The Netflix sitcom The Ranch was once called a “conservative” sitcom, but as it ends its run this month, the series has veered left with an anti-gun message among other virtue signaling fare.
When it debuted in 2016, the streaming sitcom starring Ashton Kutcher and Sam Elliott brought reviewers to note that swipes at Barack Obama, support for guns and hunting, love of tractors and cars, and criticism of global warming, made it more conservative than most TV shows.
Still, the show featured a tale of a dysfunctional family led by strong women, and dopey men who messed everything up — the usual Hollywood trope.
Regardless, The Ranch was not so obviously left-wing as most sitcom fare. Yet, as the series finally presented its last season on Netflix, that general conservative flavor quickly evaporated with its last few episodes.
In episode seven of the last ten episodes that hit Netflix this month, Maggie (Debra Winger), a character that has been the family matriarch throughout the series, suddenly came out as gay. She also uncharacteristically went from a supporter of the family business to wanting to sell her share, give the money to a commune, and turn against capitalism.
Along with all that head-turning flip of the script, Maggie also abruptly turned against the Second Amendment and gun right advocates, despite the plot line that the family had been gun enthusiasts.
In the episode titled, “What Was I Thinking,” Maggie rounds up all her guns and gives them all to the police, telling her ex-husband Beau (Sam Elliott) that he should do the same. “How many guns do you really need?” she asks.
Indeed, in the scene, Maggie even admits that the family is one that “shotguns together” and also had an armed Christmas card. “We’re all holding them, and it said, ‘all we want for Christmas is our Second Amendment,'” she said.
Beau replies that he does not understand what has changed.
“Me. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of people saying they need an assault weapon to defend themselves, and I’m sick of turning on the TV and seeing another mass shooting. Beau, why aren’t you fucking sick of it?” Winger’s Maggie replies.
Maggie goes on to report that she is cashing out of her business interests, denouncing capitalism, giving the money to a commune, and moving in with her new girlfriend. It is a strange end that turns the character’s storyline on its ear, and seems more like pandering to the left than good storytelling.
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