Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Worth Watching 1: Maverick

The Worth Watching feature is where I simply talk about a show I think deserves wider viewing from genre fans.

Maverick isn't exactly the first show you think of when I start a new column on a site called Super Powered Fiction. But in many ways Maverick gets by without falling into the obvious tropes of the Western setting. He's not a rampant gunman, but instead focuses his energies on outwitting his foes.

Started way back in 1957, the show ran for a healthy five seasons on ABC, but it was really only the first three seasons I ever cared to watch. James Garner as Bret Maverick was a lovable cardsharp and a con man. When I discovered the show as a child in the mid-1980s, I was fascinated by a Western hero that wasn’t all punching and shooting. Bret—as well as fellow Mavericks Bart, Beau and Brent—solved their problems with their head more often than at the barrel of a gun.

Bret was always my favorite though as James Garner brought a charisma to his character fellow actors Jack Kelly and Roger Moore never could quite match.

I’m not sure when exactly I regularly started following the series whenever it did appear on television. I was too young to watch Bret Maverick (the 80s rebirth of the show), but know I also caught it in reruns later in that decade. But I do know as I flipped through channels from those days until now, I would often stop when I saw James Garner in his familiar black hat.

And of course, Bret Maverick returned in the awesome 1994 film Maverick, both as James Garner and with the similarly named character played by the film’s lead Mel Gibson. I remember being greatly disappointed that a sequel never developed from the film.

To this day, any version of Bret Maverick is a character I will follow. James Garner is a classic face of film and television with a legacy that loomed over six decades. Though he’s gone now, his roles will continue to live on for decades to come.

If this article interested you at all, please pick up the first three seasons of Maverick, the single season of Bret Maverick and the film at the Super Powered Fiction estore.

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