Jordan Bradt: One fine day, I met a movie entitled COWBOYS VERSUS ALIENS. My dad bought the Blu-Ray disk for my mother because one of her favorite television sitcoms is THE BIG VALLEY. Well, this movie is nothing at all like that show. For a wondrous compare and contrast list, please read on.
Character Development: TBV allows you to follow the Barkley family through their trials and tribulations. In CVA, you sort of follow a group of men and one alien woman as they embark across the desert-area. My favorite TBV character is Heath; in CVA, I hated them all equally. Yes, I didn’t care enough about any one character to hate him or her more than the others.
Awesome Male Protagonist: TBV has Heath, the illegitimate Barkley son; he can do anything, and he’s sexy. He takes off his shirt a lot. Woohoo! CVA has Jake; he can also do anything. Heath and Jake can both take out a man in a single swipe of their fist. Jake also took off his shirt a lot. He’s buff, but I didn’t find him sexy or hot.
Supporting Female Role: TBV has Audra, the young Barkley daughter. She’s gentle and beautiful, sometimes flighty, but her golden heart always shines through. CVA has Ella, an alien disguised as a woman. She stares. A lot. She sacrificed herself at the end, so I guess she also has a golden heart.
Native Americans: Both the movie and the television show have Native American characters, who are sort of the bad guys, but also pull through when their help is needed.
Mexicans: Again, both shows have them, sometimes as positive characters, sometimes as bad.
Outlaws: Both have lots of outlaws! TBV keep them as the bad guys. The Barkleys come shining through to vanquish evil and save the day. In CVA, the outlaws become the good guys and help terminate the aliens.
Overall, while I adore science-fiction, I prefer TBV over CVA. There’s something thrilling about a family struggling to survive through everyday trials in the 1800’s, as opposed to aliens trying to steal 1800’s American gold while operating on human victim.