For all its innovation, Netflix has been reveling in Trump-like nostalgia lately for a past that wasn’t always so great the first time around. In the wake of the dreadful Fuller House, it reunites That ’70s Show stars Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson as brothers on The Ranch, a low-energy, laugh-tracked sitcom that feels like a midseason replacement from 1978. Its first 10 episodes arrive on April 1, with another 10 slated for later this year.
Kutcher plays a college football star who returns, deflated, to his childhood home. It’s startling how little magnetism he brings to a character who has supposedly cruised through life on charm. Masterson is the overshadowed, snarky sibling who still tends the cattle.
Better is Sam Elliott as the paterfamilias resistant to change, especially if it has anything to do with Barack Obama. And best in show is Debra Winger, the rarely seen Terms of Endearment star, who is witty as the mother, a bartender with an intriguingly unresolved inner life. Freed from The Ranch’s retro trappings, Winger might just make American sitcoms great again.
This appears in the April 04, 2016 issue of TIME.
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