Texas Ranch House : Season 1

  • Network: PBS
  • Series Premiere Date: May 1, 2006
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 43
  2. Negative: 7 out of 43

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User Reviews

  1. DarrylC
    May 4, 2006
    9
    I found the pacing actually quicker than Colonial House, less characters to keep track of and more affinity for the material. The four nights went by like a fly buzzing around your head. Really, I felt transported back in time and saw the transition in the participants as well (except in the ranch house itself) through pretty good editing. Really enjoyed this type of TV!
  2. patrickd
    May 10, 2006
    9
    my wife and I watched the whole show ,the cooke family really had no idea how to handle a crew of tradesmen( cowboys in1867 ) how can a group of people be dressed down by thier employer ,when they are following direction from his foreman!!!! mrs. cooke should have talked to Robbie directly, and given him and him only the the work plan she expected and sent her husband to help natcho. and my wife and I watched the whole show ,the cooke family really had no idea how to handle a crew of tradesmen( cowboys in1867 ) how can a group of people be dressed down by thier employer ,when they are following direction from his foreman!!!! mrs. cooke should have talked to Robbie directly, and given him and him only the the work plan she expected and sent her husband to help natcho. and by the way its hard to keep your word when your wife wont let you. Expand
  3. BL
    May 3, 2006
    9
    Is it possible to transport 21st century Americans to an 1860's Texas ranch? Can a strong, domineering American woman take the back seat an 1860's woman would have occupied? It would appear not. Mrs. Cook, ranch owner's wife, installs herself as a "co-manager" and insists on being involved in ranch business decisions. The emasculated Mr. Cook comes across as a petty tyrant Is it possible to transport 21st century Americans to an 1860's Texas ranch? Can a strong, domineering American woman take the back seat an 1860's woman would have occupied? It would appear not. Mrs. Cook, ranch owner's wife, installs herself as a "co-manager" and insists on being involved in ranch business decisions. The emasculated Mr. Cook comes across as a petty tyrant who waffles on decisions after his wife's nagging. The ranch hands are a generally likeable group, with Robby the foreman having more sense than all the other characters put together. While the narrator asides ("a 19th century cattle ranch would not have invited the Commanches to dinner") put things into more historical perspective, watch this show for the human drama and group dynamics rather than historical accuracy. Expand
  4. lh
    May 4, 2006
    8
    A riveting trainwreck.
  5. JanetteG
    May 7, 2006
    7
    The best insight from the show is that Mr. Cooke is probably no different in his day job as a hospital administrator. No wonder health care is in crisis! As for Moira, she is the stereotypical feminist ideologue- humorless and self absorbed.
  6. TirzahA
    May 8, 2006
    10
    I would like to mention that Mr.Cook is a terrible business man. He sold his cows 91 for $25 and like 40 for $18. This gave him a grand total of $2275 If he had sold just the 91 for 10 more dollars he could have made $3185, if 5 more he would have had $2730. Seeing as the army had #1 asked him to come sell to them and #2 already picked out the best of his cows I think he easily could have I would like to mention that Mr.Cook is a terrible business man. He sold his cows 91 for $25 and like 40 for $18. This gave him a grand total of $2275 If he had sold just the 91 for 10 more dollars he could have made $3185, if 5 more he would have had $2730. Seeing as the army had #1 asked him to come sell to them and #2 already picked out the best of his cows I think he easily could have gotten the $2730 more and if he haggled gotten closer to the $3185. Not a good business man. Other then that I thought it was a really great show and would be more then intrested in seeing another one. :) PLEASE! Expand
  7. GerriA
    May 8, 2006
    10
    Someday we will want to send colonies to Mars, etc. I imagine someone will try to find colonists as they did for this show. "We need an administrator, a cook, etc." TRH shows just how far wrong we can go! A cook who is expert at fine cuisine can't handle atrocious working conditions. A boss who's used to constant applicants for jobs doesn't know how to motivate and keep Someday we will want to send colonies to Mars, etc. I imagine someone will try to find colonists as they did for this show. "We need an administrator, a cook, etc." TRH shows just how far wrong we can go! A cook who is expert at fine cuisine can't handle atrocious working conditions. A boss who's used to constant applicants for jobs doesn't know how to motivate and keep workers. Fascinating to see it work out in real life! Expand
  8. Mike
    May 9, 2006
    7
    It was an interesting show. The Cook's seem to be mis-casted. Mr. Cook was a terrible manager. Mrs. Cook kept Mr. Cook's cahones in a jar under the porch. Moira was a constant over educated femminist whinner that should of put on her rainbow kerchef and came out of the closet. Soon to be teaching at a community college near you. Robby, Shaun and all the cowboys did a great job. It was an interesting show. The Cook's seem to be mis-casted. Mr. Cook was a terrible manager. Mrs. Cook kept Mr. Cook's cahones in a jar under the porch. Moira was a constant over educated femminist whinner that should of put on her rainbow kerchef and came out of the closet. Soon to be teaching at a community college near you. Robby, Shaun and all the cowboys did a great job. They kept the project allive. The Cook daughters were as usless as their mom. The way Jarred was treated was shameful. Mr. Cook could of turned everything around at the end by being generous, but moma didn't give him permission. Maybe the producers want all the he said she said stuff to jazz up the show. Over all it could of been much better, but was still watchable. Collapse
  9. JohnDoe
    Jun 2, 2006
    9
    Overall the show was well done. There wasnt much to learn from the participants, however, the voice over did give some insight to the 1860's ranch houses. There were multiple problems with the participants, more specifically the cooke family. I will begin with Mr. Cooke. From the first episode you almost feel bad for this man. His life, whether he realises it or not, is completly Overall the show was well done. There wasnt much to learn from the participants, however, the voice over did give some insight to the 1860's ranch houses. There were multiple problems with the participants, more specifically the cooke family. I will begin with Mr. Cooke. From the first episode you almost feel bad for this man. His life, whether he realises it or not, is completly controlled by his wife. He cant make a single decision without her closeby. It is sad because you could see first hand that she was controlling him. Any decision he made, many of which were reasonable, were undermined by his wife. I have no idea how he lives with that woman everyday. Mr. Cooke never kept his word, and whether this was due to his wife or his own ignorance of the situation he was unable to esablish a working realationship with his ranch hands. The jobs that Mr. Cooke was given were overly unsuccesful. He was unable to keep accurate financial books is just one example of his many failures. For this man to tell Robbie HE didnt know what HE was doing was insulting. Robbie knew what he was doing, Mr. Cooke couldnt say the same. There is the issue with Mr. Cooke calling the indian's terrorists. GUESS WHAT we INVADED THEIR land and KILLED all of them, not the other way around. I lost all respect for Mr. Cooke after he said that. He is an ill educated moron. Then there is Mrs. Cooke. This is a woman who always talked about women rights and honor. She always talked about how 21st century women can do whatever they want, and no man can stop them. Her ideals are wonderful and all 21st century women should believe this. However, her and her daughters proved bad examples to all the hard working 21st century women. Mrs. Cooke was a fat, lazy, brick who did not do anything in helping the ranch prosper and even pretended to get sick so she didnt have throw a party. She didnt tend to the garden, she didnt clean the dishes, she didnt do anything that a 19th century woman would have done. Aside from this she was an awful (awful!!!!) human being. She manipulated her husband for so many years, and when she realised she couldnt do the same with the cow hands she made their lives a living hell. For all the women in the world who go to work and have children, Mrs. Cooke is the worst roll model to have. If I was a working mother, I would make sure that my children learned nothing from Mrs. Cooke. Ill move now to the daughters. Talk about attention whores. These girls were dumb as bricks, brainwashed by their mother, and proved to be stupid california teenage girls any chance they got. They were lazier then lazy. They sat all day playing cards, or playing with a cat. Not to mention they did it in their underwear. It is obvious that they wanted attention from the cowboys, and when they didnt get it, they hated the them. They are brats and are complete mirrors of their horrible mother. I feel bad for the future husbands of these fools. For the duaghter who said "how dare they critisize my father for the supposed "failure" of the ranch" NEWS FLASH, your ranch was a disaster. You couldnt see that because you are an idiot, who needs to read a history text book (or read anything intelligent to that effect.) The final woman disaster on the show was MORA, the lady of all work. She spoke often about women and their rolls in society. She is right in the sense that women are imporant aspect of today's society as well as 19th century america. However, she missed the point of the show. It wasnt about proving some feminist point. She always tried to prove that women could do anything a man could. Im sure no one on the ranch believed otherwise, however, she were suppose to play the roll of a 19th century woman. THAT MEANS do all the women chores. Clean, cook, and whatever else was necessary. She failed to realise her roll, which is just as important as the men's roll. Mora, you need to realise that gender rolls exist strongly in the post civil war era. You go to stanford, and you act like a moron. Mora, during the indian situation, said something to the effect "well we killed them all" followed by a laugh. Pardon my ignorance, but where is the hilarity in that? Why is that funny. When have you ever laughed at the holocaust? Do you understand that almost an entire race of people were exterminated from this planet because of what Americans did? Next time you might think about that before you laugh! To close with the Cooke family, It is hard to say a single nice thing about them. They are lazy morons. I feel they were there for vacation and didnt take a single minute of it seriously. Now lets get to the ranch hands. Ill admit, the original foreman and cook were trouble makers. They were better off gone. After they left, however, there was a group of very respectful and nice cowboys under the greatest person, Robbie. For Mrs. Cooke to say she feared for her daughters when Roobie was around made me sick to the stomach. I would let Robbie be my daughters best friend, because that they may see what a true man is all about. I think that Robbie was the most sucessful on the ranch. He did everything he was suppose to do, and treated everyone with the utmost respect. Jared is another notable cowboy. This is a man who took the most out of the experience. He learned more then anyone, he went from computer-geek to skilled cowboy. He learned and felt for the Indian American situation. He bought a horse, he asked the girls to make him a shirt. He was 100% into the idea of living a post civil war life. The way it ended for him is appaling, but at least all the cowboys left together. If Mora was not proving a point, like she said she wasnt, then why didnt she leave with the rest of them. She was a "cowboy" after all. I felt extremely bad for the cowboys. I felt, however, they demonstrated a great amount of honor in the face of pure evil, Mrs. Cooke. Good job cowboys, and very good job to robbie the foreman. Expand
  10. TimM
    Oct 17, 2006
    7
    Just saw this on DVD not when it originally aired, but for the most part was interesting. I agree with the others that the women on the show were not "playing" by the rules of 1867. Mrs. Cooke with her superior attitude was too much to take. You can tell she never raised sons because she had no idea what and how much men eat. She would have been better cast in a Manor House where she Just saw this on DVD not when it originally aired, but for the most part was interesting. I agree with the others that the women on the show were not "playing" by the rules of 1867. Mrs. Cooke with her superior attitude was too much to take. You can tell she never raised sons because she had no idea what and how much men eat. She would have been better cast in a Manor House where she could be the Queen. I feel bad for Mr. Cooke beause men that are in these all female households tend to become one of the girls. Expand
  11. danl
    May 21, 2006
    8
    It would be interesting to know how many ranches actually failed during this period and if so, what were the real reasons. In this case, I think the ranch failed, because of the Cooke family themselves. Was the show trying to show us that a lot clueless people went out to get rich on the ranch only to fail? I have a hard time believing a ranch owner would know nothing about the trade (as It would be interesting to know how many ranches actually failed during this period and if so, what were the real reasons. In this case, I think the ranch failed, because of the Cooke family themselves. Was the show trying to show us that a lot clueless people went out to get rich on the ranch only to fail? I have a hard time believing a ranch owner would know nothing about the trade (as the Cookes clearly didn't). He couldn't "manage" his own house, let alone a group of cowboys. Mrs Cooke was too busy manipulating him instead of minding the equally important duties of food and camp cleanliness. It was pretty unclear what the Cooke daughters were doing at all, except hanging out in their underwear and playing cards. Well, the Cookes are now back in their 21 century lives where they belong. And that makes me feel kind of lousy about the state of America in the 21st century. Cowboys. You guys were awesome and did a great job and deserved a much better employer. Expand
  12. JoanneP
    May 25, 2006
    9
    I watched this show from beginning to end, and was riveted to each episode. As others before me, it was the Cooke women that just didn't grasp the concept! They brought their 21st values to a 19th century scenario, and what would have pleased me was if the Natives just took them all away! Dinner with china!! Gimme a break!!!
  13. kenw
    May 4, 2006
    9
    I think it was a very good series. The problems That I saw was that the players kept forgetting that they weren in then 1860's and not in 2006. Times were very different back then.
  14. KChambers
    May 4, 2006
    9
    I watched every minute of Texas Ranch House! Loved the cowboys!! Jared makes me even prouder to be a Texan. And he is right, you don't have to pay for your horse twice. Sorry Mr. Cook but a man is only as good as his word--and you're well-- not so good. I do feel a little sorry for you though (because of your wife..mmm...you poor man!)
  15. PollyA
    May 4, 2006
    9
    A real insight into human nature as well as life in the 1860s in Texas. Historically well done. It was definitely times that tried men's souls, and some of them came off very badly, especially Mrs. Cooke. Mr. Cooke, who prided himself on his management style, was hopeless with his wife as well as with the men he needed to keep to make the ranch a success. Fascinating.
  16. Al
    May 5, 2006
    10
    Billiant!
  17. TerryB
    May 6, 2006
    10
    The show was a definite 10. The Cooke's were hopeless. I got an uneasy feeling about them as soon as they met the ranch hands. It was downhill from there. Ranch owners wives did indeed participate in the running of ranches and that included cooking for, cleaning up after, washing for and feeding any hands they were lucky to have. They also made decisions about the operations. No The show was a definite 10. The Cooke's were hopeless. I got an uneasy feeling about them as soon as they met the ranch hands. It was downhill from there. Ranch owners wives did indeed participate in the running of ranches and that included cooking for, cleaning up after, washing for and feeding any hands they were lucky to have. They also made decisions about the operations. No argument here. But, if they were successful, they realized exactly what the hands contributed and treated them with respect. The Cooke women did nothing of the kind. They were snotty, disrespectful and downright lazy. Not to mention stupid. A dinner for possibly dangerous Comanches ("do we put the napkins on the plate or to the side"), sitting in on meetings with the foreman, wandering around in their underwear, leaving food and dirty dishes out for 8 days after a party, spending time making dolls, napping and playing with the cats. Mr. Cooke (a controller in real life) couldn't keep complete/accurate books. But hey, this is Texas - he did the Enron crowd proud. His remarks to the affect that he feared for his family's safety by the hands of his employees really destroyed any sympathy I could have mustered. Enough, already! The list of their grievances is too long. The hands had their faults but nothing (nothing!) compared with the owners. Robby rules the day. He should have been cast as the owner. After all, he is a real rancher and in an area of Texas far more rugged than the Alpine area. I know, I have camped in both aeas many times. I admit I could have not participated in the show. I wouldn't have lasted more than 3 days. That's about the same amount of time I would give the Cooke's if this had been the real thing. Expand
  18. HiC
    May 7, 2006
    10
    Love the cowboys, you guys rocked.
  19. RickW
    May 22, 2006
    8
    Mr Cooke seemed to bring with him the same distain to workers that most modern day executives thrive on. Just look at the fear he had about the workers interacton with his family, then the girls
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. 30
    A plodding series that really just proves life was unrelentingly hard and pretty monotonous in the not-so-wild West.
  2. "Ranch House" is engaging, droll commentary on the American dream and how we became the nation we are today.
  3. So it turns out that being cowboys isn't so romantic after all. It's also mighty slow-moving from an entertainment standpoint.