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Old May 7 2010, 06:47 AM   #16
auntiehill
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

Well, Deadwood did have its own kind of symmetry:

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Old May 7 2010, 04:01 PM   #17
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

Aragorn wrote: View Post
Forgot the add the obvious one:
Not to mention the only good one.

I'm no fan of westerns, but I would imagine doing one today would be easier than a new Sci-Fi series.
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Old May 7 2010, 04:05 PM   #18
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

auntiehill wrote: View Post
^Which is a shame, because it was probably more realistic than any other Western
See, this is why the only Western I like is Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Great writing and characters aside, it was the first (and most likely only) western to show the real story of America. How our so-called free society systematically destroyed the culture that already lived here. Older shows such as Bonanaza, only portrayed Indians as "the bad guys".
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Old May 7 2010, 04:27 PM   #19
jefferiestubes8
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

RandyS wrote: View Post
I'm no fan of westerns, but I would imagine doing one today would be easier than a new Sci-Fi series.
Wow RandyS when you put it like that you are so right.
Based on the discussion of just the Poll: What channel should a new Trek TV series be on? thread that covers many reasons why scifi on television is a risky venture by TV channels obsessed with Nielsen ratings instead of creating a series like HBO does and air the entire series.

I guess I'll have to settle for the every two or three years a Hollywood feature film Western that gets released in August instead of TV like
Open Range (2003)
3:10 to Yuma (2007) [remake]
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
There Will Be Blood (2007)

I think I'd rather see a mini-series though than a big-screen feature to be honest. Allow the characters more development time rather than planning for the big climax.
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Old May 7 2010, 04:39 PM   #20
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

RandyS wrote: View Post
. . . See, this is why the only Western I like is Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Great writing and characters aside, it was the first (and most likely only) western to show the real story of America. How our so-called free society systematically destroyed the culture that already lived here. Older shows such as Bonanaza, only portrayed Indians as “the bad guys.”
Have you actually watched any old TV Westerns? Many of them portrayed American Indians in a sympathetic light.

As for Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, I found its Politically Correct approach absurdly anachronistic. The show frequently dealt with “issues” that simply WEREN'T issues in the 1870s. One critic quipped that he wouldn't have been surprised if the characters had called Indians “Native Americans” and cowboys “cowpersons.”
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Old May 7 2010, 05:28 PM   #21
jefferiestubes8
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

RandyS wrote: View Post
the only Western I like is Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Great writing and characters aside, it was the first (and most likely only) western to show the real story of America.

Westerns often portray how primitive and obsolete ways of life confronted modern technological or social changes. This may be depicted by showing conflict between natives and settlers or U.S. Cavalry or between cattle ranchers and farmers ("sodbusters"), or by showing ranchers being threatened by the onset of the Industrial Revolution.
I prefer Westerns that concentrate on the conflicts within the good and bad settlers instead of the Native Americans conflicts between natives and settlers or U.S. Cavalry. But we all have our preferences...

by definition Westerns are
set in the American Old West frontier (usually anywhere west of the Mississippi River) and typically set during the late nineteenth century.
.
most are set between the end of the American Civil War [1865] and the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890,
That means specific history things of course.
Specifically stories set around or after the first transcontinental railway was completed in 1869 & communication had changed with the telegraph connecting the western coast & east coasts by late 1861 and everywhere in between.
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Old May 7 2010, 06:05 PM   #22
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

scotpens wrote: View Post
RandyS wrote: View Post
. . . See, this is why the only Western I like is Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Great writing and characters aside, it was the first (and most likely only) western to show the real story of America. How our so-called free society systematically destroyed the culture that already lived here. Older shows such as Bonanaza, only portrayed Indians as “the bad guys.”
Have you actually watched any old TV Westerns? Many of them portrayed American Indians in a sympathetic light.

As for Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, I found its Politically Correct approach absurdly anachronistic. The show frequently dealt with “issues” that simply WEREN'T issues in the 1870s. One critic quipped that he wouldn't have been surprised if the characters had called Indians “Native Americans” and cowboys “cowpersons.”
I've seen a few. I didn't care for them. And Dr. Quinn is by no means perfect (they rarely got historical dates right for example), but it's still the best western I've ever seen. As far as "politically correct" goes, remember, this show WAS made in the 1990's.
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Old May 8 2010, 03:56 AM   #23
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

Well, whatever you think of Dr. Quinn, we can all agree on one thing: Jane Seymour is a major babe!

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Old May 8 2010, 09:55 PM   #24
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

I love westerns and agree with many that Deadwood was quite wonderful. They must be rather expensive to produce and film and that's probably why we only see the handful of movies every few years. Firefly's western feel was one of the main reasons that I started watching it and, unfortunately, for only one season.
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Old May 9 2010, 02:13 AM   #25
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

The classic Western is a racial mythology. Integration finished the classic Western, though it took television, a very reactionary medium, some years to notice. No modern Western can get away with reducing the native Americans to savages joyfully slaughtered, or even vanishing noble savages sensitively mourned, the occasional enlightened variant. Putting the African Americans and Chinese back into the landscape paints the American Eden in different colors.
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Old May 9 2010, 03:17 AM   #26
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

caisson2delta wrote: View Post
I love westerns and agree with many that Deadwood was quite wonderful. They must be rather expensive to produce and film and that's probably why we only see the handful of movies every few years.
I don't see why a TV Western today would necessarily be more expensive to produce than any other dramatic series that uses a few standing sets and a certain amount of location filming. In fact, one reason American series television was dominated by Westerns in the 1950s and ’60s was that they were relatively cheap to produce. Every movie studio had its backlot frontier town. Every wardrobe and prop department had a large inventory of period clothing, guns, furniture, wagons and other acoutrements. And the "horse opera" provided almost limitless story possibilities. The lone hero or the core of regular characters could be written into just about any dramatic situation.
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Old May 9 2010, 12:20 PM   #27
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

I think we may very well never see another tv western like Deadwood. The authenticity of it was unparalleled. That level of authenticity does require a certain amount of budgetary needs, but what really killed the show was the large cast. It's very difficult to keep a show safe, unless it only supports a cast of less than ten main characters. There were just so many actors with long running, frequently featured roles. It made the show a brilliant experience, but that money adds up fast

Making modern westerns is tough, because it has to BE about something too, & there is a limited amount of directions that are viable, or that viewers would show interest in. Plus, there is always going to be a certain lack of authenticity, if ever the producers wish to avoid the realism of the old west, which was a remarkably sexist, racist, violent time. Otherwise, you're relegated to uncensored cable production, & like I said, a show like Deadwood is rare, perhaps unique
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Old May 11 2010, 07:59 AM   #28
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

Westerns ebb and tide just like vampire shows it seems. The late eighties and nineties it seems had a lot of westerns serials. Though all weren't that bad, had promise, and were fairly respectable, only Dr. Quinn and if you count Christy had a solid run. Perhaps that was more of this 'appeal to women' western vibe that those had, but The Young Riders, Brisco County Jr, The Magnificent Seven, Dead Man's Gun, and Deadwood didn't run nearly as long as they could have.

It wasn't the shows, just ratings and budget that killed them. I don't think westerns are as much as a niche as they are made out to be, but merely too expensive and demographically small for networks to bother.

Dead Man's Gun isn't on dvd, but you can find Dr. Quinn and Christy on tv now. The others I'd like to get on dvd at some point, too. I suspect the only way a western might come back would be if it was as some sort of anthology style on cable, with one or two characters traveling or such. Does that make Renegade count? Deadwood's cast was huge.

Actually, what does everyone think of Walker, Texas Ranger? I never cared for it. Maybe it wasn't always a hit, but I think Chuck Norris' own money probably helped it last as long as it did.

Episodic westerns are expensive, but AMC and TNT used to produce and show a lot of the Louis L'Amour adaptations with Tom Selleck and Sam Elliot. Personally, I love classic westerns but I can see how they're not for everyone.
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Old May 11 2010, 08:05 AM   #29
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

^ So a western vampire crime procedural would be a big hit!
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Old May 12 2010, 08:13 PM   #30
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

KB24 wrote: View Post
Westerns ebb and tide just like vampire shows it seems.
from a Variety blog today:
As he noted during the chat, Selleck has done a lot of westerns, and that's one reason the genre hasn't made an episodic return -- other than modern versions, like FX's "Justified" -- because there's a sense that while westerns reliably draw big audiences (see miniseries like "Into the West" or "Broken Trail"), they don't appeal much to younger viewers. I'd argue it's time to test that theory, as would Selleck.
http://weblogs.variety.com/bltv/2010...-pipeline.html

Recently the only thing with younger people in anything set in Western USA outside was the awful social-experiment-reality genre "Kid Nation" (2007) (TV series) which was shot near the western town/set that had been recently refurbished for 3:10 to Yuma.
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