him.

Ashton Kutcher plays Beau's son Colt, a ex-football star who returns to Colorado to try his hand at the family business. He puts beer on his cereal when he's out of milk and names his daughter Peyton.

Look, for people who are supposed to have a sun-up to sun-down ranching job, they spend an awful lot of time sitting around drinking and talking.

(And I kinda love that.)

And they talk like us, with lots of naturally dropped f-bombs.

I'm not a huge Ashton fan. Although I like that he's smart. Smart is definitely in my LIKES column. We've all heard, by now, that he majored in biochemical engineering in college. I learned recently in his interview with Marc Maron that he chose that major because of his twin brother. At a young age, the brother had a heart transplant because of myocarditis - a virus that breaks down the muscle of the heart. He wanted to go into genetic research and find a cure for the virus that almost killed his twin brother.

There are a lot of characters from Ashton's past lives in this show. Danny Masterson (Steven on That 70s Show) played Colt's brother, Rooster. Right up 'til rape and harassment accusations surfaced and they


killed him off. He was replaced by Dax Shepard who I have also not been a huge fan of but if Kristen Bell likes him, I'm willing to give him a shot. He is actually really, really good on this show. Funny and very natural in the part.

[Ashton connection: He pretty much discovered Dax by picking him up from the Groundlings for Punk'd episodes.]

If you're a 24 fan, Elisha Cuthbert plays Colt's high school girlfriend that he reconnects with.

If you're a Northern Exposure fan, Barry Corbin plays the ranch's vet, and if you liked Picket Fences, Kathy Baker plays Beau's new love interest.

[If you're a Kathy Baker fan, may I also suggest Andrea Savage's show I'm Sorry, where she plays Andrea's mom. People either love it or hate it, from my experience, but I am a big BIG fan.)

Debra Winger plays Beau's ex-wife, Maggie. She's not on the show anymore but in the earlier seasons, she was the epitome of cool. Jeans. Boots. My big hair. Runs a small-town bar. I know it doesn't feel like my brand but it is somehow at the core of me. I suspect it's why my heart is set on retirement in Arizona.

Now here's the clincher: the theme song is "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys," performed by Shooter Jennings (Waylon's son) and Lukas Nelson (Willie's son). And they sound remarkably like their fathers.

They're conservatives. They're all alcoholics. They're just kinda regular folks. Our country is big. Maybe regular folks from other regions feel foreign to us. I highly doubt I'd be into a show about redneck conservatives from the Deep South. But these people?

I kinda love them.

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