(shortened intro.)

Was That Real? Cowboys of Moo Mesa


May 19, 2015
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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?

(The title card of WTR is shown. 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 kind of 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...

(A photo of a Cowboys of Moo Mesa action figure is shown.)

NC (vo): ...with the toys being made at the same time as the show, as they rarely looked much like the original characters. (A shot of a Terrorbull action figure is shown with different colored fur than in the show.) 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 two in total, but for a kids show back then, that was still pretty impressive.

NC: So why did the hell did so many of us watch it when we so easily could just change 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.

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 skies 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 the hell do they need an abbreviation for 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: ♪ We walk talk'n right like all the rest ♪

NC (vo): So the comet caused an evolutionary shift so that some cows and horses are people while others can be ridden and most likely eaten like other animal- They're fucking goddamn 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 Bulloney...

NC: Just stick with it.

NC (vo):...is in cahoots with another villain named Sheriff Terrorbull...

NC: Trust me! Just stick with it!

NC (vo):...who terrorizes the town as the Masked Bull, stealing money and hatching up schemes to get the corrupt mayor more moo-lah. 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 oftentimes had to use guns, which in PC times, is very frowned upon.

NC: Their way around it?

NC (vo): They don't use bullets. Yeah, their ammo actually all uniquely connects to their personalities. For example, the Marshall shoots golden stars, the sheriff shoots 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 strength 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 his minimal dialogue.

Marshall Moo: He appreciates a lady who could teach him something.

Dude: Yep.

Marshall Moo: Like his old school charm...

Dude: Yep.

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 Kate: You spat hoof side winder! / Drop whispered spiky pants son of a gun!

NC (vo): The mayor was a lot of fun in how politically corrupt he was.

Mayor: Lose something, Cowlamity Kate? Like maybe, uh, everything you own?

NC (vo): And even the kid! As kid characters went back then, he wasn't really that annoying.

Marshall Moo: A sleepin' deputy can't avoid bad dreams.

Cody: Uh, I'll write that down.

Marshall Moo: It's deep, son.

(Photos of Penny from The Rescuers, the Brady Bunch kids, young Anakin Skywalker and one of the Olsen twins from Full House are shown.)

NC (vo): Most kid characters are asking to be shot out of a cancer-filled cannon, but this one was actually pretty tolerable. 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 Kate: I ain't waitin' for no bull on a white horse.

NC (vo): It also taught a kids a very unique lesson, that being, don't always trust authority. They never got enough evidence to put the sheriff or the mayor away, but they never gave up in trying to stop their schemes and fighting for what's right. It wasn't anti-law as obviously our heroes are on the side of the law, but...it wasn't saying "blindly trust your government" either. It's kind of rare you see a show for kids that says "don't always trust the law". I actually kind is admire it for that. 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 mademoiselle, whose beauty makes the the sun's rays pale?

NC (vo): For a lighthearted bit of fun, it was exactly that, a bit of fun.

(Cut to Dakota Dude and Cowlorado Kid watching someone falling.)

Cowlorado Kid: Looks like they might hit ground in Moist Grass Meadow, don't it?

(Character screams and crashes offscreen.)

Dakota Dude: Oh, Cactus Canyon.

NC: So if the show was surprisingly decent, how come 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, 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...eh,again, for kids, there's not too much in it for the parents. 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. (beat) 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 it 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.

(Credits roll)

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