What brings us back – time and time again – to an old beloved TV show from the late 1960’s? I was only 10 years old when Lancer first aired, and although it lasted only two short seasons, I never forgot it. The theme song, the Lancer “L”, and of course the two very handsome young men that set many a young girl’s heart, and even now, more mature hearts aflutter.
It is a strange phenomenon that most people just don’t get, and many of us now mature “Lancer Ladies” may even find it difficult to explain. But still there are many of us that join Facebook groups, make tribute videos, put up Pinterest boards, and yes, some have even trekked to various locations for Western TV conventions to meet their favorite cowboy. And of course, my decision to blog a re-watch of the entire series. It’s pretty amazing that the love for this show still lives on.
But as I write this, I have to take a step back. I was madly in love with James Stacy and his portrayal of Johnny Madrid Lancer. Was I really that aware at 10 years old that this man was great looking and sexy? Did I even know what sexy was at 10 years old? No – I didn’t. So, how did I become so enamored? Picking through my memories I go back to the first time that I actually remember watching the show. It was the episode “Blind Man’s Bluff”, and I was watching on an old TV at my aunt’s house in Sea Isle City, NJ. My family was on summer vacation. I remember sitting on the screened-in porch, getting horrible reception on the local UHF channel. Putting the pieces together I realize that this was when the show was in syndication probably after 1971 and I was watching reruns. So that puts me closer to 13 almost 14 years old. And yes, at that age I was noticing boys and having crushes, so it makes sense that I would fall in love with a sexy, dark-haired, blue eyed cowboy.
As I mentioned previously, I always had memories of the show – and trolled the TV Guide every week hoping that the show would make its way back in reruns, or that James Stacy would be guest starring in something else. I watched everything he was in. But then the long drought – no Lancer on TV for years. I didn’t give up though. Later I started looking through cable TV searches, and eventually that new thing called the internet. To my delight, in 2004, I found a Yahoo Group dedicated to Lancer. I met a ton of Lancer fans online – and had no clue that fans extended to various other countries outside of the U.S.
But real life gets in the way and I eventually dropped out of the Yahoo Group. I was in a self-imposed Lancer exile. But still, I never forgot.
Recently, I decided to go hunting for some Lancer activity, and I found the Facebook group. Awesome – I sent in my request to join and thankfully was accepted. It’s a great group, and I’m enjoying the conversations and photo sharing. What’s also great is that there are a lot more eyes peeled looking for Lancer related content. I have since found a plethora of Lancer related videos on YouTube, and the show is once again televised on the Heroes and Icons (H&I) channel. My DVR is set!
So let’s go back to my original question – why are so many of us still in love – and yes, often obsessed – with this TV show. I listed my reasons below. I’d love for some of you Lancer Ladies to join in and add your reasons.
What I love about Lancer – as a Johnny girl:
- My heroes have always been cowboys (yes, I stole it – but it works)
- A lightning fast gunfighter
- The “lean” (Lancer Ladies, you know what I mean)
- Those damn blue eyes and soft voice
- Brotherly camaraderie (always the best episodes)
- A man living a dangerous life gets a second chance, and a family
- The awesome theme!
- Those odd little quirks – the fidgety hand, tilting his head back before putting on the hat (mostly in later episodes when his hair was a bit longer), and last but not least, the buckling of the gunbelt (yikes!)