Most of us have our favorite television programs.  The stories, settings, and characters on these shows become part of our lives.  We look forward to watching them, and they enrich our lives.

For millions of Americans, the television program Gunsmoke remains a lifelong favorite.  Gunsmoke aired from 1955 to 1975 on CBS.  It starred James Arness as a straight-arrow marshal, Matt Dillon, in Dodge City, Kansas.  The year is perpetually 1873, and the scene is a frontier town.

Gunsmoke enjoyed much popularity during its run; in fact, it was the No. 1 television show in the United States from 1957 to 1961.  And it made the Top Ten in each season between 1967 and 1973.

This long-running program evolved with the times.  It incorporated more of the full diversity of the American West into its storylines as American society changed during the 1955-to-1975 period.

When we watch the show today, we see a version of 1873 and the times in which it was filmed.  In other words, we look at 1873 through the prism of 1955, 1965, and 1975.watch Annabelle: Creation movie now


The Iconic Western

Gunsmoke is, in many ways, a morality play.  On the show, good defeats evil and right triumphs over wrong.

This classic Western offers first-rate entertainment, with engaging storylines and an intriguing blend of pure action and the simple drama of human life.  The main characters are colorful and engaging, and the storylines are deep and soulful.

The themes on Gunsmoke represent timeless and universal concepts—love, work, greed, faith, honor, family, respect, betrayal, jealousy, and so many others.

This show covers virtually every conceivable variant of human nature.  We see the good and the bad, the noble and the ignoble alike.  We see human goodness and human frailty in equal measure.

Marshal Dillon is Gunsmoke’s unmistakable star.  He personifies the Western archetype—a man of few words and great honor.  He’s a stand-up guy in the truest sense, a man who’s exceptionally tough but always fair and reasonable.  He defends what’s right at every turn and always personifies honor and integrity.

The marshal upholds the spirit—and letter—of the law.


Enduring Values

Gunsmoke endures, even today.  It still airs in reruns on American television. One can purchase the first 12 seasons on DVD, and there is a 50th anniversary collection that showcases episodes from throughout the series.

This iconic Western may continue to have an audience for years, especially among folks who grew up with the show.  These lifelong fans appreciate the show’s moral clarity and core values.

For millions of Americans today, Gunsmoke is a source of cherished memories and quality entertainment.

That’s true of television more generally.  We all enjoy good programs that inform and entertain us.  The best shows stay with us forever!