New day, new month, new year

Welcome to 2022. Doesn’t actually feel that different from 2021, does it?

Well, yes, now that I think of it. In one important way 2022 is different. This year’s UK Wildcats basketball team are fun to watch again. After a miserable, awful, horrific, inexplicable (I could go on) 2020-2021 team and season, the 21-22 team is rocking. We beat High Point yesterday by an embarrassing amount, and I’ll speculate that last year’s team could have easily lost to High Point. Hell, they probably would have. But UK hoops is back, and that alone makes 2022 a better year for me.

After the game we spent a lot of the afternoon and evening yesterday watching Paramount Network’s Yellowstone marathon (yeah, we live an exciting life). There’s something about that series that is so, so addictive. I’ve watched every episode, some more than once or twice, and they’re still enjoyable. With this role and so many others, Kevin Costner has cemented his position as one of my favorite actors, and he’s at his best in Yellowstone. And Kelly Reilly as Beth…wow. What a character.

But one thing has become clear by watching the earlier seasons and the current one more or less simultaneously – season 4 is a pale imitation of the first three. It’s not even close. It’s sad how the quality of the writing and the character arcs have suddenly decreased with season 4. Every episode in the first couple of seasons was compelling, with great lines and plot points. Season 4 – not so much.

My theory is that Taylor Sheridan, the show’s savant writer/producer/actor has become too diversified, too distracted by other ventures, to maintain the quality. He has at least two other shows in production, shows that he created and is writing for – 1883 and The Mayor of Kingstown. Sheridan is clearly talented, but everyone has a limit and it appears Sheridan has found and exceeded his. I don’t really see a way out of this dilemma for Sheridan, the show and its fans anytime soon. The decisions that have dropped Yellowstone from top-tier quality to just so-so were made a year or two ago, and their results will play out for about that long. Unfortunate.

Finally, I’m happy to announce a new personal record: I have now posted something on BLTN every single day of 2022! Quite an accomplishment…

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