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Photo: ‘How to Be a Cowboy’
Dale Brisby owns the Radiator Ranch in West Texas, is a champion rodeo competitor, and is now a reality tv star as he shows off his cowboy ways. For a long time, he’s known that his classification as a cowboy has been of interest to the Internet and so he fed into the 21st-century promotion and popularity with a Youtube series.
Called ‘Rodeo Time’, the series was highly popular on social media and according to him, led people from all over the world to reach out and request internships and various jobs on his farm. Most commonly asked – they wanted Brisby to teach them how to be a cowboy! Now, he’s taken his expertise and ranch to Netflix on the new reality tv show, ‘How To Be a Cowboy.’
What Is ‘How to Be a Cowboy’ About?
The show opens with three cowboys riding out in the sunset, fulfilling the symbol we all know and love when it comes to the American West. Brisby said, “We ride together, but in our hearts, we are self-reliant and answer to no one.” Brisby and his other riders, show us what a day on a ranch is like, with raising cattle and milking cows and performing other forms of handiwork. But the specialty of the show lies in Brisby using his ranch as a training ground for aspiring rodeo riders. We get to see a lot of bucking horses and bulls and riders-in-training falling but getting right back up to live out their dreams.
Brisby’s brother, Leroy is an active participant and helper in the training sessions alongside Cheech, a champion roper, and Donnie, who used to intern at the ranch. Jordan Halvorsen, the new intern, is the first female intern they’d had and throughout the show, we get to see her destroy many stereotypes when it comes to female riders. She’s a professional bull rider, hailing from North Carolina and eager to get back out there after recovering from knee surgery for years. Her new goal? Training the bulls on the ranch and offering a wholesome insight into her comeback journey on this show.
The animals play a big role in the show as well, with bulls escaping their pens, ranchers having to try and rope them in, and heavy decision-making when it comes to what animals are too wild for the ranch and needs to be sold. It reflects perfectly the ideals and ambitions that Brisby preached cowboys should have and we get to see all his trainees try and emulate that. Other activities include fixing infrastructure on the ranch and attending auctions, where the gang learns how to plan out their bids and get the best new investment for the ranch.
‘How To Be a Cowboy’ Rings Familiar and Fun
The goofy sitcom perfectly encapsulates the thrill and easy joy of a reality tv show. That plus its Southern setting makes it similar to ‘Southern Survival,’ and ‘Country Ever After,’ both shows featuring Southerners and their journeys. The reason it stands out though is its self-awareness when it comes to an understanding that the reality they’re showing for the purposes of television isn’t always accurate or real or perfect – it’s going to be messy, just like real life.
Brisby’s ability to be ok with the exaggerated acting and pre-meditated plot lines is what adds to the show’s quality and authenticity. It doesn’t reek of fakeness and oblivion, instead, Dale Brisby is the perfect protagonist for a show of this manner. He boasts and talks about his cowboy ways, showing off his antics and skills in a way that’s reminiscent of Joe Exotic, which explains the success factor of both men.
True Talent On The Brisby Ranch
He may have a knack for certain schticks and performances but when it comes down to the actual ranching, fans are pleasantly surprised with the organization and focus that Brisby and the gang have. All the ranchers are highly skilled and their dynamic creates needed humor and fun. Brisby brings enthusiasm, Leroy brings a sober strength, and Cheech is chatty – they become the perfect squad we can’t help but enjoy watching. This coupled with the lighthearted tone and mood creates a show that’s easy to watch, enjoy and digest.
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The producers also wisely use the beautiful West Texas scenery and landscape to their advantage, creating stunning shots for ‘How To Be a Cowboy.’ With the use of drone shots, we get many clips of Brisby and his friends riding out in the plains on their horses, their hats whipping in the wind, and their excitement and swagger wearing off on all of us. The camerawork continues to amaze with the rodeo scenes and practices, which are also masterfully filmed and thus almost convince us to hit up Brisby and try and join his ranch too!
Strong Supporting Cast of Cowboys and Cowgirls
The star of the show however ends up being Jaden, the new intern, her ambition and excitement turning us all into her biggest fans. She was the perfect addition to the crew, and while she’s still new at her job, her dedication and willingness to learn and put in the hard work helps us believe that she will someday be a great rancher too. Perhaps Brisby’s next intern can be someone with zero ranching experience and we can see what it’s like for them to adapt and cooperate with the cowboy company.
Perhaps one of the only downsides is the obvious advertisement of Brisby’s clothing brand. The crew wears colorful shirts and hats every episode, putting them up front and center so fans can attend the website and buy his merchandise. Clever product placement by the staff and crew.
Should You Watch ‘How To Be a Cowboy’?
While some parts of the show seem scripted and clunky, the overall vibe of the show is bright and fun, with a bubbly cast that is fully committed to the ranch lifestyle. They take their jobs seriously and we can see their true love for it in every episode. Just as Brisby said, ‘[the] cowboy spirit is alive and well here at the Radiator Ranch. And that’s taking care of your own, son… Dale Brisby style.’
By Mireille Karadanaian
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Mireille Karadanaian is an entertainment journalist, whose passion for reviewing upcoming TV shows and movies has existed since a young age. She writes reviews and feature entertainment stories for The Hollywood Insider’s inclusive and authentic platform, contributing to the important stories being told in media today. Mireille loves discussing the impact today’s media is making on younger generations who emulate what they see on screen and the Internet, a double-edged sword. Her stories often include the importance of creating content that inspires inclusion, positivity, and productive messages to all audiences and generations. Mireille’s love of covering TV shows, movies, and exciting questions that are being asked in the media world is seen in her writing and her ability to not just report facts but also tell a story.