Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #146: Police (TV Edition)

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of "Thursday Movie Picks", the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week is that week of the month where the theme focuses on TV shows, and this month it's TV shows about cops, and I've picked a couple of older shows:

Ironside (1967-1975). Raymond Burr, who had been the heavy (no pun intended) in a whole bunch of movies in the 1940s and 1950s, and usually excellent in that role, did a volte-face in the late 1950s when he played defense attorney Perry Mason. After that show wrapped, Burr moved on to playing Ironside, the head of the police detectives who solved cases from his wheelchair rather than going on disability. I think I actually learned about Burr from this show before learning about Perry Mason or his movie work, since this was syndicated and we'd watch it when Grandma was babysitting us.

T.J. Hooker (1982-1986). What William Shatner did when he wasn't doing Star Trek movies. The intro above is a very early episode, since Heather Locklear hadn't come on yet; she would be in the cast by the middle of the first season. And what ever happened to Adrian Zmed?

The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985). One in which the cops, influenced by corrupt Boss Hogg, are the bad guys. Character actor James Best played Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane, and future Congressman Ben Jones played Enos (and got a spinoff series). Of course, the series might be best known for Daisy Dukes, the cut-off short shorts worn by the Catherine Bach character.


Birgit said...

Omg...we match with TJ Hooker and I too, have asked that same question about Zmed. I love that you went with Ironside and always can't help but think of Benny Hill's take on Ironside:)

joel65913 said...

I LOVE Ironsides. Burr was great in his curmudgeonly gruffness, he took no guff and expected none. This was the way I became familiar with him as well, though my Dad has always been a huge fan of Perry Mason.

I was never too keen on either T.J. Hooker nor The Dukes of Hazzard but both had their positives.

I hopped around a bit with mine choosing something more modern though short-lived, something from the mid 80's and a trendsetter of the genre.

Life on Mars (2008)-In present day New York City detective Sam Tyler (Jason O’Mara) is pursuing a suspect when he’s struck by a car. When he awakens he finds himself in the same spot but it’s 1973! Already dressed in 70’s clothing he heads to his precinct where he’s mistaken for a transfer and put to work, now he has to figure out what happened while adjusting to his new surroundings and still chasing criminals alongside cops that have rougher methods than he’s use to. Intriguing series has a great cast, Harvey Keitel, Michael Imperioli and Gretchen Mol among others, terrific period detail and soundtrack but fell victim to poor scheduling which lead to its short duration.

Wiseguy (1987-1990)-Government agent Vinnie Terranova (Ken Wahl) is fresh out of jail where he was placed by the Organized Crime Bureau (OCB) to give him a criminal history to enable him to go deep undercover to break up big syndicates. Guided by his often exasperated but understanding boss Frank McPike (Jonathan Banks) and wheelchair bound remote liaison “Lifeguard” (Jim Byrnes) he sets out to crime bust while trying to keep his secret from his mother (Elsa Raven). Excellent series told its stories in multi episode half season arcs focusing on one set of characters. All were good but the initial season’s two arcs dealing with the empire led by Sonny Steelgrave (a commanding performance by Ray Sharkey) and the draconian deeply twisted Profitt siblings (two showpiece turns by Kevin Spacey and Joan Severance) are by far the best.

Dragnet (1951-1959/1967-1970)-“Dum...da.dum...dum-Ladies and Gentleman the story you are about to see is true, the names have been changed to protect the innocent….This is the city-Los Angeles, California…I work here, I’m a cop…my partner’s Frank Smith, my boss is Captain Glavas my name is Friday.”

So began every episode of this Jack Webb series which he created and in which he starred giving a performance of amazing stolidness handing out his standard catch phrase “Just the facts, mam”. Initially taking a documentary approach before switching to a more standard form of storytelling of solving crimes this is the granddaddy of police procedurals.

Brittani Burnham said...

I never would've thought of Dukes of Hazzard and in retrospect it seems so obvious. lol

pilch92 said...

I didn't think of The Duke's of Hazard, good choice.