Jared Padalecki’s ‘Walker’ leaves a lot to be desired - The Daily Guardian
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Jared Padalecki’s ‘Walker’ leaves a lot to be desired

Murtaza Ali Khan

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‘Walker’, the new series by the CW Television Network (available in India on Voot Select), has the typical American vibe. We have a workaholic cop father for whom his duty is everything; all other things come second. Naturally, it comes at a price. His children are suffering as he is not there for them when they need him the most. The fact that he is a widower doesn’t help. Wonder how many times we have come across a similar plot in films and series. Now, the thing with ‘Walker’ is that it’s supposed to be a reboot of a 1993 series ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’. It was inspired by the film ‘Lone Wolf McQuade’, with both this series and that film starring Chuck Norris as a member of the Texas Ranger Division. The series ran for eight full seasons. 

For a minute, let’s try and get back to the 90s and try and understand what the original show was all about. To quote American critic Joe Queenan, “With plotlines that were old when George Burns was young, music that appears to be a lethal fusion of the Batman and Mannix scores, acting that makes William Shatner seem like Marlon Brando, and dialogue that could stop The Dukes of Hazzard dead in its tracks, ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ is a throwback to an earlier and more innocent time when programmers assumed that everyone watching TV was dumb… it seems that they just mount a camera on a tripod and tell Chuck Norris to start kicking people’s faces in for a solid hour which he seems more than willing to do.” Well, that’s how crude and loud the original series was. In comparison, what the new series offer is far more refined and has a hero who can almost be called genteel when compared to Chuck Norris’ Walker. 

Essayed by Jared Padalecki, Texas Ranger Cordell Walker now comes across as more of a charmer than an enforcer. The pilot episode, written by Anna Fricke and directed by Jessica Yu, made available to the critics is quick to set the premise before setting things in motion. We are introduced to Walker, a widower and father of two with his own moral code, who returns to his home to Austin, Texas after being undercover for two years. He soon learns that there’s harder work to be done at home. As he attempts to reconnect with his creative and thoughtful son and his headstrong and rebellious, troublemaker teenage daughter, he finds that he needs to navigate clashes with his family comprising his brother who stepped in during his absence, his perceptive mother and his traditional rancher father Bonham. To make things worse, Walker also learns that his former colleague is now his boss. But, to his respite, he finds unexpected common ground with his new partner who happens to be one of the first women in Texas Rangers’ history. All the while he also grows increasingly suspicious about the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death. 

Basically, in other words, Cordell Walker is in a mess and it is only going to get worse from here on. What’s really interesting is that we are fed with so much information in just about 40 minutes. Now, a pilot is supposed to set up the things for the upcoming episodes and so the show creators cannot be criticised for their intent. But even though their intent is right what’s missing here is organic storytelling. There is just no room for things to grow on their own as far as the pilot episode is concerned. It’s as if the makers are doing us a favour by shoving things down our throat. This style of storytelling may have worked at one point in time but the audience nowadays have different taste. They don’t like makers to rush on with the things. In fact, they like their series to take their own time to setup. Here one is reminded of the throbbing that the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ got. The makers of ‘Walker’ definitely missed a trick by choosing to make a 40-minute pilot. They really would have been better off with a 60-minute pilot as it would have allowed them to tell things at a more comfortable pace. One hopes the future episodes improve upon it. 

Jared Padalecki is a charming actor with remarkable screen presence. As Walker he looks a little out of place, to begin with but soon settles well into his character. Padalecki is well supported by Lindsey Morgan who is playing Micki Ramirez, Walker’s new partner in the Texas Rangers. The rest of the cast is also solid. Given the run-of-the-mill content on offer, the success of the show is going to heavily depend on Padalecki’s shoulders. If the audience find a liking for his Walker like they did for his Sam Winchester in ‘Supernatural’ for a good decade-and-a-half then the CW show is here to stay. But, as of now, it all looks a little tricky.  

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VIR DAS TO DEVELOP AMERICAN COUNTRY MUSIC COMEDY SERIES

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WASHINGTON: Actor-comedian Vir Das is developing a country music comedy series titled ‘Country Eastern’ for Fox.

As per Variety, Das is attached to co-write and executive produce the project with Sam Laybourne, with Laybourne also attached to serve as showrunner. Das might also star in the upcoming project. Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer and Ali Bell of Party Over Here will also executive produce along with Reg Tigerman. CBS Studios and Fox Entertainment will produce.

Titled ‘Country Eastern’, the single-camera show has received a script commitment with a penalty attached. The show is about a young wealthy man from India who restarts his life in America with his family. While attempting to rebuild their lives in Memphis, Tennessee, he decides to pursue his passion and become a country music singer. Only problem: he’s shit. Total shit. He’s going to have to gain some life experience in the States if he wants to have something real to sing about.

This would mark Das’ first US series lead and his second series regular role following his stint on ABC’s spy dramedy ‘Whiskey Cavalier’. Das also created, executive produced and starred in the Netflix Indian dark comedy series ‘Hasmukh’. 

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SELENA GOMEZ TO PRODUCE TRUE-CRIME DOCUSERIES

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WASHINGTON: Singer-actor Selena Gomez has inked a deal with Univision, marking her first producer role for a Spanish-language series.

As per The Hollywood Reporter, under the deal, Gomez will expand her brand into Spanish-language TV and film production. The 29-year-old singer-actor, along with her production company, July Moon Productions, signed a deal to produce Univision’s true-crime docuseries ‘Mi Vecino, El Cartel’ (which means The Cartel Among Us).

The project will air on Univision’s forthcoming subscription streaming service.

The upcoming series will follow the murder of Juan Guerrero Chap, a former cartel lawyer and high-level cooperator for the US government. In a release, the network said the case “rocked a quiet suburban town in Texas and launched a multiyear international investigation.”

Speaking about her production venture, Gomez said, “As a true crime fan, I was immediately captivated when I heard the story surrounding the homicide of Juan Guerrero Chapa. Not only did it take place close to my hometown in Texas, but it was also a story, unlike anything I’ve ever heard.”

She added, “I am excited to partner with Univision and really pull back the layers of his double life.” Blackfin, under Hasbro’s eOne umbrella, is also on board as a producer. 

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GOT UNFIT OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS: ALAYA F

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MUMBAI: Actor Alaya F feels she has got “very unfit” over the last few months.

On Wednesday, Alaya took to her Instagram account and gave a brief update about her health and fitness. “Got very unfit over the last few months, I was so caught up in my work commitments that I stopped taking care of my body and lost a lot of my strength.. things that used to be so easy to do now feel so hard.. which can be so demotivating. But I’m slowly and steadily taking back control and inching towards a healthier, fitter, stronger me again,” she wrote.

Alongside the note, Alaya posted a video of her doing work out. Reacting to the clip, her ‘Freddy’ co-star Kartik Aaryan quipped, “Ye unfit hai?” Alaya, who made her Bollywood debut with Saif Ali Khan’s ‘Jawaani Jaaneman’ in 2019, will next be seen in ‘Freddy’ and ‘U Turn’. 

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WOMEN WILL LOVE MY CHARACTER IN ‘ATRANGI RE’: SARA

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NEW DELHI: Ahead of the release of ‘Atrangi Re’, actor Sara Ali Khan opened up about her character of Rinku in the film.

According to her, women will definitely fall in love with her role. “I absolutely fell in love with Rinku during my process of playing her. Rinku as a character, is loud, assertive and confident as her external characteristics, but then she also has a tinge of innocence in her, which was something very interesting, exciting and challenging for me. Aanand ji really made me fall in love with her, and seep into the character. I think every woman in today’s generation will love Rinku. She knows exactly what she wants and goes for it without any apprehension or hesitation. Playing ‘Rinku’ on screen was in a way a very fulfilling and an enriching experience,” Sara said.

‘Atrangi Re’ is directed by Aanand L Rai. It also stars Akshay Kumar and Dhanush.

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CELEBRITIES JET OFF TO JAIPUR FOR KATRINA, VICKY’S WEDDING

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JAIPUR: It’s time for the wedding of the year! Bollywood stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal will tie the knot on December 9 at Six Senses Fort Barwara, Rajasthan, and guests have already started arriving for the big fat wedding.

Radhika Madan, was spotted at the Jaipur Airport on Tuesday. Katrina Kaif’s ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ director Nitya Mehra and Vicky Kaushal’s close friend and actor Malavika Mohanan were also seen at the airport. Other celebrities who have arrived on Tuesday include Vijay Krishna Acharya and ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’ actor Sharvari. Neha Dhupia and Angad Bedi were also spotted at the Mumbai aiport.

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SARA TURNS EMOTIONAL AS ‘KEDARNATH’ COMPLETES 3 YEARS

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MUMBAI: Yesterday was a special day for actress Sara Ali Khan as her first film ‘Kedarnath’ completed three years since its release.

Taking to Instagram, she penned a heartfelt post. “3 years ago my biggest dream came true. I became an actor, and my first, and most special film released. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to explain how much Kedarnath means to me- the place, the film, the memories, all of it,” she wrote.

The film’s third anniversary has also made Sara emotional as it brought back her memories with late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who had essayed the role of her love interest. “But today I’m really missing my Mansoor. It’s only because of Sushant’s unwavering support, selfless help, constant guidance and compassionate advice that Mukku was able to reach your hearts. From Kedarnath to Andromeda. Miss you forever Sushant,” she added.

Sara also thanked director of the film Abhishek Kapoor for giving her the opportunity to act in ‘Kedarnath’.

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