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I saw this--

Lee Majors and Bruce Dern have joined the cast of 'The Big Valley,' based on the 1960s TV series. Majors and Dern will play Judge Adams and Tom Barkley, respectively, in the film, which stars Jessica Lange as Victoria Barkley and Stephen Moyer ('True Blood') as her eldest son, Jarrod. Majors portrayed Heath Barkley in the original TV series..."

--and instantly flashed back to my teen-age babysitting days when this show was on (already in reruns in case you think I'm that ancient) in the afternoon. I watched it faithfully b/c I was sooo in love with Heath Barkley:


And Nick:


AND Jarrod, too:


Yep, I'd take all 3 of 'em. :)

This is what I liked best about the old TV westerns:

The good guys were GOOD. Period. No "iffy" business. Maybe a couple minor flaws, like...say, "a hot temper" or no luck with the ladies. Nothing that'd stop you from rolling around in a buckboard with 'em. :)

The bad guys were BAD. Also period. You knew exactly who those evil yellow-bellied varmints were and you knew exactly what would happen to them in the end (POW-POW-POW!). Now, in an age where your typical hero may rip your throat out at any moment, I still find that comforting. Predictable, yes--but comforting.

I am SO going to see this film when it comes out!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 10th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
*sigh* just goes to show you that Hollyweird has NO original ideas!
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
I take it you're not as excited as me. :)
Jun. 10th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
Well, I am thrilled about this movie. I loved this show. I've always thought that the pilot episode would make a fantastic YA novel. I've written to Fox Home Video three times now because they stopped releasing DVDs in the middle of season two! They never write back to me.

There's a facebook community for the film where they're announcing casting as it happens. Susan Sarandon had been announced as Victoria earlier but that fell through for some reason. Wah! I think she would have been better but I'm alone on the facebook community because apparently everyone else looking forward to this film is a rabid Tea Partier who holds Ms. Sarandon's anti-war stance against her.

Travis Fimmel (Sex and the City) is Heath. Jack Nicholson's daughter Lorraine is Audra.

I never liked Bonanza when I was younger but I watch it now because there aren't any other Westerns on TV anymore. (I wrote a long blog entry comparing the two shows but on rereading, it came across as....insane, so I never posted it.) It's funny to think how Westerns ruled the airwaves for so long and now they're nowhere. Why do you think that is? What need did we have then that we don't need filled anymore?
Jun. 10th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
"Why do you think that is? What need did we have then that we don't need filled anymore?"

I think the passage of time has something to do with it. After all, when TV westerns gained popularity in the fifties and sixties, the "real" west wasn't all that far behind us; the Civil War, for instance, had been only 90-100 years in the past. We had all those great western role models like John Wayne, Gene Autry, James Arness, Roy Rogers, Fess Parker, etc., none of whom are still alive to my knowledge. I think audiences appreciated true heros with true moral values, unlike the heros on TV and in film today. It was simply a different time.

One of my favorite memories is of watching "Gunsmoke" with my grandmother every Saturday night. :)
Jun. 11th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
I vividly remember everyone making plans to be glued to their TV for the episode of Bonanza where Little Joe finally married (and quickly became a widower.)

A couple of months ago, I came across an old article from 1960 that tried to analyze the appeal of TV westerns, beginning with the assumption that the appeal was primarily to men. Sadly, it is no longer available on-line. Some of the ideas presented (I made notes):

- They were an outlet for male homicidal urges.
- Men secretly identify with the villain and hope he will win.
- Westerns are morsels of violence, sadism and subliteracy and
- Are responsible for the majority of emotionally provoked chest pains but most significantly
- The masculine appeal of Westerns correlates to the tightness of the pants worn by TV cowboys, tight pants--as I'm sure you know--"historically have been a badge of masculinity."
Jul. 7th, 2010 06:35 am (UTC)
Richard long who played Jarod died at a young age. I think he was in his 40's. I remember Barbara Stanwyck and her black leather gloves she was always wearing
Jul. 7th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
I felt so bad about Jarrod. :(
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Jeannine Garsee

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