Bret Maverick

Watch Bret Maverick

  • 1981
  • 2 Seasons
  • 7.5  (654)

Bret Maverick is a television show that originally aired on NBC from 1981 to 1982. The show starred James Garner, Ed Bruce, Ramon Bieri, Richard Hamilton, Stuart Margolin, and Darleen Carr. Garner played Bret Maverick, a charming and cunning gambler who made his living by outsmarting his opponents at the poker table.

The show is set in the Old West, with the dusty streets of small towns as its backdrop. Bret Maverick is a classic Western hero, with all the requisite charm, wit, and gunslinging skills that come with the territory. But he is also a man of mystery, with a past that is hinted at but never fully explored. He is a solitary figure, wandering from town to town, always on the lookout for the next big game or the next big score.

Maverick is not alone in his travels. He is often joined by a colorful cast of characters, including his brother, Bart (played by Bruce), a fellow gambler who is as sharp as Bret but lacks his charm; and the shifty con man, Snopes (played by Margolin), who is always looking for a way to score big. There is also the gruff but good-hearted sheriff, Tom Guthrie (played by Bieri), who serves as a foil and occasional ally to Maverick.

The series is episodic in nature, with each episode featuring a new town, a new cast of characters, and a new set of challenges for Maverick to overcome. The show's tone is light and comedic, with a healthy dose of action and adventure thrown in for good measure. There are plenty of gunfights and saloon brawls, but they are always played for laughs rather than serious drama.

One of the show's strengths is its ensemble cast. Garner is the clear standout, with his easy charm and roguish grin. But the supporting cast is equally strong, with each actor bringing their own unique personality to their respective roles. Bruce is a perfect foil for Garner, playing the more serious and responsible Bart with just the right amount of exasperation. Margolin is a scene-stealer as Snopes, with his weaselly demeanor and rapid-fire patter. Bieri and Hamilton round out the cast nicely, with their gruff authority and deadpan humor, respectively.

Another strength of the show is its writing. The scripts are clever and witty, with a keen eye for the absurdities of life in the Old West. There are plenty of clever twists and turns, as Maverick outwits his opponents with his quick thinking and sharp instincts. The show's humor is often based on these unexpected turns, as Maverick subverts his opponent's expectations and comes out on top.

Overall, Bret Maverick is a fun and entertaining show that still holds up well today. With its likable characters, clever writing, and lighthearted tone, it is the perfect antidote to the darker, more serious Westerns of its era. Fans of James Garner, classic TV, and the Old West will find much to enjoy in this charming and underrated gem.

Bret Maverick is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (26 episodes). The series first aired on December 1, 1981.

Bret Maverick
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Where to Watch Bret Maverick
Bret Maverick is available for streaming on the NBC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Bret Maverick on demand at Amazon, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    December 1, 1981
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (654)