If all exhibits have been animated like “The Simpsons,” networks wouldn’t must pressure to maintain them alive. Yet live-action dramas include shelf lives, which explains the CW’s twin makes an attempt to increase two of its franchises with prequels: “Walker Independence,” a back-to-the-Old-West adjunct to its Texas Ranger reboot; and “The Winchesters,” a one-generation-back rekindling of the “Supernatural” flame.
Of the 2, “Independence” feels a bit extra intriguing, if hardly authentic, inasmuch as “Yellowstone” already blazed the identical path into cowboy territory with “1883.” As for “The Winchesters,” after “Supernatural’s” spectacular 15-year run you’d need to miss the fellows an terrible lot so as to thrill to this “How I Met Your Mother/Father”-esque origin story about their mother and father teaming as much as foil demonic evil.
The essential downside with “Walker” is the occasions that set the present in movement really feel a lot better tailor-made to a restricted sequence than an open-ended run. Specifically, Abby Walker (Katherine McNamara) comes west from Boston within the late 1800s, solely to see her husband – who has come to take the job as sheriff – promptly murdered by Tom Davidson (Greg Hovanessian), who shortly steps in to interchange him.
Having witnessed the homicide, Abby is set to actual revenge. From there, although, the sequence primarily turns into a slow-rolling western cleaning soap opera, one boasting an admirably numerous forged, however a irritating sense that the entire vengeance factor goes to take lots longer than it ought to.
Until then, Matt Barr, as low-life outlaw Hoyt Rawlins, and Justin Johnson Cortez as Calian, an Apache tracker who befriends Abby, aren’t unhealthy firm, and the present has a reasonably polished look. Yet watching Abby settle into the city and attending to know the opposite personalities – a few of whom harbor their very own secrets and techniques – has a determined been-to-this-rodeo-before high quality.
Then once more, in comparison with “The Winchesters,” “Walker” feels minty recent, as the previous goes again to reenact when Mary (“Zombies’” Meg Donnelly) met John (Drake Rodger) – though their model of meet-cute entails teaming as much as dispatch a demonically possessed foe.
“This a normal night for you?” John asks, solely to be informed by Mary, “You don’t want any part of this life, I promise you.”
Of course, there’d be no sequence if he didn’t, and John seems to be fairly useful in a pinch, with Vietnam flashbacks indicating among the motion that he’s seen. In addition, the 2 share a quest associated to their respective households, offering a basis for what’s to return.
The sturdiness of the format may be seen in “Supernatural’s” inordinate longevity, and there are references and callbacks to that present for many who rejoice. The principals right here, although, are constructing a distinct form of chemistry than that brotherly banter, and at the very least initially, all of it comes throughout as fairly flat.
Having relied so closely on its superhero exhibits, the CW – making ready to enter a brand new section under new ownership – is exhibiting an comprehensible impulse to money in on its different profitable titles, even when the hyperlinks seem a tad tenuous.
For now, “Walker Independence” (which, sure, will comply with “Walker”) and “The Winchesters” come blessed with title recognition, however creatively talking, first impressions say that the community has dipped into the prequel effectively twice too typically.
“Walker Independence” premieres October 6 at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.
“The Winchesters” premieres October 11 at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.