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zoey1996

Westerns, Old and New

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Mr. Zoey and I enjoy watching old Gunsmokes.  We DVR them from TV Land.  Most we've seen multiple times, but every once in a whiile we will see one that we don't remember.  

 

Mr. Zoey watches a lot of the old ones he grew up watching, like Maverick and Bat Masterson on Encore Westerns, and Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers.  I always like Wagon Train, too.

 

For one that's newer, I've started watching The Pinkertons.  It's a syndicated show with no set time for airing across the board, but where I live, two stations carry it at different times.  I've been DVRing and then catching up when I can.

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Mr. Zoey and I enjoy watching old Gunsmokes.  We DVR them from TV Land.  Most we've seen multiple times, but every once in a whiile we will see one that we don't remember.

 

With your DVR, you can fast forward through the endless commercials on TV Land.  Bonanza is, by far, my favorite western.  Most of the episodes can be found on You Tube with no commercials.

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I have a place in my heart for The Big Valley. I was so excited when MeTV picked it up. Now it's on Decades.

 

I also love High Chaparral. I wish it were on at better time.

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Love Big Valley! Didn't know it was on MeTV. I watch it on INSP. I don't get Decades.

INSP is really overdoing it with The Virginian and Daniel Boone. Neither is a fav of mine either.

Edited by DoughGirl
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I don't know if Big Valley is still on MeTV -- check their Saturday western schedule. It is part of INSP's Saddle Up Saturdays.

 

I have to revise -- I think my favorite part of High Chaparral is the opening credits. I love the dramatic mariachi music.

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The early seasons of The Virginian are great for starring guest roles. Hugh O'Brien, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, etc.

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TV Land started Bonanza's early episodes this week.  It's to be expected that characters start out differently than in later episodes.  Did the Cartwrights start out being gigantic assholes or is it my imagination?

Edited by pandora spocks

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TV Land started Bonanza's early episodes this week.  It's to be expected that characters start out differently than in later episodes.  Did the Cartwrights start out being gigantic assholes or is it my imagination?

You're probably watching it with "modern" eyes.

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With your DVR, you can fast forward through the endless commercials on TV Land.  Bonanza is, by far, my favorite western.  Most of the episodes can be found on You Tube with no commercials.

Yes, we often zoom through commercials.  Makes it much more pleasant!

 

Love watching the ones with guest stars who aren't around now.  Some of the story lines are pretty hokie, but still fun to watch.

 

My dad's favorite was Bonanza; one of my grandpas loved Wagon Train.  I always like Bonanza and Gunsmoke.  

 

I've been watching The Pinkertons, but would love to watch the ones I've missed.  It's kind of difficult to track down, but I'm hoping the one station that is broadcasting it here will re-run some of the ones I've missed.  

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One of the local stations ran Western reruns on Saturday mornings when I was a child. I loved Big Valley and Maverick, but my all-time favorite was The Rifleman. That was my favorite father-son relationship!

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My problem with The Rifleman is the opening credits. Chuck cocking and shooting his rifle from the hip (and his crotch) and then winking at the camera.  Subtle.

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My problem with The Rifleman is the opening credits. Chuck cocking and shooting his rifle from the hip (and his crotch) and then winking at the camera.  Subtle.

 

Sigmund Freud would have been proud.  The only thing missing from the opening credits was Chuck Connors smoking a huge cigar.

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I remember Chuck Connors doing commercials for Schick Center clinics to help people stop smoking. It was one of those places that gave you an electric shock when you lit a cigarette; completely based on behavior modification. Chuck was a heavy smoker for years.

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There's the infamous "Cartrwight Curse" on Bonanza where none of the Cartwright men's wives or girlfriends would survive one episode. The Big Valley had an "Audra Curse" where it seemed every guy Audra Barkley(Linda Evans) would be romantically involved with would turn out to be a psychopath!

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The Big Valley had an "Audra Curse" where it seemed every guy Audra Barkley(Linda Evans) would be romantically involved with would turn out to be a psychopath!

Very true! And two played by Bradford Dillman. The psycho doctor with the nervous tick that he played had to be the scariest of all her love interests. "Auuuuudraaa!" INSP hardly ever shows that one. Probably something to do with their weird form of censorship.

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Love the Steve McQueen one about the bounty hunter.

"Wanted: Dead or Alive."  I watched it tonight, and "Josh" was running through a list of local guns for hire, and one of the names was Tom Horn.  I thought, Steve didn't know he'd be portraying Tom in film several years later.

 

I love Steve McQueen, because really, who doesn't like a smartass? I'm probably one of the few on this forum old enough to remember when he was battling cancer, and the way he was front page fodder for the tabloids. If you think the tabs are bad now, you have no idea. All that drama with Laetrile. It was awful.

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Encore Westerns is running some episodes from the first season of Gunsmoke. Miss Kitty was beautiful, before she got into the wigs and false eyelashes. In the pilot episode, she was obviously hitting on Matt. Later on, it became more subtext. 

 

These old westerns are like comfort food.

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I remember an editorial about how the world changed when John Wayne passed. I think we need icons and symbols like he provided. We need the good guys.

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We've been watching Death Valley Days for several weeks now.  They really are interesting.  These are the ones with the Old Ranger, before Robert Taylor, Ronald Reagan, and Dale Robertson hosted/introduced each episode.  I even learn something from time to time.  For example, I knew that grasshoppers destroyed crops in the "dirty thirties," with dustbowl conditions in the Great Depression, but I had never heard of the "Mormon Crickets" (not literally crickets) and the Miracle of the Seagulls before an episode of this show.

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A very young Clint Eastwood was in yesterday's episode of Death Valley Days, about mail service between San Francisco and the mining camps.  And I recognized him before seeing the credits!

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On 9/3/2015 at 6:05 PM, ennui said:

Did the Cartwrights start out being gigantic assholes or is it my imagination?

It's not your imagination!  I remember finally seeing the earliest episodes and they were very "isolationist".  They didn't seem to want to have anyone encroaching on their Ponderosa ranch.  It wasn't long before they were toned down and made more welcoming to strangers.

 

I liked The Big Valley (and was excited when a big screen adaptation had been in the works but scrapped shortly before shooting began) and I think in some ways the Barkleys were more interesting than The Cartwrights.  I used to think the two shared a universe for some reason;  maybe because it wouldn't have been implausible for two powerful families in the 19th century west to do business with one another.

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On 9/13/2015 at 8:48 PM, ennui said:

My problem with The Rifleman is the opening credits. Chuck cocking and shooting his rifle from the hip (and his crotch) and then winking at the camera.  Subtle.

One thing about Chuck Connors in hindsight he is like a big Tom Cruise, a natural left hander who could weld his rifle with either hand. His baseball stats say he batted left and not as a switch hitter, but being a basketball player too i am sure he went to the right hand at times.

On 11/4/2016 at 3:09 AM, magicdog said:

It's not your imagination!  I remember finally seeing the earliest episodes and they were very "isolationist".  They didn't seem to want to have anyone encroaching on their Ponderosa ranch.  It wasn't long before they were toned down and made more welcoming to strangers.

 

I liked The Big Valley (and was excited when a big screen adaptation had been in the works but scrapped shortly before shooting began) and I think in some ways the Barkleys were more interesting than The Cartwrights.  I used to think the two shared a universe for some reason;  maybe because it wouldn't have been implausible for two powerful families in the 19th century west to do business with one another.

Due to Lee Majors and Linda Evans stardom in the late 70s and early 80s The Big Valley was the big show in syndication. Not having really seen the Cartwrights progression, the Barkley's did come a more adult later era. Accepting Heath the mistresses son that was largely forgotten by the family and even those that came into the orbit accepted him as if it was a common occurance. Interracial relations were treated more real, to my eye at least

 

Watching older TV I am amazed at how they were able to squeeze in the morality tale into the half hour drama. There being no B-plots or outward attempts at the continuing story probably helps.  If I were to look for a more modern TV western, The Young Riders Pony Express story comes to mind first.

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We watched a Wagon Train yesterday.  The episode was, "The St. Nicholas Story," first aired Dec. 23, 1959.  Ward Bond was wagonmaster Seth Adams.  It seems rare that westerns had Christmas themed shows.  The other one I've seen was on Gunsmoke, Murry Christmas.  It's one of our favorite episodes, and we try to watch it every year.  We don't have a recording, so it's somewhat hit or miss.

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On 8/26/2015 at 8:35 PM, ennui said:

The early seasons of The Virginian are great for starring guest roles. Hugh O'Brien, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, etc.

I love watching The Virginian and this is one of the biggest reasons why.  There was an episode with DeForest Kelley playing an army doctor and his patient was Leonard Nimoy.  There have also been episodes with James Doohan, including one where he spoke with a Scottish accent.

Harrison Ford is in two Season 5 episodes.  There's also a lot of fun in seeing the same actors over and over again playing different roles.  Royal Dano, Andrew Duggan, Leslie Neilson, John Dehner, John Anderson, and others.

It was amazing that they made around 30 episodes a season and they were all 90 minutes.  It's also funny how there's barely any continuity.  They just have stories with very little reference to the past.  Love interests that just disappear.  Some episodes are clearly out of order.

You can also learn a lot about history.  This year is the 150th anniversary of Wyoming giving women the right to vote.  Teddy Roosevelts Rough Riders charged up San Juan Hill on foot.  A teamster is someone who drives a team of horses.  A drummer is a salesman (That adds a whole new dimension to "my mother told me to never date a drummer 🙂).  

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Starz westerns channel recently changed their lineup, adding Wyatt Earp, moving Big Valley a half hour later.  They still have Laramie, then Maverick, and then Cheyenne.  Cheyenne ends after the local news starts, so we don't often watch it.  I wish they'd switch the times for Maverick and Cheyenne; I don't care for many of the Maverick episodes.  On the other hand, I usually skip Maverick to get some household chores done, so there's that.

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The Death Valley Days episode,  Hugh Glass Meets the Bear, was on recently.  The movie, The Revenant also told the Hugh Glass story,  They were very different takes on the same man's story.

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