If you're a fan of Yellowstone, Big Sky, or rodeo, you're going to want to check out Ride, which premieres Sunday, March 26 on the Hallmark Channel. A drama built around the fictional McMurray family and their bull-riding heritage, Ride stars Nancy Travis, Beau Mirchoff, and Tiera Skovbye.
The series premiere opens with a tragedy, as so many good stories do. Without giving too much away, we'll say that bull riding is a dangerous sport, especially if the rider's distracted or off their game. There are hints and insinuations as to why the seasoned rider, Austin McMurray, might have been elsewhere mentally, but we don't really know, and that's part of the intrigue that should keep viewers coming back to Ride.
Lots of juicy family drama
The episode quickly flashes forward one full year, though, as the very same rodeo returns to the Murray's Boulder, Colorado area town. Cash McMurray (Mirchoff) has picked up where his brother left off on the riding front--and perhaps with his brother's widow Missy (Skovbye) as well. (At least, that's what he'd like, though she seems a little skittish.) Meanwhile, Missy's best friend, Valeria, who fled town after Austin's death, has returned, bringing with her some buried secrets about what was wrong with the dearly departed. After a little hand-wringing, she moves back into the McMurray home, in part because Travis's Isabel tells her she sees her as the daughter she never had.
Another McMurray son, Tuff, should also present an interesting storyline, particularly because he's openly gay and looking for love, which isn't something we see all that often on cowboy shows. Jake Foy plays Tuff in a way that's endlessly charming, even fronting a honky tonk band in the premiere. When he makes eyes at a flirty cowboy on the dance floor, you want him to find love, and hopefully, he will. All too often, TV shows and movies resort to turning the queer storyline into a tragedy, so it would be great if Ride went in another direction.
The love story between Mirchoff's Cash and Skovbye's Missy is sure to be a slow burn, and not just because Missy's carrying enough baggage about her past love match with another McMurray. She's also being courted by another man (Tyler Jacob Moore) who might have his act together a little more than the slightly messy Cash, and viewers will no doubt have opinions about who she should choose. (Cash, of course.)
Nancy Travis as the family Matriarch
All isn't peachy keen in Isabel's life either, as the death of her son has somehow contributed to the failure of the family cattle ranch, which is facing foreclosure. Everyone seems to be banding together to help her get out of the hole, but whether she'll take help or remain staunchly independent like a sort of female John Dutton is unclear as of yet.
Overall, while Ride doesn't offer quite as many sweeping vistas and beautifully shot cattle-driving shots as a show like Yellowstone, it makes up for it with its drama and heart, both of which it has in spades. It's also a little cleaner, given its lack of a Beth-like character, making it a great and compelling watch for the whole family.
Ride is available to stream live on the Hallmark Channel on Peacock and is also available on demand the next day.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Movies and TV Shows to Watch Like 'Yellowstone'
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