You know what the drawback of watching Simon & Simon is? No, it's not the thing about old TV being finite. I'm fairly upbeat about that with S&S, given that it managed to last for the entire 1980s. It's the fact that they've twice had Henry Darrow guesting as a bad guy. In the first season he did the right thing in the end, but in the seventh season episode that I just watched the other night, he was not only spectacularly evil, but he got blasted to death with a machine gun. They don't kill people all that often on the show, so this is doubly unfair! And yes, okay, it was pretty thoroughly deserved, but he's Henry Darrow. I am on his side, always. Even when he tries to kill AJ Simon. (Sorry, AJ).

I'm sure I've said this before, but play nice, television. When you're killing people, Manolito Montoya is off limits.*

Speaking of television (when do I ever speak of anything else?!), I keep meaning to mention The Scarlet Pimpernel. It was horribly dull though, so I never bothered while I was watching it; but [personal profile] liadtbunny recently made me think of it again. Produced in the 1950s, this is a black and white show that co-stars Patrick Troughton (credited as Pat Troughton). It's roughly the same age as the likes of The Adventures Of Robin Hood (sometimes slow, but generally fun), and The Adventures Of Sir Lancelot (gloriously entertaining). Maybe the lack of "The Adventures" in the title should have been a warning?! It's bad. No, really. Given my frequent standards, if I'm saying it, then you know it's bad. The lead is a charisma-free zone, and although dear old Pat gives it his all in trying to jolly things along, it's a task comparable to trying to pep up wallpaper paste. I recommend avoiding this one. Although! The final episode does have a jolly good guest star. Sadly, it's one of the two episodes that the Trout isn't in, which is an example of Fate being a bitch. Because, bereft of his Beard of Evil, and in a rare outing as a hero, we have this fellow here:

... )

* Yes, apparently I did. It was when they killed him in an episode of Hart To Hart, the unfeeling sods.
This is either going to be the best thing to hit screens for a long, long time, or a total disaster (always supposing that it does actually go ahead): NBC are apparently planning a gay version of the seventies classic Hart To Hart. The original was wonderful, ridiculous fun. Any remake of it would probably be a good way to cheer up the schedules. But a gay version, if done right, ought be just what television needs.

For those who don't know (is that anybody?!) Hart To Hart was the story of glamorous married couple Jonathan and Jennifer Hart. He was a former street urchin, an orphan from who-knew-where, who had dragged himself up by his bootstraps and become a multi-millionaire. She was a jet-setting adventure-seeker. Together with their butler Max (a reformed con artist, who had practically raised Jonathan), and their all important dog, Freeway, they fell headlong into adventure each week, and had a whale of a time getting back out of it again. Jonathan had his dodgy past to help him, and Jennifer had brains (and extraordinary luck!). Fisticuffs and nonsense abounded. Nobody got in a car unless it was to have a high speed chase, stuff blew up with charming regularity, everybody shot at everybody else - and alongside all the action was terrific chemistry, real affection, and a lot of laughs. It was absolute nonsense, but hugely endearing and very successful.

And a gay version? Swashbuckling gay heroes! Gay men getting to do proper action scenes, and rescuing each other and stuff. Generally I hate the idea of remakes, but if they're going to do something interesting and different with the premise, I'm on board. The problem is, this needs to be really good if it's going to succeed. And it's being made by NBC, who forgot how to make good television years ago. Still, it's a great idea. Somebody hire Matt Bomer to play Jonathan, quick.
swordznsorcery: (manolito)
( Aug. 14th, 2014 20:51)
So, I was watching Kojak, and who should turn up as a guest star but Henry Darrow. I knew he was in it somewhere, as I've seen it all before, but I can never remember which one he's in. And then suddenly there he was! This makes me happy. And he was very Manolito-like, except in modern clothes and without the suntan. So for those who are interested (ie: me), here is Manolito Montoya Henry Darrow being a jaunty jewel thief in New York, c. 1974. He's aged damned well, given that he's usually hanging around Arizona, c. 1870.

He's not quite as jaunty as usual here, as Kojak has just revealed a plan to use him as bait to catch a contract killer.

And here's Kojak, not looking at all impressed by the fact that he's standing right next to Manolito Montoya, damn it! You could at least smile, Theo.

A slightly happier jewel thief. The clothes look all wrong, even though I've seen him in modern things before. They killed him once in Hart To Hart, and that was in the seventies too. I was most unimpressed. And he was in Simon & Simon twice in the eighties. He just looks so very Mano here though. It was only just after The High Chaparral ended, which probably explains it. Mackadoo is clearly waiting just off camera for a quick getaway, as Buck lays down some covering fire.

*happy thoughts*
swordznsorcery: (manolito)
( Feb. 5th, 2007 00:27)
Jonathan Hart is mean. He lulls you into a false sense of security by being daft and endearing, and by hurling himself gleefully into all manner of dangerous situations, armed only with an increasingly bedraggled suit and a glamorous wife. And then he turns around and kills poor Manolito. I mean, sorry Jonathan. I do like you, and granted I saw Hart To Hart before I saw The High Chaparral, but let's just be clear. If you're going up against Henry Darrow, I'm going to be on his side. Every time. Even when he's playing a drug-dealing police captain caught up in an unfathomable bit of plot. 'Cause he's Henry Darrow; and Manolito Montoya out-cools a whole lot of people.

So, another Sunday, another distinct lack of Torchwood. I've taken to whimpering extensively at ten o'clock each week. So far it's not working, though I admit that I didn't really expect it to. Might help if there was something else worth watching on TV at the moment, but the only thing I seem to watch now is Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Any other viewing I do is of long-axed shows on DVD, which isn't quite the same as having never-before-seen episodes of something shiny and new. I will always love my books, but I defend my right to gawp mindlessly at a TV screen every once in a while. Just as long as the Manolito-killing is kept to a minimum.

Manolito Montoya. Kindly refrain from killing him.
Thank you.
So... today I have been watching Hart To Hart, which, it must be said, is an enjoyably silly pastime. I don't think the stuntman is even trying to look like Robert Wagner. To give him his due though, old Wagner can certainly throw a good punch. And a good fish, as it turns out. And those clothes. Good grief. They make Huggy Bear seem sensibly dressed. I know it's easy to mock (and Hart To Hart is so easily mocked ;)) but I do mean it fondly. I used to watch this show as a little kid, and I always enjoyed it at the time. It has that right balance of action and utter lunacy that you can enjoy as a child or as an adult. I don't think it's possible to enjoy the fashions at any age, though. Sorry, but chunky knit cardigans with leather elbow patches weren't a good idea in 1979 either...

My internet music thingy just played me a truly fantastic piece of music - Kansas City Stomp, by Jelly Roll Morton. This needs further investigation. Album title, album title. Come on, music thingy, give me an album title. Ah ha. Mr Jelly Lord. Well, full marks for the silly title. That was a really awesome piece of music, though.

And Dirk Benedict on BBC Breakfast this morning! Honestly, Big Brother may have been a ghastly experience for many of those involved, but it's great seeing him on TV again. He's always good value for money in an interview, even if he does tend to tie the interviewers in verbal knots, and leave the audience with their brains in a tangle. I guess he'll be off back to Montana again soon. Don't stay away so long next time, Faceman. :)



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