Regarding TV Westerns
deprecated the quality of TOS: "Oh please, even TOS was far from artistic. It was a western set in space."
2. I responded by noting that Westerns occupy their own category of art. I also asked if Gunsmoke, the Rifleman, and Bonanza featured the progressive social commentary we saw on Star Trek.
3. Other posters jumped in claiming progressive features of 60's TV westerns.
If #3 is correct, then great. If so, Star Trek has laudable features in common with TV westerns. Both were engaged in substantive social commentary. If art can serve a moral function (i.e., allow us to explore moral questions and allow artists to take moral stances), then both Star Trek and TV Westerns appear to share this facet.
NOTE: It is still my contention that Star Trek did more than the TV westerns. It was very multi-racial/multi-ethnic for it's time. The bridge of the Enterprise was rainbow of men and women working in unison. In addition, Trek could get away with stories that other shows could not, because it was in a fanciful setting. It could make direct comments about race hatred and segregation (i.e., it's stupid), because the message more easily slid past the censors.