Friday, March 16, 2012

"We Got a Right to Pick a Little Fight Bonanza!"

Bonanza (1959-1973)
Created by David Dortort
Starring Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker, and Michael Landon
Featuring Ray Teal and Victor Sen Yung

Bonanza, which ranked #43 on TV Guide's Fifty Greatest Shows of All Time list, is a western about the Cartwright family who live on their humongous Ponderosa Ranch on the northern shore of Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  (See the map below.)  The Cartwrights include patriarch Ben (Lorne Greene) and his three sons of different mothers.  (All three mothers are dead--the fate of every woman who has the misfortune to fall in love with a Cartwright man.)  Oldest son Adam (Pernell Roberts) is the learned, if somewhat arrogant, one; Hoss (Dan Blocker), the middle son, is a gentle giant whose kindness  transcends his plain looks; and Little Joe (Michael Landon) is the hot-headed one with something to prove.  Big eaters, especially Hoss, they are fed by their Chinese cook, Hopsing (Victor Sen Yung), who gets really ticked off if they're late for dinner.

Most episodes are serious western stories, as the Cartwrights are gun-toting killers who fight a lot.  (See Bonanza lyrics below.)  Rest assured, the Carwtrights are always fighting on the side of right and are often aided in their violence by Sheriff Roy Coffey (Ray Teal).  But Bonanza isn't always serious; oftentimes it takes a more playful, humorous tone.  I'm not really fond of most of the serious episodes, except "Journey Remembered," which tells the story of Hoss's mother, but I love the funny ones.  Hoss and Little Joe, not the sharpest tools in the shed, when left to their own devices get up to quite a bit of mischief with Pa and Adam looking on and shaking their heads with superior amusement or exasperation.  Some of the more entertaining episodes are "San Francisco" (1.28), "Bank Run" (2.19), "Any Friend of Walter's" (4.25), "Hoss and the Leprechauns" (5.12), "A Knight to Remember" (6.19), "The Flapjack Contest" (6.15), and "The Ponderosa Birdman" (6.20).

Tomorrow to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, while most people will be attending parades and drinking themselves Irish, I'll be watching "Hoss and the Leprechauns."  Incidentally, this is my 100th posting:  One hundred postings in 16 months--not too shabby.

Bonanza Lyrics
We got a right to pick a little fight
If anyone fights anyone of us
He's gotta fight with me!

We're not a one to saddle up and run,
Anyone of us who starts a little fuss
Knows he can count on me!

One for four
Four for one,
This we guarantee.

We got a right to pick a little fight
If anyone fights anyone of us
He's gotta fight with me!

To order from Amazon, click on one of the links below:
Bonanza: The Official First Season
Bonanza: Official Second Season


  1. Congrats on the 100 posts! That's awesome! -T

    1. Thanks. I can't believe I've stuck it out this long. Now it's like an addiction!