I have a soft spot in my heart for the Cisco Kid TV series, for one specific reason. An episode of it was the first thing I ever watched on a color TV that belonged to my family when I was a kid. When I was growing up, we probably had more TV sets than most households in the early Sixties, because my father was a TV repairman and we always had several portables around in addition to the big console in the living room. But they were all black-and-white sets. There weren't enough shows being broadcast in color to make buying a color set worthwhile, according to my dad. But some relatives of ours had one, and I always wanted to go visit them so that I could sit in front of the set and stare in rapt fascination at BONANZA or THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY in color. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.
Eventually I made a big enough pest of myself that my dad agreed to get a color TV. The day he was supposed to pick it up, I raced up the street from where the school bus dropped us off, but he wasn't there, and neither was the new TV. I had to wait another couple of hours before he finally got home with it, lugged it in (those old TVs were big and heavy), and set it up. But then it was ready, and when we turned it on, there were Cisco and Pancho, riding the range and chasing bad guys. It was a truly thrilling moment. Later in the evening we watched an episode of DANIEL BOONE, which was new at the time (the Cisco Kid was an old rerun even then), but Cisco was first.
All of which is my long-winded way of saying that I picked up a cheap DVD that has six episodes of THE CISCO KID on it, and recently I watched one of them, the first time I've seen an episode of this series in years, if not decades. Judging by this one, it was money well-spent. The plot was fairly complex, Duncan Renaldo and Leo Carrillo Jr. were very good as Cisco and Pancho, and the color photography, much of it shot on the familiar locations where so many TV and movie westerns were filmed, was quite good for the time period. The accents and some of the jokes were a little heavy-handed and might almost be considered racist today, but I didn't find them mean-spirited at all. Leo Carrillo Jr. was just plain funny as Pancho, but he was also a competent sidekick for Cisco, not buffoonish in his actions. I've always liked sidekicks who can handle themselves in a fistfight or shootout, and you get the sense that Pancho is really a pretty tough guy.
I'm looking forward to watching the other episodes on this DVD, to see if they hold up as well as the first one.