samedi 25 octobre 2014

Take A Trip Back In Time And Watch Classic TV Westerns Online

By Young Lindsay

Nowadays there is so much choice when it comes to television shows that it can be overwhelming trying to decide what to watch. You may even find yourself wishing for a time when things were simpler. The solution is to give in to nostalgia and watch classic TV Westerns online.

Back in the Fifties, the Western was a very popular and ubiquitous genre on television. For Halloween, kids dressed up like Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger or Zorro. A hugely popular show of its time and still regarded as one of the top Westerns in history was 'Gunsmoke'.

Famous names in Hollywood were cast in shows that were to become classics. For instance, James Garner was the hero of 'Maverick'. Other shows starred relative unknowns who later became huge stars. 'The Alaskans', for instance, had a young Roger Moore in a lead role and Moore later became famous for playing James Bond. 'Rawhide' starred a young actor named Clint Eastwood, who would go on to become of of history's ultimate movie cowboys.

The trend for great Western television series continued in the Sixties. The longest-running series in the genre was 'Bonanza', which started in the late Fifties, ran throughout the Sixties and into the early Seventies. 'The High Chaparral' was another hit and 'The Big Valley' boasted a cast that included Barbara Stanwyck, Linda Evans and Lee Majors of 'The Six Million Dollar Man' fame.

During the Seventies, most of the old shows were cancelled. The traditional Western's gun-slinging, macho values didn't fit in with the new era's more gentle spirit. There were still some popular shows, including the miniseries 'How the West Was Won'. However, the Western now tended to have a hero with a softer side, such as the gentle giant Grizzly Adams, or they would have a modern setting or a stronger focus on family.

Female characters started featuring more strongly too. While 'Little House on the Prairie' was supposed to be a vehicle for Michael Landon after his time on 'Bonanza', its real star was Melissa Gilbert, who played young Laura Ingalls. Jane Seymour took things a step further in the Nineties when she played a female doctor in 'Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman'.

By the new millennium, a new type of Western, one with an interesting twist, was born. Josh Whedon's 'Firefly' was a so-called space Western. It featured the characteristics of traditional Westerns, with new lands to be tamed, outlaws on the run from the authorities and of course horses but it was set in outer space and the heroes traveled by spaceship. 'Firefly' only lasted one season but gained an exceptionally loyal fan base and is now considered a cult classic.

To watch Western classics online, you only need to find a site that will allow you to stream episodes. Some sites even specialize in the genre. You may have to pay a small fee. Remember though to prepare a dish of cowboy beans before you sit back and relax with some old-time entertainment.

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