The other day I was was at work when my husband texted me a great find from Walmart.
The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
The entire series!
For only $13!
Wait, what? Doesn’t anyone realize what a GREAT show this was? $13 is totally under-valuing it.
Haven’t heard of it? Let me fill you in.
“The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” to the casual observer was a comedy-western with a weird name that debuted on FOX in 1993, starring the guy from “Evil Dead”. If you actually watched a few episodes, you would realize it was actually a sci-fi western (Yes, ahead of its time) starring Bruce Campbell, in a role he was born to play. The supporting cast is stellar as well.
The late Julius Carry as Lord Bowler, who every week got referred to as “Brisco’s sidekick”, and he always objected to that. The great Kelly Rutherford as showgirl Dixie Cousins, who has Brisco’s heart. This is where she went when Homefront got cancelled. It’s no wonder I have trouble picturing her in the 21st century. I only know her from period pieces. John Astin is crazy wonderful as always as a professor with very progressive ideas. Christian Clemenson as Socrates Poole provides a good does of uptightness and bureaucracy to all the chaos. Billy Drago is sooo evil as John Bly. But I won’t get into him just yet. Oh, and don’t forget Comet the wonder horse.
I can remember standing outside on a hot, August evening as the sun was just thinking about setting, my mom and I talking to our neighbors. Their two young boys ran around as we talked. Then we all agreed that we needed to end our face-to-face interaction to go into our respective houses, because, as the neighbors put it, we “had to go in and watch the cowboy movie”. I knew that Brisco was a series premiere and not a movie. I am not sure that the neighbors knew that.
My mom and I watched Brisco every week. It was one of the few shows that we agreed on, although I am sure she probably always fell asleep before it ended. The show was packed with great characters and repeatable catch phrases, such as “Don’t touch Pete’s piece” and “The coming thing”. “The coming thing” was an obsession of Brisco’s. It was actually a device for the writers to work in modern (1990s) elements into a show set in the 1890’s. It was also a wink to the upcoming turn of the century. “The coming thing” included nods to hamburgers, motorcycles, sunglasses, tanks, rockets, and drive-thru windows.
The plot of the show was that Brisco County, Jr. was a bounty hunter tracking John Bly’s gang, who had killed his father the famous marshall, Brisco County. Within this framework, every week there was a new person to help or mystery to solve. But trailing John Bly led Brisco to a mystical object known as the orb. The orb would play a major part in the show’s mythology.
I got the opportunity to meet Bruce Campbell in person. Twice.
The first time he was signing his book “If Chins Could Kill” at Borders in downtown Ann Arbor. I bought two copies to get signed. One for me, and one for my mom’s friend Janet Jackson. (Yes, that is her name.) When I told him to make the one book out to Janet, he asked who she was. So then I went into an explanation of how Janet and my mom had gone to high school together. And how Janet’s husband Donald Jackson used to make low budge movies in Michigan, and did Bruce remember that he used to call him for work? He was like “Oh ya, Don Jackson.” And he said it like he really did remember him. (Don’t look up Donald Jackson’s work. His film credits aren’t that impressive.)
Later, a chick I worked with bragged about getting to talk to Bruce just before he went out to sign. But I’m pretty sure my personal connection with him was way more impressive.
The second time, Bruce came to the Borders corporate office to promote his second book, “Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way”. He was very nice both times.
The great part is, he has been on a million shows and movies. It makes playing six degrees of separation a lot easier. Just think about that Bruce was in all of the Toby Maguire “Spiderman” movies (in awesome cameos, I might add). He was in both “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Hercules”. I can connect myself to all the cast members of “The O.C.” through Bruce Campbell and Kevin Sorbo. (Wilson Bethel, that only makes me four degrees away from YOU!!!)
…AND only two degrees away from Matthew Perry!!!
If you have the opportunity to check out “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” at a bargain rate, I highly encourage it. If you like really gory, gross stuff, watch “Evil Dead” or “Army of Darkness” (I do not). If you like funny parodies of gory, gross stuff, watch the movie “My Name is Bruce.”