I’m on the hunt for a new TV show, for the 7.30 slot, now that Married at First Sight is nearly over.
I’m yearning for more. The 8.30pm Viking-themed rape-fests available these days — they aren’t really for me. Isn’t there something we could sit down and watch with the kids? Something like … Rip Tide?
1. Rip Tide
These guys were so honest that even as a 12 year old, I used to want them to do something anti-Police. Shows like this had one theme tune. The incidental music was just a variation on the main theme, either slowed right down, or sometimes there was an acoustic version.
The characters were always perpetually sans girlfriends and the truth is, if these guys were real, people would keep their daughters well away from them.
I loved the quirky combo of Perry King, Joe Penny and straight-to-oblivion Thom Bray. Cody, Nick and ‘Boz’ were the trifecta of American detective personality dovetailing. A geek, a spunk and a guy with dark hair. Such a classic and reliable combination of ‘type’.
2. Falcon Crest
I am still waiting for America to release Season Three of this piece of auteurship.
In the pilot episode, the patriarch of Falcon Crest winery, Jason Gioberti, fell through the stair railings to his death, in one of the cheapest stunts involving balsawood I have ever seen. When his drunken, limp body was flung through the shitty stair hand-railing, it was as if a hot knife had been thrown through butter. Someone tried to describe this series as “Dallas, with grapes”.
That’s bullshit. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen.
3. Simon and Simon
This was another superb offering from CBS. Rick and AJ were polar opposites, and brothers.
Maybe they were the precursors to Cohle and Hart, without the rapey voodoo paradigm. Rick was a hairy ’Nam vet and AJ had the smarts.
Together they solved crimes within a tightly-scheduled 40-minute time frame. Everyone always laughed at Rick at the end, and the mother shook her long-suffering head and rolled her motherly eyes.
4. Logan’s Run
Myself, my sister and my neighbours used to roleplay this TV series after school. I was always Jessica 5. I think my role was to be on the run and trying to avoid turning 30. This played out well into my late twenties, if I am honest.
5. Battlestar Gallactica
This got really confusing and serious toward the end — it was as if Alan Alda (the depression years) took over the direction of this SciFi series. Starbuck and Apollo were a fantastic pair of space-guys, crashing through the space-time continuum with their thick thatches of hair and overpoweringly-high sex drives.
Back in those days, they used to hide real people inside the set walls, and it was their job to push and pull the sliding doors open and shut as people walked through, as if they were automatic doors. Commander Adama would flay them alive if they didn’t do it naturally enough, and they would never work in Hollywood again.
So, with all this in mind, can someone please just make (from scratch) a new 7.30pm-slot series to watch? Could they please contain:
- mysteries to solve in 40 minutes — no heavy serialization. Just nice, clean, solved homicides. The only exception is once a year, make a two-part cliff hanger; but that, too, must get solved in the second part and never be mentioned by the characters again.
- three guys. Someone good at computers but unlucky in love. A darker soul who has seen mayhem, war and a nasty, ugly divorce. Also, a preppy, humourless one who went to St Kent’s, Pakuranga.
- a large boat with the name Sea Folly.
- a Corvette Stingray
- a regular slot for a ‘hooker with a heart of gold’, who helps the boys out (but never sleeps with them). She wears a fur stole and has a red clutch purse and blue eyeliner. She’s brainier than them all, “yet stays on the game, where she belongs,” says Sidney Sheldon.
- an angry older Chief of Police. Bald to his ears then hirsute beyond a joke. Looking like a Franciscan Grizzly bear, he becomes fist-poundingly angry because the detectives keep crossing the line. Sometimes they play tricks on him, and laugh — and then the scene freezes and the credits roll.