Thursday, June 30, 2011


Lately I've been watching Gunsmoke each evening.  I know many wouldn't think of watching this.  First it's in Black and White.  Second, it's a western.  Well, you're right, it's B & W, but it's more than just a western.  In fact it's more of life drama's than about the old west.  For instance, tonight's episode, "Call me Dodie" is about a 17 year old lady who is the oldest child in an orphanage.  She is a mother figure to the rest of the children.  They look up to her because she makes the best of the cruel situation they're in.  But she escapes to Dodge City and people do their best to take advantage of her. She has the innocence of a child, but she can take care of herself.  Again, she has the ability to make the best of whatever situation she finds herself. There were no gun fights, Matt didn't have to shoot anyone or beat anyone up.  Miss Kitty wasn't kidnaped or have to break up a potential fight in the "Long Branch."  Don't get me wrong, this sometimes happens.  But the longevity of the series can be attributed to how deep the episodes were.  Other night time series have lasted longer, but Gunsmoke has more episodes.  It was filmed during a time when they didn't repeat as much. 
Many of the story lines probably give a false sense of "old west justice and sense of fair play."  But that's ok with me, I'm not really looking for a dead on realistic portrayal of the way it was.  One example is when Matt knew a man had set up another man to be killed.  He did this because he had fallen in love and promised the woman he wouldn't kill again.  So he set the man up so that Matt would have to kill him.  In the end his love interest also died.  While Matt knew the man had caused both their deaths, he let the man go because he knew his conscience would bother him for the rest of his life.
Gunsmoke, it's more than just a western.  Thank you James Arness.


Just_because_today said...

well Reece, you got me here. I do not watch TV and seldom anything can hold my attention more than 10 minutes. But if I ever watch anything, it has to have that little something to move me.

Willie said...

It is nice sometimes to enjoy a fantasy world. We get plenty of reality.
I like old westerns for the scenery. Beautiful mountains and untouched forests make me miss home.