It’s Legends of Western Cinema Week over at Hamlette’s Soliloquy, Meanwhile in Rivendell, and Along the Brandywine! Are you excited? Because I’m excited! We’re getting a whole week of Western-themed posts, games, a tag, and a giveaway!
I’m a huge fan of the Western genre, even though I read and write Western novels more often than I watch Western movies or TV shows. (My film and television tastes are … odd, but that’s another discussion for another time. ;)) The point is, I’m an eager consumer and creator of stories about the Old West; so when I saw the tag questions for this year’s party, I couldn’t resist answering them!
1) Western movies or western TV shows?
Although I don’t often watch either (see above, haha), I think I’m slightly more likely to watch a Western movie? Especially since many Western TV shows are from the 1950s/60s/70s, which is definitely not my favorite era of television.
2) Funny westerns or dramatic westerns?
Dramatic westerns, for sure.
A spot of humor here and there is all very well, but Westerns which are primarily comedic, light-hearted, and humorous usually don’t appeal to me.** You’ve got to take advantage of the scope of the setting, eh what? You’ve got to deliver some sweeping, epic, heart-string-tugging adventures, or what is the bally Point, Jeeves?
**the sole exception being Rachel Kovaciny’s Dancing and Doughnuts, which I utterly adored, but that book is a very special case and I don’t think any other author could’ve pulled it off. In general, I turn to Westerns for high drama of the danger-ridden, swashbuckling sort, and if you give me low-stakes comedic shenanigans instead, I will sulk.
3) Westerns that focus on loners or westerns that focus on families?
I don’t think I have a preference, to be honest? Sure, I’d like to see more family-centric Western novels, but I quite enjoy the “loner” or “drifter” trope too. To Tame a Land, my all-time favorite Western story, is firmly in the latter category.
4) Male-centric westerns or female-centric westerns?
FEMALE-CENTRIC WESTERNS, PLEASE AND THANK YOU.
I don’t think you understand how badly I want (nay, need) more female-driven Western stories. And I don’t just mean stories with a decent gender balance, an equal number of male and female characters (although that’s super important too!) I mean stories led by women: stories whose plot centers around a woman’s goal or quest, instead of a man’s.
And I’d really, really, really like it if I could get some female-centric Westerns which didn’t focus exclusively on Female Pain and Trauma. Some of y’all authors and directors are wayyyyy too fond of brutalizing your female characters. Enough of that! I want to see triumphant, badass women going on adventures and having fun! Is that too much to ask?
5) 1930s to 1960s westerns or 1970s to 2020s westerns?
I’m assuming this refers to Western movies, in which case … *scratches head* … I haven’t seen many of either variety, but I generally prefer newer movies to older ones, so I guess I’ll go with 1970s to 2020s.
6) Westerns that take place in America or westerns that take place internationally?
I don’t think I’m familiar with any Westerns which don’t take place in America. But I wouldn’t be opposed to reading one (Mexican, Australian, etc.), if the premise otherwise appealed to me.
7) Family-friendly Westerns or edgier Westerns?
Honestly not sure I’ve ever read a Western which I’d categorize as “family friendly.” xD xD To me, “family friendly” means “I would hand this to a child without qualms,” and … *side eyes virtually all of Louis L’Amour* Nope. I love the man’s work, but nope.
I wouldn’t exactly describe my taste in Westerns as “edgy,” at least not by the overall standards of the genre; but since virtually all my favorite Westerns include gun battles, and I DON’T consider gun battles family friendly … well, you see my point.
8) Straightforward good guy or conflicted hero?
For male Western protagonists, I will only accept the straightforward good guy. For female Western protagonists, I’m open to conflicted heroism or anti-heroism.
9) Historically accurate Westerns or Westerns that aren’t afraid to take some creative liberties?
Creative liberties!!! I eat creative liberties for breakfast!!!
I mean, I literally just finished the first draft of a novel about magic dragons in the Old West, y’all. Historical accuracy is not high on my list of priorities.
10) Bittersweet or happily-ever-after endings?
There are some Westerns with a bittersweet tinge which I enjoy, but overall, I’m not a huge fan of defeats, separations, good-guy deaths, etc. If you stray too far into the Wasteland of Sadness for your final scenes, I will hunt you down as relentlessly as John Wayne in The Searchers.
(A movie I have never seen, and never plan to see, but I thought it was an appropriate reference. :-P)
So long, pardner!