Retro T.V. Review: Walker, Texas Ranger (1993)
Show Name: Walker, Texas Ranger
Created By: Albert S. Ruddy, Leslie Greif, Paul Haggis, and Christopher Canaan
Starring: Chuck Norris, Clarence Gilyard, Sheree J. Wilson, Noble Willingham, Nia Peeples, Judson Mills, Floyd Westerman, Jimmy Wlcek, and Marco Sanchez
Number of Seasons: 8
Number of Episodes: 201 (Not Including TV Movies)
Pilot: April 21, 1993 to May 1, 1993
Release Dates: September 25, 1993 to May 19, 2001
I remember watching this cheesy classic on Saturday night. There were two shows that I used to love on CBS. They were Walker, Texas Ranger and Martial Law. May be I will review Martial Law on a future instalment.
Also, in addition, who does not like Chuck Norris. It was rare to see a martial arts kind of show on TV and at the time it seemed refreshing.
Let us see if Walker, Texas Ranger has aged as well as the Chuck Norris facts. :)
Brief History and Story
At the time, I remember that Chuck Norris was having a dry spell. Some of the movies that came out were not exactly successful, with movies like Sidekick where he had a cameo to The Hitman. After that, this show came along.
The main premise of the show is that you follow the adventures of Texas Ranger, Sgt. Cordell Walker (played by Chuck Norris) with various cases that he needs to solve. He is partnered up with Sgt. James "Jimmy" Trivette (played by Clarence Gilyard). Walker's love interest in the show is the District Attorney, Alex Cahill (played by Sheree J. Wilson). The last member of the original core cast was C.D. Parker (played by Noble Willingham). He was a retired Texas Ranger that would help Walker from time to time.
During the run there were new characters that come in to inject new life in the series. These were nick named the Sons of Thunder. The characters were Trent Malloy (played by Jimmy Wlcek) and Carlos Sandoval (played by Marco Sanchez). They even had a Walker, Texas Ranger spin-off show called Sons of Thunder. Unfortunately, although having better ratings than Wallker, Texas Ranger, the show was not picked up due to budget concerns.
Walker, Texas Ranger Theme Song
The theme song was sung by none other than Chuck Norris himself. I do not think that he will win any Grammy's with this one. I remember reading at the time that it took a long time to get this recorded as he is not a good singer at all. He apparently could not hold a note for his life. That is why most of the lyrics are spoken and not sung. However, this is only from what I remember. I cannot find any evidence of that on the internet, so may be this is not true.
Other than the singing, I did like the action sequences in the opening. It is rare that you saw action like that on the small screen. The fact that you see explosions was cool and add Chuck Norris to boot and people (including myself) were interested.
Why do I like this TV show? The main reason is Chuck Norris. Although I find many of the Chuck Norris classics such as Lone Wolf McQuade and Missing in Action, kind of boring, this TV show was entertaining for the time. Getting something that had martial arts once a week, was awesome. I was always a fan of Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bruce Lee movies. To have a known movie star, trying his luck at TV was cool.
Although I did enjoy a show for a time, it eventually became very repetitive. I had mentioned this in the past, CBS had a formula and they went with it. Many of of the episodes felt repetitive, especially true at the end of its run.
On the topic of being repetitive, the fight scenes were cookie cutter fight scenes. It became more and more evident as the series progressed and Chuck Norris was also getting older. He had 2 or 3 moves, rinse and repeat. He had the backhand spin punch, the forward kick and the spin kick. That is pretty much it. There were some variations but nothing mind boggling.
Walker, Texas Ranger Fight Scenes
The support staff were fine. I actually liked Sgt. Trivette the most. At the time, I remembered the actor playing him from the T.V. show Matlock. He brought a good sense of humour to the team.
The love interest Alex Cahill was not very memorable in my honest opinion. She was part of the main group of characters but I think they could have used her a lot more in the series. There were quite a few episodes where the story revolved around her, but I just do not think that she was a memorable character.
C.D. Parker was a good actor for the series. He added some fun moments.
In the end, this is a show that featured Chuck Norris and this is why people watched it. Is it a show that I would rewatch? I may watch some episodes here or there, but I would not have a binge watching marathon for it. It has its moments and it was good at the time but it just has not aged as gracefully as I would have hoped.
if you want to scratch that Walker, Texas Ranger itch, just watch a few episodes from the first 3 seasons and you will be good. It is worth to watch only to see what it was. I will say though, if you are a big Chuck Norris movie fan, this will be right up your alley. You will love this show as every episode is a variation of all his movies in a shorter form.
What do you think?