In the world of Walker, Texas Ranger
, there's no problem that can't be solved with a big truck, a few roundhouse kicks, and the unflappable-bordering-on-comatose cool of martial-arts-champion-turned-B-movie-star Chuck Norris (Good Guys Wear Black
, Forced Vengeance
). As Texas Ranger Cordell "Cord" Walker, Norris helmed this fusion of karate chops and cowboy hats for nine seasons; for some reason, the last season is being released on DVD before any of the earlier ones. By this point, the show's formula--non-stop action and high drama with no concern for common sense or coherent storytelling--has been honed to a science. No opportunity for peril is overlooked, particularly when it affords Walker a heroic moment. In the season's first episode, firemen recoil from a burning building, but Walker strides in without a word (and without any of that cumbersome protective gear) to rescue a cute boy and his loyal dog. This is refined cheese: Bad guys wear evil on their sleeves and criminal masterminds act like morons whenever it's convenient to conclude the episode. Norris wisely keeps his dialogue to a minimum, usually curt commands to his multi-ethnic troupe of high-kicking Rangers (Clarence Gilyard Jr., Judson Mills, and Nia Peeples) or warm endearments to his beloved wife Alex (Sheree Wilson). Most episodes bounce between a couple of overlapping high-tension elements (say, arms dealers and an outbreak of the Ebola virus), though this season also features an epic four-episode arc about a villainous computer genius known as "The Chairman" (Michael Ironside, Scanners
, Starship Troopers
). The standard two-pronged attack can be amazingly effective; no matter how absurdly the characters may behave, the next stirring scene is underway before anyone has time to notice. It's as addictive as potato chips. Fans will find Walker, Texas Ranger: The Final Season
crunchy and completely satisfying. --Bret Fetzer
Starring karate champion, Chuck Norris, WALKER, TEXAS RANGER centers around Cordell Walker, a contemporary Texas Ranger who is old-fashioned in his method of dealing with criminals, which entails using a lot of force. Joined by his partner, Jimmy Trivette, Walker does not shy away from his "eye for an eye" approach to law enforcement.