The Bottom Line
The common goal is to make the ranch profitable while each person lives out and performs tasks that pertain to their assigned roles. Roles included the ranch owners, cowboys, a maid, ranch foreman, and of course a cook.
- Recommended for the western and history enthusiast. Others may not find much to get excited about.
- Equipment and techniques are as historically accurate as possible.
- Beautiful setting gives a wonderful impression of what the pre-industrial west looked like.
- Cattle drives always make good television!
- Many 21st Century issues creep in to the daily activities of running the ranch.
- At times it focuses too much on human conflict than the actual ranch duties.
- 21st Century audience may get tired of the drudgery of the work and oppresive climate.
- Originally aired May 1st-4th.
- Official Website at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ranchhouse/
- Interactive website provides many educational opportunities.
- 8 Episodes total with 2 aired each night.
- Complete series available for purchase.
- Produced by: thirteen WNET New York
Guide Review - Texas Ranch House Television Review
Texas Ranch House, like similar shows from PBS, seem to get made for the noble effort of trying to understand what life was like for our pioneer ancestors as they dealt with a world very different from ours.
But rather than shedding light on the past these shows often shed more light on our ourselves than our predecessors and this show did just that.
This show was a mixed bag for me. When I saw the first few episodes I was intrigued at the prospect of seeing a working ranch 1867-style. There aren't any of those around these days and being familiar with the workings of a modern ranch, I was personally excited to see the differences.
The show mainly focused on the friction between the cowboys in the bunkhouse and the family and maid in the ranch house. Which was quite entertaining and revealing in its own right, but the cattle drive at the end was a welcome break in the battle.
The show featured some very dramatic moments (3 firings and a mass mutiny) with the obvious conclusion that the Cooke family in particular was in no way cut out for the Wild West. But very few of the participants escaped the scrutiny of the camera, with Mrs. Cooke (the Owners Wife), Maura (the Maid), and Nacho (the Cook) getting the worst of it. Blame it on the editing folks!
I did enjoy the show overall, and I couldn't believe how the cowboys were treated in the last episode. Let's just say that finding myself with the sudden ability of time travel, you wouldn't catch me anywhere near the Cooke Ranch.