Wednesday, July 17, 2013

TV Show Review: The Lone Ranger (1949-57)

(Please note that as I am not reviewing specific episodes, I will be commenting on trends that most of the episodes followed.)

Title: The Lone Ranger
Author: N/A
Genre: Western
My Rating: *****
Official Rating: PG? I don't think it has one
Age Group: 6+
John Reid and his brother, along with other Texas Rangers, are ambushed by Cavendish in a canyon. All are killed.
When Tonto the Native American rides through, he sees the bodies and is horrified. He begins to bury them out of respect and finds something very strange: one of them is still alive.
Tonto nurses John Reid back to health and Reid decides he must put a stop to the evil deeds of people like Cavendish. In order to do this, he must put on a mask, get a new horse, and find some ammo. Thus, the Lone Ranger is born. He has a white hat, a black mask, shoots silver bullets, and rides a white horse with Tonto by his side (riding Scout)
They ride for justice.

Word of Warning
  • This is the wild west. People are shot, though the death count is low compared to most westerns.
  • The Lone Ranger is disguised and refuses to tell anyone who he is. He allows people to believe that John Reid is dead.
  • The Lone Ranger shoots, but not to kill. Instead, he shoots to disarm his opponent and not injure him (if possible).
  • People are in danger, shot at, and in need of assistance (thus the appearance of the Lone Ranger).
  • Animals die, things burn, people are hurt.
  • There is very little romance when it comes to the episodes (mainly because the main characters encounter one or two in the course of the entire show). Granted, it does exist, but if I remember correctly, it is rarely (if ever) problematic.
  • Note that while danger does occur, it is usually portrayed in a rather tame way compared to what is shown on the screen today.
  • This may be one of the cleanest westerns ever written and aired.
My Thoughts:
Appropriate for children, the show attracted a variety of ages, though one did not often see the older fans running around the house shouting "Hi-yo Silver, away!", chattering about using silver bullets, or using the words "ke-mo sah-bee" as often as possible.
The Lone Ranger is a super hero of sorts. He wears a mask and rode about the west coming to the rescue of those in need who could get help from no one else. He always succeed, though it is not always clear that this will be the case. He has almost no character flaws. The Lone Ranger is the western's Superman. And that's not so bad, because Superman was one of the few superheroes who was truly good. Bringing an exciting experience to the screen, then, is this superhero of the west: The Lone Ranger--a good man. A true man.
What more could we possibly want?

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