16 April 2002 | jefu
requires a "willing suspension of sheer incredulity"
Walker, Texas Ranger is not only a bad show, but its silly and often enough downright stupid.
We all know the plot - Good Guy (?) Ranger Walker gets involved with a crime - usually involving Bad Guys so horrendously evil that we're supposed to automatically like what Walker does. And, of course, in the last few minutes Walker saves everything with a few karate chops and kicks. (Often ignoring guns near at hand.)
Why is this so much worse than other shows that follow about the same general form?
To begin with, Chuck Norris is a terrible actor - one or two facial expressions, about as much intonation in his voice as Jack Webb at his most absurd.
Then, he surrounds himself with wooden actors, that by their very poverty of talent make him actually almost look good.
And it looks more like the kind of police brutality that made Amadou Diallow famous - so thats a bit of an exaggeration. But its easy to see how Norris's fondness for beating people up is probably the same kind of thing that leads to police brutality cases in real life. Worse yet, Norris is clearly a bit of an exhibitionist this way - he loves to be SEEN beating people up and defining himself as the ultimate arbiter of the law and as an equally ultimate judge of morality.
And... Clarence Gilyard as Ranger Trivette gets to play Norris' sidekick, and is treated as the very worse kind of sidekick - there as a foil to Norris, and as a source of what I think the writers will see as humourous lines. But unlike (say) Cheech Marin in "Nash Bridges" Trivette is not allowd to much more than be such a foil - and very often he is treated as just another person to show on screen.
Finally, the law and even just reasonable behavior are completely ignored. Walker is apparently sufficiently above legal restraints that he does essentially what he wants - even if it is something that would incur his righteous wrath when someone else did it. (Even the theme song echoes this sentiment.)
The show has one redeeming feature - if you want to know how not to act, if you want to know how not to write for the screen, if you want to know how to break laws and still feel like you're always right, this is the show for you - otherwise it would make a good foundation for a drinking game - or MST2K type audience commentary.