What to say about a show that affected me so profoundly? The characters, Big John Cannon, Buck Cannon, Billy Blue Cannon, Manolito Montoya, Victoria Montoya Cannon, and all of the ranch hands, bad guys, good guys, and lost souls were REAL people, at least for that one hour. From the very first show I was captivated. I have always loved stories of The Old West, and tales of people struggling to make a new life for themselves, and this show definitely fit into that category. They were human, with all of the faults and problems of all humanity, yet they strove to rise above those faults and achieved more often than not. Big John, the force that drove the show. The ranch was his dream and his passion. Had his first wife lived, he would have shared that passion easily with her. Billy Blue, young, unsure, but striving to become a man. Buck Cannon, Big John's younger brother, willing to live his brother's dream and being the adult confidant that Billy Blue so desperately needed after his mother was killed. These three were the first part of the equation that made the show so wonderful. Manolito Montoya, a devil-may-care young man with a rakish smile and an enormous passion for having fun in life and his sister Victoria Montoya Cannon, Big John's second wife and no wilting flower but joined to John Cannon at her father's wishes, were the next part of this fabulous set of characters. They, and their scheming father, Don Sebastian Montoya, definitely were not the stereotypical Mexican of most Westerns. The ranch hands were also very real, especially the brothers Sam and Joe. The show, unusual for the time it was first shown, treated the Native American cultures with sensitivity, showing that they were not just savages out for blood, but very real people with many of the same desires that the rest of us have. The characters grew and learned from their past experiences, and were not static throughout the four years it aired. This show is one I would eagerly purchase if it were legally available on DVD, and will eagerly watch again if it is re-run in my area. I would recommend it highly to anyone who loves the old west.
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