Critics Hate Taylor Sheridan’s New Show Because Killing Terrorists Is Now Apparently A Bad Thing

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Critics absolutely hate Taylor Sheridan’s “Special Ops: Lioness.”

The first two episodes of the CIA/military thriller with Zoe Saldana and Nicole Kidman premiered on Paramount+ early Sunday morning, and the plot revolves around highly-classified programs that use female operators to kill or capture terrorist leaders. The programs are real, but shrouded in mystery.

Fortunately, I was able to get an early look at the series and loved it. You can read my full review here.

Critics hate “Special Ops: Lioness.”

You know who didn’t love the show? Pretty much every critic out there. As of Sunday morning, the CIA thriller from the “Yellowstone” creator holds a 54% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and an abysmal 33% from top critics.

Why? What could the issue possibly be?

“Special Ops: Lioness” is outstanding. (Photo Credit: Paramount+)

Apparently the issue is that the show focuses on killing terrorists and portraying the military in a positive light.

We certainly can’t have that, right? Let’s check in on the unhinged ramblings over at Variety that declared the show is nothing “shameless military propaganda.”

It states in part:

Sheridan has long cultivated an image in contrast with liberal cultural elites without quite aligning with their opposite. “Yellowstone” was famously rejected by HBO before earning a reputation as the “red state ‘Succession,’” though its politics have always been more ambiguous — or maybe just more muddled — than straight conservatism. As the above synopsis implies, “Lioness” has no such ambiguity. The show is an unabashed work of military propaganda that positions the United States Armed Forces as the “strong” who “protect the weak,” a group that apparently includes the entire Middle East as well as vulnerable members of U.S. society.

Another sentence in the review states, “It is perhaps predictable that the Sheridan take on pop feminism would weaponize women’s liberation in service of the military industrial complex.”

Yeah, Taylor Sheridan hates women so much that they must only be slaves to the military industrial complex. Comical.

Variety isn’t the only outlet that decided a show about killing terrorists is simply propaganda for the military. Quick aside, are we supposed to now be against killing bad guys? I kind of thought that’s one of the things America does best. I digress.

“Special Ops: Lioness” is out on Paramount+ (Photo Credit: Lynsey Addario/Paramount+)

Critics think Taylor Sheridan’s new show is garbage.

The Hollywood Reporter also piled on “Special Ops: Lioness” declaring “to call it an hourlong recruitment ad would be understating just how heavy-handed it is.”

“This one shrugs off any misgivings about its characters’ mission with the reasoning that ‘if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.’ Which sounds good coming out of a soldier’s mouth, as long as you don’t think too hard about how that line of thinking might play out in practice. But that seems to be par for the course for a series enamored more of impossible ideals than actual human nature or lived experience. In a weekend when even Barbie’s being forced to confront the gap between fantasy and reality, it’s Special Ops: Lioness that comes out looking like it’s populated by plastic action figures,” the review from THR further claims.

“Special Ops: Lioness” flamed by critics. (Photo Credit: Lynsey Addario/Paramount+)

Again, it seems like killing bad guys, shooting terrorists or launching drone strikes into a terrorist compound is something I’m supposed to feel bad about.

The Daily Beast also got in on the action writing the show features a “mixture of rah-rah jingoism and conservative-grade ‘feminism'” and is “political drivel.” Sigh.

War is ugly, and “Special Ops: Lioness” doesn’t hold back.

While I’m sure the writers at Variety live comfortable lives, it might actually shock them to learn that war is brutal. People die, body parts are lost and lives are changed forever.

And yes, bad people should be killed. Whether that’s dropping a bomb on their head or sending a hollow point through their skill, it just needs to get done.

The series does a nice job of shining a light on how brutal war and the training for elite operators can be. There’s some scenes in episode two that are downright uncomfortable when putting the main character Cruz (Laysla De Oliveira) through interrogation training.

Believe it or not, stuff like that happens. It happens in SERE for people an it happens at a much more advanced level for some operators at the tier one level. Open your eyes. The world isn’t sunshine and roses, and the women and men who have been tasked with carrying out these hits aren’t cut from the cloth you’d find on network TV.

“Special Ops: Lioness” isn’t a hit with critics. (Photo Credit: Lynsey Addario/Paramount+)

Watch the series if you love Sheridan’s work, mysterious thrillers and shows that portray America as the good guys. Or don’t. The choice is yours, but the idea that I’m going to shed tears because Taylor Sheridan wrote a series where dark and bad things happen is just comical.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.


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  1. F’em. You know they hate Yellowstone so much they lost sleep over it. And I’m sure they are celebrating Costner leaving. But if this show is good, and it looks good, people will watch and once again they can gnash their collective teeth till they break.

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