A famous Italian opera singer is invited to sing at the local Virginia City opera house. One snag: he may resemble on paper a runaway slave they were just notified about; and some of the townspeople ...
The Cannon family runs the High Chaparral Ranch in the Arizona Territory in 1870s. Big John wants to establish his cattle empire despite Indian hostility. He's aided by brother Buck and son... See full summary »
This is the continuing saga of the Cartwrights, only none of the original Cartwrights are here anymore but their sons. Ben and Hoss have passed on, and Little Joe is MIA; he went with Teddy... See full summary »
William F. Claxton
Peter Mark Richman
The Cartwright's thousand-square-mile Ponderosa Ranch is located near Virginia City, Nevada, site of the Comstock Silver Lode, during and after the Civil War. Each of the sons was born to a different wife of Ben's; none of the mothers is still alive. Adventures are typical western ones, with lots of personal relationships/problems thrown in as well. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
The opening and closing credits show a picture on the screen that corresponds with whatever credit is being given ("Music by" is accompanied by a man playing a violin, "Written by" has a Mark Twain-inspired writer type holding a book with "Bonanza" written on its cover, etc.) See more »
Bonanza ran for so many years that it's impossible for someone like myself to say anything negative about the show and have credibility, but I'm going to. So many shows start off with an "ensemble" cast and then, because of fan mail to one or two certain actors on the show (usually the younger ones), turn the show around to showcase only those actors.
This happened with Bonanza. Pernell Roberts was the best actor on the series, and Adam Cartwright lent a sense of rationality and calm to the frenetics of Ben, Hoss, and Little Joe. He was so subtle, yet stole each and every scene he was in. He was like cool water to a fever. However, and as always happens with fan mail because only a small demographic segment write it in the first place (primarily young, single women), the character of "Adam" appeared less and less as the series wore on. Bonanza became "The Little Joe Show," and that's when I stopped watching it. At that point, the only "breath of fresh air" on the show was Hop Sing.
Anyway, Bonanza is a classic and is worth watching when Pernell Roberts was still in the show, or if only to see the myriad of great guest stars in each episode.
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