The Disney+ Crime Western Series Is 90s Greatest Show

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

Before The Sopranos came along and helped redefine what was possible on television, Battlestar Galactica allowed sci-fi shows to be grimdark; we had the 90s, and it was a glorious time to watch television. Between the one-two punch of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, there was another mythical figure hanging out on CBS. Starring martial arts superstar Chuck Norris, Walker, Texas Ranger was the greatest show of the decade if you listen to the internet.

Walker, Texas Ranger On Disney+

Not only does Chuck Norris star as the titular Walker, Texas Ranger, but he performed the show’s immediately iconic theme song, “Eyes of the Ranger,” while it’s not the greatest opening, it still fits better than the one for Star Trek: Enterprise. The show starts out using the “case of the week” format and never deviates because Walker, a Texas Ranger, is not one to buck tradition. Put on a random episode from any of the eight seasons, and you’ll know exactly what to expect each time.

Chuck Norris Kicks Everyone

Walker, Texas Ranger features the good guys solving problems using martial arts and not guns. While it made the show silly, it fit the moral principles that Chuck Norris wanted to show on television, which included a lack of drug use. The staunch, upright nature of the show made it feel like a relic when it first aired in the ’90s, but today, it’s created an ironic sense of appeal that has come all around to be genuine admiration.

The Impossible To Miss Memes

Legendary Internet forum Something Awful is credited as the original home for Chuck Norris Facts, a viral sensation that took on a life of its own at the exact moment social media reshaped the web. At the time, it was as impossible to avoid Chuck Norris Facts, which include such legendary tidbits as “Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep. He waits.” and “Chuck Norris makes onions cry.” The Walker, Texas Ranger star, to his credit, rolled with the trend and even helped with The Official Chuck Norris Factbook, though the increased attention on his hit series likely helped the bottom line a little bit.

The Sequel Movie No One Watched

After Walker, Texas Ranger stopped airing in 2001, CBS decided to try to revive the series as a regular television movie. The result was Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire broadcasting in 2005, which didn’t continue any of the storylines from the series, as it was meant to be a stand-alone project. As this was before Chuck Norris Facts took off, the internet fanbase wasn’t there to save the franchise.

A Spin-off, A Reboot, And A Prequel

Walker, Texas Ranger managed to become a franchise over the decades, starting in 1999 with Sons of Thunder, a short-lived spin-off featuring the characters Carlos Sandoval (Marco Sanchez) and Trent Malloy (James Wlcek). A reboot featuring Jared Padaleckii as Walker premiered in 2021 on The CW, with Season 4 airing later this year. Finally, there was a brief prequel series, Walker: Independence, starring Katherine McNamara as Abby Walker, an ancestor of Cordell Walker in the 1890s.

A New Generation Of Fans On Streaming

Now that Walker, Texas Ranger is available on Disney+ through the Hulu beta program, which still requires a subscription to both to use, a whole new generation of fans can discover the ironic fun of Chuck Norris. Though, as has happened multiple times over the generations, what starts out as ironic fun slowly becomes real fun. That’s when the 5-hour binges start, and viewing parties where everyone yells “aerial attack” when Walker jumps off a roof begin appearing on calendars.