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30 Days Of Telly #6

Day six, your favourite episode of your favourite TV show. But we already established that I don't have one of them! *grumble* Still, I chickened out last time, so this time I'll behave.

It's not my favourite show (except when it is), but one show that has always been very special to me is Bonanza. It was on a lot when I was a kid, and the character of Joe Cartwright was a pretty major part of my childhood. He and Manolito Montoya, his opposite number over on The High Chaparral, were everything I wanted to be when I was growing up. I thought the world of Joe. And there is one episode of Bonanza which I discovered recently on YouTube - having not really had the opportunity to see the show in years - which just brilliantly sums up everything I used to love about it, and everything that made me think so highly of Joe. The episode is called "Different Pines, Same Wind", and it's the first episode of season ten. It really couldn't be more perfect. Joe is trying to protect some forests from a ruthless logging merchant (the Cartwrights were environmentalists long before it was fashionable), and in the process he finds a lonely old widow living in a log cabin. During the course of forty-seven minutes, he befriends her, saves her beloved forest, defeats a despicable bad guy, helps a doctor to rediscover his calling, and has a splendid no-holds-barred battle with a gang of heavies. Michael Landon was an accredited stuntman, and his fist fights were always awesome. Plus, as a special bonus, Ben and Hoss, the best father and big brother you could hope for, come dashing to the rescue to save the day at the last possible moment. It also has the nice blend of comedy and drama for which Bonanza came to be known.

It's wonderful, it really is. It's everything I loved about the show growing up, and Joe is every inch the hero I idolised so much as a child. So, even if it lacks the depth of a favourite episode of The West Wing, or the brilliant comedy-drama mix of a favourite episode of Buffy, I'm choosing this one. It's awesome. And, for the record, I still want to be Joe Cartwright (and Manolito Montoya). It looks like I always will.


( 7 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Jun. 13th, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
My favorite Cartwright was Adam, but he left the fold early.
And now that I've kinda grown up I'm Manolito!
Jun. 14th, 2013 02:00 pm (UTC)
Cool! Do you speak fluent Apache?! ;)
Jun. 13th, 2013 08:10 pm (UTC)
My favorite Bonanza character was Candy but I have a fondness for all the Cartwrights, especially Hoss. Joe was always fun to watch fist-fight, though!

And, oh, Manolito! I wanted to marry him when I was a kid. *g*
Jun. 14th, 2013 02:01 pm (UTC)
Hoss was great. It's a source of endless frustration to me that he never really got a break from the writers. Michael Landon used to write him good episodes, but to everybody else he was so often just the comic relief. A real shame.
Jun. 14th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. It's a shame how the writers used him when he was really excellent when given a chance.

Edited at 2013-06-14 06:30 pm (UTC)
Jun. 14th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
I think you love Bonanza more than anyone I know, even my dad. I liked the Big Valley because of Audra and also Barbara Stanwyk's character, man she was a tough cookie.
Jun. 14th, 2013 02:07 pm (UTC)
I have to say, if I was watching the show for the first time now, I probably wouldn't like it as much. I would still like it, but the relentless wholesomeness, and its habit of being quite twee at times, is a bit annoying. It's just that I grew up with it! It was there every Sunday for what seemed like forever at the time.

Not seen "The Big Valley", but I must do some time. It's got a great cast.
( 7 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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