One of the more popular CW shows in recent years has been Walker. This reboot of the Chuck Norris CBS series tones down the martial arts action to instead focus on Cordell Walker (Jared Padalecki), who balances life as a Texas Ranger with raising his family. The series has survived the CW’s infamous purge to earn a fourth season and keeps up some fun drama and action.
So that leads to fans wondering if there are more shows like Walker to enjoy. As it happens, there are series that have a modern Western feel and some terrific action to boot. A few are darker than others, yet all capture the same feel as Walker does. So for Walker fans, here are five more shows to enjoy if you want to see how modern TV can embrace the classic Western vibe well.
5 shows for Walker fans
Based on the novels by Elmore Leonard, this FX series, Justified, is truly a modern-day Western. Timothy Olyphant is Raylan Givens, a U.S. Marshal who acts as if he stepped out of the Old West from his outfit to give a mobster 24 hours to leave town before he gets shot. He’s assigned to his Oklahoma hometown, where he clashes with his childhood friend (Walton Goggins), who’s a crook.
Raylan is soon involved in various criminal cases that often come with some dark humor, backed by a great supporting cast (Margo Martindale won an Emmy for her turn as a vicious gangster mother). The show had a fantastic finale, and the upcoming sequel series should be a fine reminder of what a genius show this was.
Justified Seasons 1-6 streaming on Hulu.
Starting on A&E before moving to Netflix, this adaptation of the Craig Johnson novels has Robert Taylor as Walt Longmire, sheriff of a small Wyoming town. Katee Sackhoff plays his feisty deputy as the cases can range from quirky local crimes to facing drug dealers and other cartels.
The show loves its Western setting as Longmire spends as much time on a horse as in his truck, and pistol showdowns are commonplace. The series got even better once it hit Netflix, flexing its creative muscles and getting wilder for a terrific ending. It can be a rough ride but a fun one for fans of Walker to get into.
Longmire Seasons 1-6 are streaming on Netflix.
About to return for a second season, this AMC series adapts the hit novels by Tony Hillerman, focusing on the adventures of Joe Leaphorn (Zahn McClarnon) and Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon), a pair of tribal policemen for a Native American reservation in the 1970s Southwest.
Season 1 has them investigating an armored car robbery that leads to a twisted killer and Chee’s true identity as an undercover FBI agent. The series mixes in some unique turns and a supernatural edge involving Native American culture, as well as two compelling leads. The finale sets up an even wilder second season to make this a fascinating turn on the Western.
Dark Winds Season 1 streaming on AMC+
This 2020 Fox show opens with Stephen Dorff as a Los Angeles deputy who always bucks the bosses. So he’s as shocked as anyone when his predecessor suddenly dies, and he is made sheriff of Los Angeles County. Thus, this maverick now has to handle the bureaucracy of the job while still dedicated to seeing justice done.
It’s an intriguing sight of the cowboy-type working with the LAPD and cases from a serial killer to an ugly race for the sheriff position. Dorff nicely sells the action, and the last episodes have him fighting to stop a larger conspiracy. It only lasted one season but deserved a longer life with its fun storylines.
Deputy Season 1 is streaming on Tubi.
This underrated Cinemax drama has a great hook. A former thief (Antony Starr), just out of jail, sees the new sheriff of a small town killed. He takes on the man’s identity as Lucas Hood to discover his ex-lover (Ivana Milicevic) is also in town. Before long, Hood is clashing with an Amish mob boss, his daughter (Lili Simmons), with her own agenda and various criminal activities.
One episode can have Hood plotting a heist, while the next has him hunting a murderer. Watching Hood bounce between crook and lawman is fantastic and matched by a top supporting cast that sells a lot of wild action and some steamy situations. Its four-season run was good for packing plenty of action into a modern Western setting.
Banshee Season 1-4 streaming on Max.
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