The adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their ranch while helping the surrounding community.


“Bonanza” is such a cultural touchstone that historians and traditionalists allowed it to be forgotten when it came to America’s youth. Unfortunately, I don’t see a major revival in Westerns among the young happening anytime soon. So, I’ll break it down for the kids in the audience. Ben Cartwright went West and married a bunch of women who died, but he had three sons. The multiple women explains why they all look different. One looked scrawny, the other plain and the other one was the inventor of Diabetes. They met guest stars weekly and shilled for Chevrolet. They also kept a Chinese man as their indentured cook.

While building this review, I forgot that the show was on the air for nearly 14 years. That’s insane for something that’s not animated or live-action comedy anymore. But, such was America’s fascination with the untamed frontier. The problem with such a lengthy show run is that they started stepping on their own toes, as they battled it out to keep coming up with plots. This was a later season, so it was a friendly Cartwright era where anybody could come onto the Ponderosa. Clint Howard even showed up, because they kid was trotted out to every sitcom that his brother didn’t have staked out. Good times, America.

The DVD comes with vintage interviews, original promos, new commentaries, featurettes, on-location photos and a feature film length version of Ride the Wind as the special features. CBS DVD really outdid themselves on this release. The A/V Quality is a marked improvement with a cleaner transfer. And, the mono track sounds appropriate for the era. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: 09/02/2014

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