Early Review of COMANCHE MOON on CBS

COMANCHE MOON - Steve Zahn as Augustus “Gus” McCrae and Karl Urban as Woodrow F. Call on CBS

I just finished watching the six-hour mini-series event COMANCHE MOON, and all I can say is that if you are a fan of westerns, then this is for you. The last time I watched such a well produced western mini-series was HBO’s Into The West. I am always looking forward to mini-series as some of you may know, but they do not always live up to my expectations. Comanche Moon exceeded them. It brings us such a big array of wonderful actors including Val Kilmer, Steve Zahn, Rachel Griffiths, Karl Urban, Linda Cardellini, Elizabeth Banks, and West Studi, it was hard to go wrong.

Comanche Moon is mini-series based on the book by Larry McMurtry, and the final chapter in the “Lonesome Dove” saga to be made into a movie. It will air Sunday, January 13, Tuesday, January 15 and Wednesday, January 16 at 9 pm each night on CBS.

First I would like to talk about the performances in Comanche Moon. One thing that struck me is that the performance are just so true, it allowed me to separate the actors from their character and fully experience the story being told, which I am not always able to do. Every single character is so well defined and portrayed, I cannot criticize any of them, and I am usually the first one to complain when I don’t believe an actor’s performance.
I would like to make a special mention of Val Kilmer, who really stood out to me. He is almost unrecognizable as he immersed himself so much into his character, Captain Inish Scull. I was so impressed that I could not take my eyes off of him. You should tune in if only to see his performance.
And then there are Rangers Augustus “Gus” McCrae (Steve Zahn) and Woodrow F. Call (Karl Urban) who I’m going to call the Odd Couple, because that’s what their relationship reminded me of, especially in part one and two of the mini-series. Circumstances make it so that they become co-captains and have to lead the Rangers together at some point, which gives us some pretty funny moments.
The ladies of the story are all different and bring out a different side to the story. Rachel Griffiths’ portrayal of Inez Scull, Captain Inish Scull’s wife but also a free spirit, is a big change from her performance in Brothers & Sisters, although if you have been following her career, this can only be added as one more amazing performance in her already remarkable career.
Linda Cardellini and Elizabeth Banks also both hold their own as the love interests of McCrae and Call respectively.

COMANCHE MOON - Linda Cardellini as Clara Forsythe and Steve Zahn as Gus McCrae on CBS

As for the story, I started watching without reading much about it and am glad I did. Each segment moves the story along at just the right pace. It doesn’t feel too rushed or too slow. Scenes with the Texas Rangers on their “adventures” are balanced out with scenes from their return to town and their interactions with the women in their lives.
The Texas Rangers and Comanche are both shown equally throughout and the story does not take side. I think what it does especially well however, is foresee what will happen to the Comanche people.
I was also surprised by some of the violence in the mini-series, it’s not something that I have come to expect in television, but it made it that much more true. It really didn’t feel like television, but like a movie.
Finally, the escalation to part three makes sense and is a natural progression from part 1 and 2. The end leaves you wanting for more, and I guess that’s where Lonesome Dove comes into play.

I think it is important to note that I have not seen the sequel of Comanche Moon, mini-series Lonesome Dove, and not read the books by Larry McMurtry. I thus cannot say whether or not Comanche Moon lives up to the expectations of fans of the sequel. But as the target audience for Comanche Moon, I was totally satisfied.

It might have been six hours (well technically 4 hours and a half without commercials), but I didn’t see the time go by. It is a definite must-see for me, and not only because there is not much to watch on TV, but just because it’s such a fulfilling TV event. It felt good to see that there is still some good quality television out there.

Make sure you tune in on January 13, 15, and 16 to watch Comanche Moon at 9pm on CBS.

View more pictures from Comanche Moon here.

Story: Comanche Moon follows Texas Rangers Augustus “Gus” McCrae (Zahn) and Woodrow F. Call (Urban) as they deal with the ever-increasing tensions of adult life – Gus with his great love, Clara Forsythe (Cardellini), and Call with Maggie Tilton (Banks), the young prostitute who loves him and bears him his son, Newt (Joseph Castanon). Kilmer plays Captain Inish Scull, a Yankee aristocrat and hero of the recently concluded Mexican War. Griffiths plays Inez Scull, the Captain’s sexy wife who doesn’t hesitate to fill her time with other men when he’s away from home. Wes Studi plays Comanche Chief Buffalo Hump.

COMANCHE MOON - Karl Urban as Woodrow F. Call and Steve Zahn as Gus McCrae on CBS