The Deputy                                                        447 words

July 2022

Howard R Music

 

Generally, when I watch television, it is usually old westerns on Geezer TV; movies, reruns of black and white serials, I have favorites among them all. Some I remember as a kid, others are new to me such as one obscure show called The Deputy. From what I’ve read it had a short run from 1959 until 1961.

Normally I would have eagerly checked out an unseen western but, so far, I haven’t been able to get past the opening credits and visuals without punching the remote for another destination. Having watched so many westerns I get a feel for shows almost immediately by the costumes or the attitude of the actors. My bolting from The Deputy is not from over-the-top acting or a boring script or out of place scenery.

The opening visuals creep me out.

Westerns by design are almost always written around macho, larger than life characters, often woven around historical events, with action being the key. The Rifleman, starring Chuck Conners started each episode blasting someone with his rifle and then reloading in the unlikely event the target was still breathing. James Arness, the marshal in Gunsmoke out-drew and left a bad guy laying face down in the street before the opening credits rolled. Richard Boone, of Have Gun Will Travel fame, drew his custom-made revolver out of his custom-made holster, pointed it at the camera and asked, “is your life insurance paid up?”

Pure grit and testosterone. 

The Deputy … not so much.

It opens up with the sheriff and his deputy walking down the street shoulders and hands touching … almost … almost as if they were young lovers strolling along a sunny boulevard after an afternoon tryst. Instead of a rough and tough shoot ‘em-up, you sense you’re watching an episode of the Broke Back Mountain Sheriff’s Department.

If film techs were to colorize the old black and white film, I have a feeling the lawmen’s .45 pistols would have pink grips, his badge would be tinted the colors of the rainbow, and his leather vest would be accessorized to match his horse’s saddle and bridle.

Western stars are supposed to be leather-skinned, two-fisted straight-shooters that are in the business of rescuing thin-waisted women with red-lips and big breasts from villains in black hats. They don’t hold hands and tip-toe through the tulips … especially with other guys.

I’m well aware that its not only tough cowboys who like leather, whips and rope … or in the case of The Deputy, handcuffs.

But there is a time and place for that sort of thing.

Classic westerns ain’t one of them.

End

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