Sunday, June 2, 2013

TV Show Review: Bonanza (1959-73)

(Please note that I am not reviewing specific episodes, but just all of them as a whole. As a result I will comment on trends, not necessarily particular problems with each episode.)

Title: Bonanza (1959-73)
Author: N/A
Genre: Historical Fiction, Western
My Rating: ****
Official Rating: None (probably PG--a few possibly reaching PG-13)
Age Group: 10+

Mr. Cartwright and his three sons own a huge chunk of land known as the Ponderosa, located in Nevada. The Bonanza TV series tells the stories of their battles with the land, and those living on it, attempting to keep their belongings safe from those who would take or destroy them. In typical western style, there are horses, guns, and fights everywhere.

Word of Warning:
  • Guns are used, but people are rarely shot. If they are, it is even more rarely the good guy who is shot. Even if the bad guy is the one who is shot, people still feel bad about it and try to make up for it. The Cartwrights are especially wary of shooting at another person, which often puts their lives in danger.
  • Fist fights.
  • Drinking. All the time. Sometimes it ends up in drunkenness, but usually this is not the case.
  • The youngest of the three brothers, Little Joe, is always falling for a new woman. This results in flirting and some kissing.
  • A few deaths here and there.
  • A rough and tough way of life. Sometimes under a roof, sometimes under the stars. Sometimes on the run, sometimes at home in bed.

My Thoughts:
For those of us who love westerns, this is right up there with The Lone Ranger. Only in this case, it's just a family (minus the mother who passed on years ago) fighting to protect what's theirs. The West is a harsh place, and the boys are brought up not only to protect themselves but also to do what's right. The episodes are filled with mini lessons and illustrations of moral virtue. Granted, they don't always make the right choice, but they always try. When they mess up, they confess and try to fix the damage they've done. It is, in a sense, what true story telling is meant to be.


Lurai said...

My dad loves this show, I haven't seen it much myself. I think Little Joe is the Western equivalent of Captain Kirk. Only Kirk is worse. But enough of me ranting about him :D Great review, as usual!

Maria Gianna said...

Great for your dad! He has found a pretty awesome show, in my humble opinion :)
Hmm. From what I hear of Kirk, Little Joe is a very VERY tame version of that. Most (if not all) of his romances are clean. They may be strangely frequent, but I can't remember one that I was concerned with my younger siblings seeing.

For those of you reading this comment, keep an eye open for a page titled announcements (might be up in the next week or two). It should tell you about all the cool things we have coming this summer!