Walker, Texas Ranger was a very specific show with a very specific audience at a very specific time. Its leader, Chuck Norris, is a very specific man. Imbued with it all, there was an often cheesy and dominant sense of machismo – kick and villain kick in the name of protecting the good ol ‘American from A. It was truly a series of its time and time. home network, CBS. Taking The CW is absolutely none of these. In fact, there is no similarity to his predecessor at all, except for Cordell Walker’s name, and the fact that he is indeed a Texas Ranger. In short, The CW’s Walker is the complete antithesis of anything the old version was, which in and of itself wasn’t particularly good. Alas, that doesn’t mean what we get is much better. Gone are the Cordell Walker fans who are used to the old series; in his place is a tired widower, perhaps an alcoholic, who – we are told, but only once we have really seen him – plays by his own rules. In place of Norris’ badass cheese ball is Supernatural’s much softer and more understated star Jared Padalecki. This is clearly the reason the series was created: to keep one of its bread and butter attractions on the network and used happily. (The show even shoots in the actor’s hometown of Austin, Texas). But even the charm of Padalecki cannot enliven this one-trick pony.The show, her showrunner Anna Fricke applied for on a recent Television Critics Association panel, is about the entire Walker family. Ranger’s new partner Micki Ramirez (played by Lindsey Morgan of the 100) also plays a pretty big role in Walker’s life. Now that he’s returned home from an undercover mission after a two-year absence – apparently immediately after his wife’s death – there’s a lot of tension with his children and the rest of his family who have stepped in to fill the gap. emptiness during his absence. Ramirez, too, has a lot to do with his new partner and his ability to follow orders and not ruin his chances in an extremely white, male-dominated profession. And guess what? He doesn’t handle it all well. Sadly, he doesn’t handle it in a particularly interesting or uplifting way, either. Including these new parts doesn’t really add much interest to what unfolds, in the end: a bunch of family drama filler without importance. Problems aren’t really problems, and the exposure we get from those moments lands with a thud. The most procedural case of the week is little more than set for a disturbing drug cartel and a tiny, not particularly impressive fight.
It’s hard to see a world in which this show gets interesting, based on the pilot alone. The seeds planted appear generic and the most opportune elements – such as the situation at the border – are not particularly well underway. Pilots are, by their very nature, incredibly difficult to do well: a lot of establishment information needs to be provided to the public while presenting the plot in a way that invites continued investment. But after watching Walker’s Pilot, it’s hard to want to watch another episode, let alone a full season (which The CW has already ordered). The whole thing leaves one to wonder: what was the reason why this new version was so necessary at the moment?