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Journal mackil's Journal: Texas Ranch House Musings 2

I watched the Texas Ranch House on PBS this past week. I've been fan of the previous House shows, so I was looking forward to it. As a student and lover of history, these shows always offer a unique modern perspective on life in the past. I've always wanted to sign up for these shows, and after watching TRH, I've decided that that was the one for me. Who hasn't wanted to be a cowboy at some point in their lives? I mean honestly...

I think the person I can most identify with is Jared. Not only do we share the same profession, but his approach to the whole experience was always curiosity driven, something I would do myself. If you notice who has the most air time with the diary cams, Jared wins by a huge amount. Probably because he was the funniest.

There was a lot of drama/personal conflict on this show, compared to the others. Some personalities just didn't click. The cowboys didn't have much of a problem gelling, and of course the Cooke's got along fine amongst themselves and Maura, but they just couldn't work together. This was partly due to the somewhat failed leadership of Mr. Cooke.

Mr. Cooke seemed wildly unpredictable at times. He would tell the cowboys one thing, go to the ranch, talk with Mrs. Cooke, then go and tell the cowboys that things have changed. The cowboys seemed to think that Mrs. Cooke ran the roost, but I think its fair to say that it was very much a partnership. Mr. Cooke was trying really hard to be a fair man, but it just came down to a few bad decisions that sank the ship. The only thing that threw me was Mr. Cooke reneging on his deal with Jared over the sale of a horse. Why he decided to do that was totally beyond me. Perhaps he was starting to get vindictive over the cowboys lack of respect for him (though why he took it out on Jared, who seemed to show more respect than all the others, is beyond me). Who knows really.

I know a lot of the conflict is thrown to the forefront by the editor/director, to keep the show interesting. I read a web chat with some of the people, where it was stated that they thought their portrayal on the show was very unfair due to the editing. That is understandable considering they spent around 3 months on the ranch, while the show is only 8 hours long. Still, not all of it can be put down to editing.

In conclusion I thought that this was a masterful show. It showed that living in the past, while romantic and inviting, can be a grueling experience. It showed that a bunch of 21st century people can indeed live in 1867, even if the here and now is better overall. Now all I have to figure out is how can I get on the next House show...
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Texas Ranch House Musings

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  • Caught the one episode that was one this past weekend on PBS. Looks like an interesting show. A reality reality show! I do wonder, though, how much more common brawling would have been 130 years ago. They aren't likely to start fighting when the camera is on, so it's probably not as realistic as it might have been, but then maybe there wasn't much bona fide brawling between cowboys in real history. But I'd guess there was - there wouldn't have likely been a real law enforcement person within 100 miles
    • There was one fight (albeit a small one) between the cook and the foreman. Apparently this lead to the firing of the foreman. I guess it was in their agreement that they would never physically assault anyone, and pushing qualifies according to the producers of the show. I guess you can't divorce the 21st century sue everything that moves mindset, even if your pretending its 1867.

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