Tags: Hollywood | Modern Westerns | TV shows | genre

Modern Westerns: 3 TV Shows Since 1990 That Shaped the Genre

By    |   Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 01:14 PM

Ever since the era of dime store novels, Westerns have become known for presenting larger-than-life heroes. These characters take down villains ranging from corrupt lawmen to thieves terrorizing frontier towns. Modern western TV shows have turned these archetypes on their heads.

Many modern westerns on television are all about reinventing how audiences see the Wild West. From focusing on strong female characters to incorporating elements from other genres, these three TV shows have redefined the Wild West more than a century later.

Vote Now: Who Is Your Favorite Actor of All Time?

1. “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” (1993-98)
The West is told from a woman’s perspective in “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” The title character is an educated medical doctor coming to the frontier from the East. She does not follow the formula of the standard western hero. Dr. Quinn tackles modern social issues in a western setting. She does not use gunfights to deal with antagonists, but relies on a civilized and educated approach to find solutions. Her refined approach is unique within a genre typically based around violence and lawlessness. The Los Angeles Times criticized the show, saying it "imposes a 1990s social consciousness on the Old West."

2. “Deadwood” (2004-06)
Television westerns were tame until “Deadwood” showed up on HBO. It took a decidedly grimmer look at the Wild West. No larger-than-life heroic characters, like the ones John Wayne portrayed, exist here. "Deadwood" is populated by people with questionable morals and serious character flaws. The New York Times described the fictional Western town as “a fetid, sepia-toned, mud-soaked world where boggy streets teem with people and the sun never seems to shine.” "Deadwood" never conformed to the idea of having the hero win the day over and over again. This gritty realism gives a different perspective to the Wild West. 

3. “Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” (1993-94)
What do you get when you combine a Western setting with science fiction elements and a liberal dose of humor? A decidedly original spin on the traditional fish out of water tale. “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” broke the wall separating the western from other genres. The title character relied on futuristic technologies to help him prevail against villains each week. DVDTalk praised the show’s ability to remain truly unique in a genre filled with clichés and well-worn storylines.

Vote Now: Which Actress Is Your All-Time Favorite?

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
FastFeatures
Ever since the era of dime store novels, Westerns have become known for presenting larger-than-life heroes. Modern western TV shows have turned these archetypes on their heads.
Modern Westerns, TV shows, genre
398
2015-14-22
Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 01:14 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved