Texas Ranch House has ended. I admit that I was sucked into it. You see, I worked for the Cookes, in a way, only the surname was different and the business was publishing, not ranching. By the show's end, I was thinking, "It's Lady MacCooke."
When all the cowboys left angry and joined the Industrial Workers of the World, I was not surprised at all.
OK, I made the last part up. The IWW was not formed until 1905, and the show was set in 1867. (A sort of shadow IWW still exists.) But as someone once said, "A cowboy is just a factory worker on horseback."
The Cookes' problem, aside from poor gardening and an ungenerous spirit, was that they did not know where to set their boundaries as ranch owners. Sometimes they wanted their hands to be surrogate sons, and sometimes they treated them like peons. And then they were shocked! shocked! when the panel of judges told them that their ranch would have failed in real life.
I always had the feeling that Bill Cooke felt handicapped because he could not just project a PowerPoint presentation on the bunkhouse wall and explain all his goals in purest corporate-speak.