Was That Real? Cowboys of Moo Mesa
May 19, 2015
Nostalgia Critic: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. And welcome to another edition of WTR, a.k.a... Was That Real?
(It cuts to the title card of WTR)
(It then cuts to clips from shows like "Dumb and Dumber, "Dog City", "Star Wars: Ewoks" and "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective")
NC (vo): This is where we look at TV shows that may be forgotten by some but remembered by others for just how strange they were.
NC: With that said, have you ever wanted to see a show about cowboys that were actually cows? Of course not, that sounds like the plot to a Happy Meal commercial. But they did it in "The Cowboys of Moo Mesa".
(the title of said series is shown, and then the clips)
NC (vo): For an idea that sounds like dead hamburger on arrival, there was something that strangely drew a lot of kids to it. And it shouldn't! It's an awful idea. They sound like rejected villains from the Ninja Turtle toy lineup. Actually that's kinda what they were. Their creator, Ryan Brown was a big part of designing several Ninja Turtle toys. In fact, The Cowboys of Moo Mesa even make a few appearances in other Ninja Turtles projects. Now chances are it was a similar setup as the turtles being made the same time as the show as they rarely looked much like the original characters. But the strange thing is I never knew anyone who played with the toys or even admitted to watching the show. It was just kind of a strange thing to confess to. But a lot of kids must have watched it because it got renewed for another season. Granted that's only 2 in total but for a kids show back then, that was still pretty impressive.
NC: So why did so many of us watch it when so could've easily just changed the channel?
NC (vo) : Well first of all it had a surprisingly badass theme song. I'm usually not a country person but this song was actually kinda fun. Even the opening sucks you in pretty fast.
Singer: ♪ Up on the Mesa! ♪
NC (vo): Even the opening sucks you in pretty fast. A flaming comet, a mountain exploding from the ground, cowboys on horses with lightning striking, but you tell me if you can make any sense of what they're trying to explain here.
Singer: ♪ Comet raised the Mesa to the western skys with the sound of a thousand cattle drives a chosen few would see the light. ♪
NC: What the fuck does any of that mean?
NC (vo) What does that have to do with bulls on horses? There's a comet at the beginning of time, it crashed into Earth, Fucking Cows! Makes sense to me.
NC: Maybe this was like The Flying Spaghetti Monster's first draft.
NC (vo): Another thing that might grab your attention is the "Cow" in "Cowboy" is actually an abbreviation. For what, you may ask?
Marshal Moo Montana: Like it says in The Code of the West. (x6) The Code of the West says... (x3)
NC (vo) Enough! Okay apart from this line being repeated as much as "With great power comes shut the fuck up, we've heard it a million times", Why do we need an abbreviation fo cowboys. They're fucking cows! Isn't that the whole idea? Is the thought that the real cowboys of the west were outlaws and these are lawmen so it wouldn't technically be correct? We're watching a show about fucking cows! Nobody's gonna care about the historical accuracy!
Marshall Moo: As the Code of the West says...
NC (vo) Oh, shut up! Who the Hell even wrote the Code of the West? Is it like the Declaration of Moo-Dependence? Is it to separate the cows to ride on horses and the cows who are actually roped and branded? Yeah, there's actual cows and bull that they heard in a cattle drive! So what the fuck is going on here? The most I can gather is from this one line.
Cowlorado Kid: ♪ Since the comet done come down ♪
Dakota Dude: ♪ And raised Moo Mesa from the ground ♪
All three: ♪ We walk talk'n right like all the rest ♪
NC: So the comet caused an evolutionary shift so that some cows and horses are people while others can be riden and most likely eaten like other animal- They're fucking God Damn cows! Why am I thinking so hard about this? With all that said, you think this show would be really painful to watch and while it was really corny, there was also kind of a bizarre creativity and energy to it that for a kid's show in that time period didn't make it that bad. It centers around our lawmen; Moo Montana, the Dakota Dude and the Cowlorado Kid; looking after a town full of other pun names like Lily Bovine, Cody Calf and Cowlamity Kate. The mayor of the town, Oscar Balogney...
NC: Just stick with it.
NC (vo)...is in cahoots with another villain named sheriff Terror Bull...
NC: Trust me! Just stick with it!
Note: The Transcript is not yet completed.
NC (vo):...who terrorizes the town as the masked bull, stealing money, and hatching up schemes to get the corrupt mayor more moo-la.
NC (vo): First off, it's nice that there's a kids show that's actually a western again. They used to be everywhere a long time ago but then they kinda went out of style. So even if it had to come back in such a strange way, it was kind of nice to see. But one of the reasons western kids shows aren't seen as much is the heroes often times had to use guns.
NC: Their way around it?
NC (vo): They don't use bullets. Yeah, their ammo actually all uniquly connects to their personalities. For example, the marshall shoots golden stars, the sheriff shoits a whip and the gamblers shoot poker items. It makes as little sense as anything else but again it was kind of creative.
NC: But connected to their personality traits leads to another strengh of the show, their personalities.
NC (vo): Yeah, a lot of them are cutouts; but, even as cutouts go, they were kind of entertaining. The Dakota Dude was funny in minimal dialogue.
Marshall Moo: He appreciates a lady, who could teach him something.
Marshall Moo: Like his old school marm...
Marshall Moo: Taught him everything he knows
Dude: Sure did.
NC (vo): Cowlamity Kate was a cool cowgirl with a dictionary of weird insults.
Cowlamity: You spat hoove!/drop whispered spiky pants son of a gun!
NC (vo): The mayor was a lot of fun in how politically corrupt he was.
Mayor: Loose something Cowlamity Kate? Like maybe, uh, everything you own.
NC (vo): And even the kid as kid characters went back then, wasn't really that annoying.
Marshall Moo: A sleep'n deputy can't avoid bad dreams.
Cody: Uh, I'll write that down.
Marshall Moo: It's deep, son.
NC (vo): Okay, not Gosalyn good but not Short Round annoying. Though am I the only one who swears Cowlamity's his mother? There is way too much a resemblance there.
Cowlamity: I ain't wait'n for no bull.
NC (vo): It also taught a kids a very unique lesson, that being, don't always trust authority. They never got enough evidence to out the sheriff or the mayor away, but they gave up in trying to stop their schemes, and fighting for what's right. It wasn't anti-law as obviously our heroes are in the side of the law, but...it wasn't saying "blindly trust your government" either. It's kind of rare to see a show for kids that says "don't aalways trust the law. I actually kind is admire it for that.
NC (vo): There's a lot of action, a lot of jokes, a lot of good voice acting. (as Tim Curry) Did someone say Tim Curry?
Jacque Le Beef: And who is this lovely mamoiselle, whose beauty makes the the suns raise?
NC (vo): For a light bit of fun, it was exactly that.
(Cut to Dakota Dude and Colorado Kid watching someone falling)
Colorado Kid: Looks like they might hit ground in moist grass meadow eh?
(Character screams offscreen)
Dakota Dude: No, Cactus Canyon.
NC: So, if the show was surprisingly decent, how came we lost interest in only two seasons?
NC (vo): I can only guess, but my thought is the second season got a little too silly.l, even for an idea that was already silly to begin with. On top of the animation looking like it got a budget cut, there was a bigger focus to introduce more villains, and it started to become overload. Most of them looked like they were made not to have interesting personalities, but instead probably sell more toys. And given the time period this came up, that seems more likely. But, for the first season, this was actually an okay show. For kids, there's not too much in it for the parents.
NC (vo): Imagine something not quite as good as the Disney Afternoon but kind of the same vain. It's cute, innocent and didn't seem half-assed. They tried to make the best of what seemed like a limiting idea and for what we got, it was kinda entertaining. Okay, I'm not gonna demand it return to TV or anything, but it was a fun, if not strange, little show that left a fond mark in our memories. It's definitely worth getting roped into.
Singer: ♫ On Moo Mesa! Living by the law and the Code of the West! On Moo Mesa!
NC: Plus, it made for a very entertaining arcade game called The Simpsons
(Shows footage of The Simpsons arcade game)
NC oh, come on! How can you die in a dream!? I'm the Nostalgia Critic, I remember t you don't have to. (continues talking as he gets up to leave) That part never made sense to me. Marshall Moo would be furious.