50 best television shows set across the United States

7 of 52

Colorado: The Ranch

The premise: Ashton Kutcher plays Colt Bennett, a moderately successful football star who returns home to family’s ranch in Colorado. He moves in with his very conservative father, Beau, played by Sam Elliot and slacker brother, Rooster, played by the very problematic and soon-to-exit Danny Masterson.

The show revolves around the dysfunctional family dynamic created by Beau’s grouchy and critical attitude toward his sons, and the constant attempt by the younger Bennetts to measure up. Debra Winger plays their mother, recently divorced from their father, but still present in their lives. She and Elisha Cuthbert’s Abby act as the diplomats, constantly brokering a tense peace between the father and sons.

The setting: The Bennetts live in Garrison, Colorado, a tiny rural town that has a population less most high schools. Winger’s Maggie owns the only bar in town, and it’s mostly a collection of cattle ranchers and folks related to the industry. Garrison is a working class community with some right-leaning beliefs, and they have strong opinions about pretty much everything. Despite poking a little fun a the opposing ideology, it’s a charming little show that will quickly grown on you — Masterson excluded.

The most Colorado thing about it: The show really capitalizes on the ranching culture and a lot of storylines focus on the struggles of life as an independent farmer. The show plays to a particular demographic, naming every episode after a country song. Part one featured titles from the Kenny Chesney songs, part two, George Strait, part three Tim McGraw, part four Garth Brooks, and Dolly Parton in part five.