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Old June 30 2010, 04:32 AM   #61
Harvey
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

stj wrote: View Post
Jesse James is done repeatedly, last time in American Outlaws, played by Colin Farrell. He has a black sidekick!
More recently, there was The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford in 2007, starring Brad Pitt. I've heard good things about it, but I confess I haven't seen it.
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Old June 30 2010, 03:51 PM   #62
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

stj wrote: View Post
I'm not quite sure that box office hits are representative of Westerns as a class. Certainly, since I said that since integration the classic Western is dead, citing post-integration Westerns (a mere handful compared to the torrent beforehand,) isn't even relevant. That said, Duel in the Sun is about "halfbreed" played by Jennifer Jones! Not seeing doesn't mean nothing's there.

Jesse James is done repeatedly, last time in American Outlaws, played by Colin Farrell. He has a black sidekick!
Turning Jesse James into a Western Robin Hood covers up his role as a Confederate guerrilla, who took part in massacres. Having a Southern rebel motivated by something other than racism is the same kind of falsification promoted by the NeoConfederate sympathizers who babble about economic oppression by Northern industrialists or dedication to states' rights.

In the classic Western there there are no significant numbers of African Americans or Chinese; the Indians are simply bloodthirsty marauders or noble savages doomed by the modern world or simply not part of the equation (none of which were true!); Manly Men heroically struggle with the lawless landscape, far removed from both the blessings and blights of civilization; noble settlers start anew in unpopulated territory. In various ways, this is a dream world where issues of race, from the annihilation of the American Indians to the nature of the Civil War, simply don't exist. After integration made race an issue, the mythology no longer bore conviction. Even on television, younger audiences would rather watch cop shows.
Wow. I'm not sure I agree with that at all.
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Old June 30 2010, 09:44 PM   #63
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

Harvey wrote: View Post

More recently, there was The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford in 2007, starring Brad Pitt. I've heard good things about it, but I confess I haven't seen it.
I forgot since I couldn't watch it. After what I learned via MacPherson from Stiles (T.J., not P.J., I can't type anything write, sorry) I wasn't impressed with the choice of Jesse James on the psychology of hero worship and the price of celebrity, etc.

But early in the movie there is a scene where Jessie robs a train. He does so, as near as I could see in the artsy cinematography, by standing his horse in front of the train. We the viewers get shots of train headlight glaring into our brains. The train manages to come to a halt.

Most Westerns show barricades barely stopping trains, and more show horsemen galloping madly to leap aboard with dash and panche. Maybe living by a trunk line for the Norfolk & Western (now Norfolk Southern) has given me the false impression about nineteenth century trains. Perhaps they never traveled above five miles per hour at night. But I'm used to trains that often take over a mile to brake if they're traveling at any appreciable velocity.

There hasn't been such a blow to willing suspension of disbelief since I saw John Sayles' version of Tug Fork river.
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Old June 30 2010, 11:56 PM   #64
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

I can't say I know much about trains, though what you describe sounds pretty ridiculous. On the other hand, wikipedia links to a website of the James family that praises the historical accuracy of the movie, but it goes without saying that they have a vested interest in a certain portrayal of James, so take this with quite a grain of salt. Apparently the movie is based on a 1983 novel of the same name, but I haven't read that, either.
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Old November 23 2010, 10:40 PM   #65
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Deadwood on Blu-ray

Harvey wrote: View Post
Well, there was Deadwood on HBO for three years, but judging by the ten episodes I've seen so far, it's not the kind of episodic western the OP wants to see.
Well actually this past week I watched the pilot and 2nd episode of Deadwood via Netflix. The production values are feature film level and the characters are very complex. It surely is a serial show with character and story arcs. It was very well done.
I think I'll watch more episodes here and there but not disc after disc.
It's nice to know I could watch all 3 seasons back to back via Netflix rentals if I wanted to...

Looking forward to the December cinema release of True Grit (2010) remake directed by the Coen brothers.

I should mention here that just today Deadwood complete series in HD was released on Blu-ray as a 13 disc Blu-ray set.

review http://www.dvdtown.com/review/deadwo...blu-ray/8622/2
another review
Everything you’d find in the individual season sets have been imported to the complete series set along with the new special features available on the 2008 release.
Essentially, this is nothing more than an HD translation of what was released two years ago on standard disc.
http://www.hollywoodchicago.com/news...credible-drama


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Last edited by cultcross; November 25 2010 at 03:57 PM.
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Old November 24 2010, 02:49 PM   #66
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Desperado on CBS - modern day Western in San Antonio

auntiehill wrote: View Post
FX's "Justified" is about as close to an old-fashioned Western as you're going to get right now.
Well now CBS decided to go down this road.

Exclu: CBS is developing a neo-Western crime drama from the creator of CSI and a legal drama based on a story by crime novelist Joel Goldman.
First up is Desperado, about a band of lawmen who enact cowboy-style justice on modern-day criminals in San Antonio.
CSI mastermind Anthony Zuiker is the executive producer, with Hitman 2 scribe Kyle Ward writing and executive producing and Matthew Weinberg co-executive producing. CBS TV Studios and Dare to Pass are the production companies.
CBS Develops Modern-Day Western
11/23/2010

No casting or timeframe information is available,
With the notable exception of FX’s Justified, few have tried to adapt the down-home feel and shoot first attitude of 50s and 60s shows like Gunsmoke and Wanted: Dead or Alive for 21st century audiences. Justified‘s recent success on cable may have spurred CBS to give it a try on network TV.
http://screenrant.com/cbs-desperado-...r-mcrid-89253/

Well at least the genre may have a little bit of stuff with horses...
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Old November 24 2010, 03:26 PM   #67
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

The last production that was anything like a "classic" American western was probably Silverado...but it was a bit arch and self-aware, wasn't it? Still, loved the relationship between Kline and Hunt.
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Old November 25 2010, 12:19 AM   #68
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

Desperado has a writer from Dexter (and if I'm remembering writers' names correctly, he's written some great stuff for that show), which makes me more interested. But it's on CBS, which makes me less interested. I guess I'll have to see which factor wins out - the edge factor of Dexter or the bland factor of CBS.
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Old November 27 2010, 06:18 PM   #69
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

Pandering to rightwingers' fantasies about gunning down the evil people (even if they're careful to integrate the ethnicities of the righteously slain villains,) counts as edgy?

Dexter's kills are the least interesting thing about Dexter. And his success is targeting killers and getting away with it demands increasingly ridiculous plotting.

Of course, broadcast tv is incredibly conservative. That said, starring Lawrence Fishburne on CSI is much edgier. Giving a show an atheist hero is much edgier. (Never thinking about church or praying isn't atheism, it's the norm.)
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Old November 27 2010, 07:40 PM   #70
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

stj wrote: View Post
Of course, broadcast tv is incredibly conservative. That said, starring Lawrence Fishburne on CSI is much edgier.
This is the same network - CBS that
jefferiestubes8 wrote: View Post
we had many elements of a Western TV series with "Jericho" (2006) (TV series).
That element was not used that often due to the amount of plot given to the whole conspiracy plotline in both seasons of Jericho.
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Old November 27 2010, 07:43 PM   #71
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

I can't imagine this new CBS drama is going to come close to touching the quality of Justified.
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Old November 27 2010, 08:51 PM   #72
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

Pandering to rightwingers' fantasies about gunning down the evil people (even if they're careful to integrate the ethnicities of the righteously slain villains,) counts as edgy?
You obviously don't understand Dexter in the least.

But CBS would definitely pander to right-wing fantasies about vigilante justice and no doubt will be rewarded with big ratings.
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Old November 27 2010, 08:56 PM   #73
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

I don't really follow how Dexter is "right-wing", but one show where I really noticed that (and I'm sure it's the same with many other cop shows) is Criminal Minds. The suspect almost always dies in the end, usually at the hands of the FBI officers. How convenient eh, that they never have to deal with the pesky justice system by being able to summarily exececute, ehm I mean "shoot in self defense" (wink wink) the murderer...
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Old November 27 2010, 10:08 PM   #74
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

Roger Wilco wrote: View Post
I don't really follow how Dexter is "right-wing", but one show where I really noticed that (and I'm sure it's the same with many other cop shows) is Criminal Minds. The suspect almost always dies in the end, usually at the hands of the FBI officers. How convenient eh, that they never have to deal with the pesky justice system by being able to summarily exececute, ehm I mean "shoot in self defense" (wink wink) the murderer...
The question about vigilante justice being edgy wasn't supposed to be connected to Dexter. There was a typo and a paragraph break that was supposed to be there was inadvertently omitted. I'm a terrible typist, sue me. Dexter only came up because one of the creators was a Dexter writer. The question was a soft way of saying that it's not edgy to praise vigilante justice. National public policy claims the right to send missiles to murder whomever some bureaucrat in the CIA or the Pentagon chooses, even a US citizen.

Criminal Minds I've never watched, since the science of profiling is pretty much hype and horseshit. It makes the romaticized science on CSI look like a textbook. And everyone knows that JAG and its spinoffs were produced by a conservative. The general point that police are almost invariably viewed as benign and competent authority figures is quite true. Even shows like NYPD Blue that have a slightly more nuanced characterization like to portray cops at worst as normal, i.e., flawed, people stressed by their lonely struggle against evil. This is definitely a conservative viewpoint.

Shows like CSI (this does not include the spinoffs) or The Closer or the early season Dexter, that acknowledge that the police might be wrong, or lie, or be criminal themselves, or just be careerist incompetents, tend to be the exception. Blatant exceptions, like In Justice or The Whole Truth, which don't even treat the police as valid authority figures, have trouble even getting an audience to sample the show.

To pursue the aside about Dexter: Dexter the fun vigilante is the least creative, worst written aspect of that show. It's general portrayal of mental illness is generally ludicrously backwards, which I suppose is a kind of right wingness. But, the earlier, better seasons were not about Dexter the vigilante does good, but Dexter goes sane. The Miami PD was infested with real people, not Heroes (like the town marshal or noble gunslingers or natural gentleman cowpokes in Westerns.) Season three was lower in quality and season four really marked a significant drop in quality.

I've avoided detailed spoilers about season five but the interesting issue of Dexter coming to terms with the fact that Harry was nuttier than a fruitcake, or Deborah finding about Harry, don't even seem to be on the horizon. This is writing Deborah as a mindless cardboard buffoon who just helplessly adores her brother, no matter what. Coupled with the nonexistence of the mother, we can't say the show has even written a family dynamic at all, much less successfully.

As of end of fourth season, Deborah became a cop because she idolized her father. That's why she'll be an honest cop, because she's trying to live up to her father's image. And why if she's scripted as accepting her brother's extracurricular career without finding out about Harry first it'll be bullshit writing.

Killing off Rita made the most sense as a cop out way of depriving Dexter of a meaningful choice between normality and the vigilante lifestyle, that is, writing it to justify Dexter continuing to kill, because the new producers think that'll be the popular ending. Glancing over the commentary on season five, it appears there's a peculiar puzzlement, a subdued yet unacknowledged lack of enthusiasm that makes me think that is exactly the road they're traveling.
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Old November 27 2010, 10:22 PM   #75
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Re: a new Western as a TV episodic series? discuss

I would like to see an episodic Western made.

I agree with the opinion below....

auntiehill wrote: View Post
Possible, yes. Too expensive for networks to bother with? Definitely.
I think the show would have to be presented with a multi-generational cast (ala Dallas and Falcon Crest) for it to appeal to a wide audience/make money/get the ratings.

Unfortunately, the days of those type of primetime shows being made (soaps in the examples above) are almost over IMO.

auntiehill wrote: View Post
FX's "Justified" is about as close to an old-fashioned Western as you're going to get right now.
I was going to mention "Justified". Despite the modern slant on the show (and it taking place in fictional Kentucky), I get a "western" vibe from it at times. I like the show.
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