Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Texas Ranch House *warning spoilers*

I generally do not like reality TV shows. I seldom can stand them for more than one or two episodes. That is unless they are the history based ones they show on PBS!

I am currently watching the latest in these which is airing this week on PBS. This one is called Texas Ranch House and the premise is that there is a ranch family and their hired hands in the year 1867. They have to herd and then eventually sell enough cattle to pay the mortgage and everyone’s wages. It is really quite an interesting show.

One of the first things I noticed is how bad a manager the ranch owner is. He is TERRIBLE. He reminds me a lot of my own managers where I work and it is interesting watching him walk the line of utter failure and limited success. I mean, it is only half way through the show and he has already fired two people (one of whom he fired for “disrespecting his family”). A third left and others seem on the verge of throwing in the towel but seem to be staying because this is really such a great opportunity to learn about what life might have been like on a west Texas ranch just after the Civil War. As I watch this show, I cant help wondering if other management techniques might be better.

Another thing I noticed is how a bunch of 20th century men can become so blatantly chauvinistic when put into a situation where there are highly defined gender roles. The cowboys are down three people and they absolutely refuse to accept help from a woman who is willing and able to do the whole cowboy thing. They keep talking about how they don’t want her on their team because “she has something to prove.” At least one of them has mentioned that it isn’t “woman’s work” to herd cattle. Amazing!

So now I am hooked and I cant wait to see the second half of this series. Will the ranch be successful? Will that woman from the house get play “cowboy”? I sure hope so! Will the ranch owner stop being such a dick? Will his wife chill out?


E-Speed said...

do the make them dress in post civil war garb and everything?

S. Lynne Fremont said...

They sort of make them dress that way. They provide them with the clothes but when the women choose not to wear all of the clothes women of that era would wear, they dont stop them. Women of that era would wear several layers of clothes (chemise, pantaloons, corset, petticoats, dress) but because this was filmed in summer and the temperatures average 107F, the woman are generally wearing what the show's narrator calls "what women of 1867 would consider walking around in their underwear"