Thursday, November 16, 2017
When Prime Time Had Morality Tales
The TV westerns of the Fifties and Sixties were morality tales. They had clear distinctions between good and evil and the good usually if not always won. Here's a partial list:
Bat Masterson, Bonanza, Broken Arrow, Boots and Saddles, Cheyenne, The Cisco Kid, Death Valley Days, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, High Chapparal, Wyatt Earp, Maverick, Rawhide, The Rebel, The Rifleman, Rin Tin Tin, Tales of Wells Fargo, Texas John Slaughter, Wagon Train, and Wanted Dead or Alive.
Were many of them hokey? Sure. Did they gloss over things? Absolutely. [Miss Kitty's occupation in Gunsmoke was left unexplored.] But I think we lost something valuable when many of those programs left the air.
As Michael Kelly, the late, great, editor of The Atlantic put it, at one point we went from being square to being cool.
Posted by Michael Wade at 4:30 AM