I finally bought and started to watch the first season of Rawhide and I will freely admit mostly I bought the Season 1 DVD set due to my admiration for Clint Eastwood. Quickly I became interested and addicted to this series. Granted some will say this show cannot hold a candle to other Western series but I have to strongly disagree. Yes this show may not be as well known or famous but this series was not a slouch either. If you give this show a chance it will captivate your attention as well.
Firstly the cast plays their roles professionally and believably. Yes Clint Eastwood plays Rowdy Yates in a supporting role in most episodes but it does not take away from Eric Fleming in no way shape or form, in fact they complement each other nicely in the show. In a side note I personally believe that Eric Fleming would have went on to become another great of the genre if he had not died tragically.
This show served to allow Clint Eastwood to become a household name. Some may argue that the show failed in the final season with Clint Eastwood taking the helm but I think that no one could save the show after Eric Fleming's untimely death.
I think it would be in ill form if we did not mention Paul Brinegar at this point. Paul plays "Wishbone" the cook of the outfit. Paul is no slouch and had a varied acting career all the way until his death. He portrays the cook very well and never made me doubt for a second his level of acting. He delivers very entertaining scenes and interactions with the other members of the cast including James Murdock
who plays "Mushy Mushgrove" the cooks "louse" as they call him in the show. Mushy's character as a young man earning his keep as the cooks assistant while desperately wanting to be a drover puts Mushy in entertaining situations time after time. An honorable mention has to include Sheb Wooley who portrays "Pete Nolan" the Scout of the Outfit. Pete Nolan usually portrays a morally sound and good character who delivers time after time good guidance and entertainment.
The shows writing staff definitely for the most part write convincing and entertaining stories which is harder than you may think considering the period. I know some will point out Gunsmoke's twenty year run but that proves the exception in my humble opinion. Episode after episode I have found myself further caught up and entreached in the Tales of Rawhide. Furthermore to be honest I am not a fan of Western sitcoms, this being only my second Western sitcom after growing up watching re-runs of Gunsmoke with my Grandfather and Uncles.
Initially I questioned rather or not a show could entertain me with the only premise being that we follow a herd up the trail week after week. I will take this moment to tell you do not be mistaken episode after episode and season after season they churned out great story lines and plots that are convincing and believable.
I particularly enjoy how show begins with usually Gil Favor imparting some form of western or trail wisdom upon us. I have also grown to enjoy how the opening of the show will rotate and focus on other characters from the outfit. I always know when the opening "speech" is made by someone other than Gil Favor's character that we are in for a good ride and new character development.
This show has only furthered my respect and love for Western sitcoms and strengthened my belief that the genre provides good and wholesome entertainment fit for anyone. I myself just recently turned Thirty and upon my sharing of this show with my fourteen and twelve year old nephews they too have became fans of this "old" show as they call it. I can put in a disc from any season and not worry or question what they may see. Do not be mistaken I am not advocating the sheltering of children but it is nice to be able to entertain them with a show that normally their generation would not even consider and all the while it is teaching them some good morals and values that they will not get from most other shows kids their ages are watching. I promise now I am getting off the soap box.
In conclusion if you have not tried Rawhide yet or maybe your not a fan of western sitcoms by all means give this show a chance. If you are a fan of Clint Eastwood (that is what initially drove me to purchase the first season) you should really give this show a chance to demonstrate why Mr Eastwood is a hallmark or cornerstone of that genre. Furthermore this role lead him to become the great Actor, Director and Producer he has become now. Sadly they are not making Actors or men like him anymore!
I have went amiss so to get back on track and to wrap this up lets just say this show is definitely a must watch. If you are fan of the genre or the talent involved give this show a chance. If by chance you are not familiar with any of the cast no worries they will still entertain you. I think you will find and come to a similar conclusion: Rawhide provides wholesome, timeless and classic entertainment.