Wednesday, April 27, 2011

difference between TV westerns and cop shows - unless there's a woman

Grandpa's a big fan of westerns.  Luckily for him, TVLand plays multiple episodes of Gunsmoke and Bonanza daily.  I am not a western fan, but I am a Grandpa fan, and I like to sit with him and work on the computer while he watches his shows.  I've realized that I don't mind at all watching up to 4 hours of Michael Landon a day (Little House is on, too), but if I never hear the Bonanza theme song again I will be perfectly happy, and my favorite opening for Gunsmoke is the one that zooms in on Marshal Matt Dillon's gun in his holster because it also zooms in on his tight butt (thank you, Gunsmoke - way to draw in the ladies).

I've become aware of one glaring difference between these "old" westerns and modern cop shows.  Unless it's time for the Big Shoot-Out, the old gunslingers seem to get their man with the first shot every time, while on cop shows Many Bullets must be fired.  I've only fired a gun once, but I think I'm a lot better shot than some of those dodos.  Really, it just makes you want to jump into the show and take over, doesn't it?  Remind me to check in with my therapist re: anger management.  Anyway, Marshal Dillon or the Cartwrights just fire a shot, the bad guy goes down without bleeding, and the story moves on.  And when our heroes get hit, they say, "It's just a scratch.  I'm fine," and go on with their day.

On today's cop shows, however, when the guns come out they stay out.  Must have a good union.  Every single thing around the bad guy is hit as he blithely runs away.  And if someone is hit, hero or villain, it's an Emmy-nominated moment:  "I'm hit!  I'm hit!  Aaaagggghhhh...."  Then they either die violently or fall in love in their hospital room.

UNLESS, that is, the hero of the cop show is actually a heroine.  Oh yes, now that more and more women are playing detectives, producers (or whoever) are returning to that old western glory.  If the female detective gets hit, she says, "It's just a scratch.  I'm fine," checks her stilettos, then ministers to her less-tough male counterparts who are whining in the background.  And she always gets her man.

When it's time for the Big Shoot-Out, however, all shows are the same - shoot all you've got at everything you've got.  Noise and flash is the goal, not accuracy.  The bigger the explosion, the better!  And as the dust settles, our hero or heroine rises bravely from the rubble, smiles a crooked smile, and rides into the sunset.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the reminder of good times..
    I used to watch both of these shows with my grandfather every afternoon. Gunsmoke was Monday night....those times are special...enjoy them...and thanks for a stroll down memory lane