Written by: Tim Wang
This season, T.V. shows and sitcoms like “The Neighbors” and “Malibu Country” are popping up all over the place, bringing their modern humor and fresh plot lines. However, in embracing the many new stories that have graced the screen, we have forgotten about many of the old great T.V. Westerns and the joy that they bought to their generation.
In the 1950s, the Western genre was at its peak. Such shows often depicted the harshness of American life, conflicts with Indians, and fast drawing gunslingers. Shows like “The Lone Ranger” and “Maverick” were once the most popular shows of their time, consistently ranking as the most watched TV show.
Nowadays, such shows have a much more limited fan base, consisting mostly of those from the previous generation.
Though there are still a few Westerns currently playing, they are far different from the 50s. Quite a few of the names of these older Westerns may even be alien to many of us, such as “Laredo” or “Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats”. However, we should not forget the shows that changed our culture, and we should once again broadcast them.
Among the great TV genres, Westerns have slowly been dying. Among the old Westerns, “Gunsmoke” stands out. Set in Dodge City, Kansas during the settling of the American West, it stars James Arness as Marshall Matt Dillon.
“Gunsmoke” is a drama series that described the adventures and dangers of the time. The amazingly realistic Western started as a radio broadcast but became a TV show in 1955, and its last episode aired in 1975. It is a true American odyssey, lasting for 635 episodes and ranking first place for over five years during its lifetime. Now, this show is largely unknown in our generation.
Besides “Gunsmoke”, other shows like “Wagon Train” and “Maverick” should also be brought back. “Wagon Train” is a series that ran for eight years, topping the charts once and describing the story of a wagon train that makes its way west.
“Maverick” ran for five years, describing the life a group of poker players out west, testing their consciences between money and morals.
Traditions that gave enjoyment to so many of our ancestors shouldn’t be forgotten. Today, modern shows of questionable quality like “The Simpsons” have run for almost twenty years and are still continued. Why should we forget westerns like “Gunsmoke” and “Maverick”? These shows took America by storm and we should remember and bring back these great American Westerns.