Original TV Promo) is a western comedy TV series with a hint of sci-fi thrown in for good measure to keep things interesting. It originally ran on FOX for 28 episodes during the 1993-94 TV season before being cancelled during the summer before production kicked off for season two. I had vague recollections of catching a few episodes of it growing up, but quickly forgot about it over the years.
Jump ahead nearly 20 years later and I found myself picking up the complete series on DVD as a birthday gift for my brother a few years back since I know he is a huge Bruce Campbell fan. Several years ago I was reminded of this TV series when my brother borrowed me Bruce’s autobiography, If Chins Could Kill where he had mostly positive memories of his time on the show. My brother said he would only watch episodes of the show with me whenever we got together and hung out. So starting roughly a year and a half ago we started watching the episodes in one or two episode chunks every month or two. A week ago we finally finished, and even though technically the DVD is my brother’s, since I originally purchased it and watched every episode with him I feel it would be appropriate to cover it here.
Joining Briscoe is Lord Bowler (Julius Carry), who originally is Briscoe’s rival bounty hunter trying to compete with him on bringing in the latest on the wanted list before him. It was entertaining watching Bowler transition from rival to partner with Briscoe over the show’s first several episodes. Carry and Briscoe absolutely nail their performances as the carefree ‘opposites attract’ partnership. Joining them is attorney Socrates Poole (Christian Clemenson) who is the over-the-top-yet-loveable doofus who fills them in on their latest mission and occasionally joins them in the field to stir things up for all parties involved.
The better lighthearted moments that hit more at home with my brother and I were whenever the show hinted at future technology. Briscoe County Jr. is set 100 years before it originally aired in 1893 when America is on the cusp of an industrial revolution. The show has a professor by the name of Albert Wickwire (John Astin) who occasionally pops up to demonstrate all kinds of zany prototypes for automobiles, rockets and rubber bullets to name a few. There is a few other minor periphery character that appear throughout the season. Most of whom added a lot to the show like the lovely Dixie (Kelly Rutherford), but occasionally there were some that were just completely off the mark and mind-numbingly annoying such as the wannabe Elvis sheriff, Aaron Viva (Gary Hudson).
This DVD is loaded with extra features. There is one commentary on the two-part pilot with Bruce Campbell and producer, Carlton Cuse. There is an excellent booklet accompanying the DVD set filled with liner notes from Campbell on each and every episode that provided some worthwhile background info I made sure to read after each episode. There are several behind-the-scenes features with the standout being History of Briscoe County, which is a half hour retrospective with the cast and crew. I really dug this as they interviewed all the major cast and crew members on their memories of the show, and thoughts for ideas of season two and how surprised they were when it got cancelled and how the show gained a new audience in reruns on Saturday mornings on TNT. Worth noting is they did interview Julius Carry here just a couple years prior before he passed from cancer. If you are not one to really dive deep into extras make sure to at least go out of your way and indulge in just this one.
Minus several episodes, my brother and I had a riot enduring the 28 episode season of The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr. Of the 28, I would say roughly 20 of them are hits while eight did not do it for us. I do not fault the show though because that does seem to be a slightly longer than usual season, so I could see how some ideas made it out of the writer’s room that should have stayed there. I am not nearly the mega Bruce Campbell fan my brother is, but I enjoyed Briscoe County just as much as he did, and if you are up for some western comedy than this will be right up your alley.
Past TV/Web Series Blogs
2013-14 TV Season Recap
2014-15 TV Season Recap
2015-16 TV Season Recap
Angry Videogame Nerd Vol 8
Angry Videogame Nerd Vol 7
Mortal Kombat: Legacy - Season 1
RedvsBlue - Seasons 1-13
Roseanne – Seasons 1-9
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