If you were like us, you likely saw the title to the new Netflix reality show, How to Be a Cowboy, and immediately lumped it in with all the other cowboy shows out there. Without even clicking the “play” button, your mind probably jumped to thoughts of high-stakes drama like Yellowstone, action sequences that rival Tombstone or 3:10 to Yuma, and plenty of riding horses, feeding cows, ropin’ steer, mending fences, and long days on the ranch.
This series has all of that and is definitely worth watching. But we’re all dead wrong on the “typical cowboy show” part.
Led by the entertaining, unconventional, and mostly unpredictable Dale Brisby, How to Be a Cowboy takes viewers on a wild rural adventure like no other. And at the center of it is Brisby — who is definitely in love with himself. Brisby has the credentials as a professional bull rider and rodeo star. But he’s also a Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok personality with an enormous ego and no shortage of charisma who describes himself as the greatest rodeo cowboy alive. He has a Jesus beard, long, flowing hair, a tattered cowboy hat, and aviator glasses. He often speaks of himself in the third person, makes outrageous claims that simply aren’t true, and spends most of the show spittin’ out one-liners:
The show’s teaser trailer is loaded with them if you want a sneak peek:
“A cowboy is always prepared.”
“Cowboys look after their own.”
“I appreciate Mother Nature. If you don’t, then you ain’t no cowboy.”
“It’s rodeo time, ol’ son.”
He even claims that a cowboy “answers to no one,” only to immediately answer a phone call from his mother.
Brisby definitely gives viewers a slice of rural life on his Radiator Ranch in Winnebago, where he spends all six episodes of Season 1 training what he calls the “next generation of cowboys.” But there are far fewer stakes than your traditional cowboy show, with each episode clocking in at about 25 minutes as we get to know a colorful bunch of characters that include Brisby, Cheech, Dale’s brother Leroy, Donnie Ray Dayton, and Jorden Halvorsen.
Halvorsen is a female intern and professional bull rider from North Carolina on the comeback trail after knee surgery. She wants to train on the bulls at the ranch and is eager to learn ranching along the way.
While this show is full of lighthearted, sitcom-like fun that can’t be taken seriously in many instances, it is beautifully shot with amazing West Texas scenery. And there is plenty of actual ranching going on where Brisby and the gang take their job seriously and show off their undeniable cowboy skills.
Our vote is to stream this one. It’s different than your normal cowboy show — and we love that.
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If you haven’t had a chance to watch How to Be a Cowboy, what are you waiting for?
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