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And together, THEY FIGHT CRIME!
May 16, 2014 11:03 AM   Subscribe

During the late 1970's and 1980's, Glen A. Larson's lighthearted television dramas were incredibly popular: Knight Rider. B.J. and the Bear. The original Battlestar Galactica. Quincy M.E. The Fall Guy. Magnum, P.I. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Larson had hit after hit and it seemed he could do no wrong. But he did produce three flops in the 80's, (and another in the 90's that managed to last two seasons): Automan, The Highwayman, Manimal and Night Man.

Automan (1983-1984)
The idea was simple: build on the success of TRON without ripping it off. Larson hired the movie's operating producer Donald Kushner and his partner Peter Locke as the operating producers of Automan. The show starred Dezi Arnaz Jr., Chuck Wagner, Heather McNair, Robert Lansing and Gerald S. O'Loughlin. But as quickly as any of them could say, "Oy! What have I done to my career!" the show was sadly cancelled. 13 episodes were produced and aired. All are available on Veoh:

Season One (1983-1984)
1) Automan
2) Staying Alive While Running a High Flashdance Fever
3) The Great Pretender
4) Ships in the Night
5) Unreasonable Facsimile
6) Flashes and Ashes
7) The Biggest Game in Town
8) Renegade Run
9) Murder MTV
10) Murder, Take One
11) Zippers
12) Club Ten
13) Death by Design

Background
The show falls into the "magnificent bubble of time between about 1975 and 1998 or so when computers were magic" to television and movie audiences. (Ads at this link are NSFW.)

Newspaper article with a review from 1984: "Your eyes just won't believe 'Automan'
"Walter Nebicher (Desi Arnaz Jr.) is a wimpy police department computer wizard who longs for the action and adventure of the streets. No chance. His boss, Captain Boyd (Gerald S. O'Loughlin) Thinks he's a glorified typist and an ineffectual boob.

In true comic book tradition, our frustrated, misunderstood hero spends long, lonely nights tinkering in his basement. He's inventing a computer game called Automan. He has programmed Automan to be what he wants to be -- the ultimate detective.

One night he punches the right button. The building shakes… the lights dim… and… and… suddently this big, beefy guy appears out of nowhere. He speaks with a slight English accent and glows blue from the neck down. He's Automan -- sprung to life as a hologram. Some poor stiff named Chuck Wagner plays him."
From the DVD release: a documentary feature with clips from the series and interviews with the cast, filmed at the Historic Boulder Theatre in Boulder City, Nevada in 2012. (The Theatre is owned by Arnaz Jr.) It's immediately obvious that Chuck Wagner really enjoyed his time on the show. Possibly in part because his acting roots are in musical theatre.

Links
* Additional Background: Wikipedia. TV Tropes. TV Rage.
* ScreenJabber and StrangeThings Are Happening have reviewed the series' DVD.
* Fan Site: Automan Online.


The Highwayman (1987-88)
Virtually no videos exist online of The Highwayman. (At least, not that I could find.) A 60 minute sci-fi/action series that aired on NBC in late 1987 and early 1988, The Highwayman starred Sam J. Jones (1980's Flash Gordon), a federal marshall who used a high-tech 18-wheeler loaded with advanced weaponry, an ability to turn invisible and a cab that turned into a helicopter. He used this "supertruck" to patrol the highways and fight crime. In the futuristic world of 1992. The show cranked out a pilot movie (starring G. Gordon Liddy, Jimmy Smits and Rowdy Roddy Piper!) and nine episodes before driving off into the cancellation sunset. There's a bit more at Wikipedia.

But what happened to the Highwayman's Truck? Well, the original truck (complete with Gazelle helicopter cab) was designed and built by Jon Ward Motor Sports of Alpine, Texas. A 1980 Kenworth cab-over with an 8V92T diesel, it was converted at a cost of $287,000. Ward held onto it after the show ended, began to turn it into a one-of-a-kind futuristic mobile home but eventually gave up. The restored truck is now owned by a mobile tattoo service: ‘Highwayman Ink’ that operates out of Sulphur Springs, TX.


Manimal (1983)
If you remember anything about this short-lived show, it's probably the transformation sequence, which is reminiscent of the longer and better, non-cgi man-to-werewolf transformation scene in 1981's An American Werewolf in London. Another Larson 60 minute drama, Manimal's lead was "Professor of Animal Behavioral Science" Jonathan Chase, who helped the police in cases involving animals. Which happened unusually frequently. The show's hook? Chase has the ability to transform into any animal because he'd journeyed to the "savage lands of Africa and Tibet, where the line between man and beast is non-existent." [It probably only sounds more racist than it... actually no, that's totally racist.] "Wonder Twin power activate! Form of a cancelled TV show!" Manimal went up against CBS' Dallas and was eaten alive. It only lasted 8 episodes, all are on Veoh. First four are on Youtube.

Season One
1) Manimal (Also on YouTube. Watch for: The funky transformation sequence. Guest stars Ursula Andress and Ed Lauter.)
2) Illusion (Also on YouTube)
3) Night of the Scorpion (Also on YouTube)
4) Female of the Species (Also on YouTube)
5) High Stakes
6) Scrimshaw (Watch for: Guest star Meeno Peluce (from Voyagers!)
7) Breath of the Dragon
8) Night of the Beast


Night Man (1997 - 1999)
Night Man was loosely based on a comic published by Malibu, set in their Ultraverse. Matt McColm was the title character, Johnny Domino, a well-known San Franciscan jazz musician who was accidentally struck by a lightning bolt in a freak cable-car accident and developed superpowers: telekinesis and the ability to telepathically recognize evil. He also stops sleeping. The show was distributed in syndication, which allowed it to last for two seasons before being cancelled.

Season One (1997-1998)
(Here's a lengthy review of the two-part pilot.)
1) World Premiere, Part 1
2) World Premiere, Part 2
3) Whole Lotta Shakin'… (Video is mislabeled. Episode was Season One, not Two.)
4) I Left My Heart in San Francisco
5) Still of the Night
6) Face to Face
7) Chrome
8) Takin' it to the Streets
9) Lady in Red
10) That Ol' Gang of Mine
11) Bad Moon Rising
12) Constant Craving
13) You Are Too Beautiful
14) Do You Believe In Magic
15) The House of Soul (Guest starring: Jerry Springer)
16) Nightwoman
17) Chrome II
18) Bad to the Bonen
19) The Hitchhiker
20) Devil in Disguise
21) Double Vision
22) Amazing Grace

Season Two (1998-1999)
1) The UltraWeb
2) The Black Knight
3) It Came from Out of the Sky
4) Book of the Dead
5) Fear City
6) Manimal (Yes, there was a Manimal crossover episode. But it doesn't seem to be online.)
7) Knight Life
8) The People's Choice (Not online)
9) Ring of Fire
10) Sixty Minute Man
11) Blader
12) Love and Death
13) Burning Love
14) Scent of a Woman
15) Dust
16) Spellbound
17) Double Double
18) The Enemy Within
19) Gore
20) Revelations
21) Nightwoman Returns
22) Keys to the Kingdom of Hell
posted by zarq (138 comments total) 83 users marked this as a favorite

 
God, just when you think that The Highwayman could not possibly be more perfect, you find out G Gordon Liddy was in the feature-length pilot.

This is amazing.

(Also, if I were lightning, I would also try to strike Johnny Domino. No mercy for bare-chested saxophonists with mullets!)
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:15 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


Oh my god, the stock footage of lions and tigers not giving a shit interspersed with the Manimal transformation. What am I even looking at.
posted by Tesseractive at 11:19 AM on May 16 [16 favorites]


I definitely watched Manimal and Automan as a kid.

Did Night Man ever fight the Day Man (the Champion of the Sun)?
posted by doctornecessiter at 11:22 AM on May 16 [12 favorites]


Manimal - able to transform into stock footage of any animal!

(zarq, this is making, and ironically also consuming, my weekend.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:22 AM on May 16 [9 favorites]


"... and Cursor as Himself."

I thought that show was the business in 1983.

I was 11.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:22 AM on May 16 [17 favorites]


I *knew* I hadn't hallucinated these!

...now that I think about it, is it odd that so many early childhood memories are wrapped in a thick layer of "this cannot possibly have happened the way I remember"?
posted by aramaic at 11:23 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


running order squabble fest: " (zarq, this is making, and ironically also consuming, my weekend.)"

Aaaaaand my work here is done! :D Enjoy!
posted by zarq at 11:24 AM on May 16 [3 favorites]


Here's another Manimal transformation sequence, helpfully dubbed into French, where he turns into a bird and the stock footage cat and pigeon care not.
posted by Tesseractive at 11:25 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


I clearly remember an episode of Manimal where he learned kung fu by studying the animals (that he could transform into, of course). I'd like to confirm this memory, but that would involve watching Manimal.
posted by Edgewise at 11:30 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


The Highwayman was born to fail. It's only raison d'etre was to ride the coattails of Jacko's very brief 15 minutes of fame.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:34 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


I didn't realize when I linked to it above, but the links to the show in the post I created on the show Voyagers! have been taken down. The show has been reposted in its entirety here. Bonus: the videos are no longer broken into parts.
posted by zarq at 11:35 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Oh, and on that note, Automan was just a rip-off of Tron with crime fighters.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:35 AM on May 16


Staying Alive While Running a High Flashdance Fever

I had a high flashdance fever once. Oh what a feeling.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:36 AM on May 16 [6 favorites]


Manimal is a clear memory of my childhood. I'm kind of concerned at the brain space it occupies.
posted by arcticseal at 11:36 AM on May 16 [6 favorites]


Automan was not so much a flop as one of those strangely powerful influences on my youth that no one now remembers, like my first man crush on Lucan, my second man crush on The Man From Atlantis, and my sci-fi dirty little secret, Quark. The PBS children's show Once Upon A Town? Anyone? Anyone?

It's been very Twilight Zone-y ever since, being surrounded by people who aren't familiar with my touchstones. It's like no one else but me ever watched Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band hundreds of times or fantasized about being in a sequel to Starhops.

And yeah, I have the whole run of Otherworld on VHS, so I know it actually happened.

God as my witness, I will see that Madame's Place eventually gets a box set.
posted by sonascope at 11:37 AM on May 16 [22 favorites]


Lastly, I have very special memories of Manimal, as the emotionally disturbed and attention deficient young fellow from way up in a cabin in the hills who sat beside me in my rural mountain Tennessee third grade classroom used to throw himself on the floor writhing and screaming claiming to be Manimal and transforming whenever the classroom became too quiet and still (say during a test) much to the delight of me and our classmates. Godd times, good times.

Incidentally, hell yeah we're facebook friends!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:40 AM on May 16 [9 favorites]


I was kind of hoping that Manimal would get a sidekick called Vegetaboy.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:40 AM on May 16 [6 favorites]


Manimal is a clear memory of my childhood. I'm kind of concerned at the brain space it occupies.

I know what you mean! Looking at zarq's links, the truly disturbing thing is how familiar these shows seem. I must have watched all of them as a kid. (Except for Nightman. He was a bit late to the party.)
posted by Kevin Street at 11:41 AM on May 16


sonascope: "Quark"

All 8 episodes:
* Pilot
* May the Source Be with You
* The Old and the Beautiful
* The Good, the Bad and the Ficus
* Goodbye Polumbus
* All the Emperor's Quasi-Norms, Part 1
* All the Emperor's Quasi-Norms, Part 2
* Vanessa 38-24-36
posted by zarq at 11:43 AM on May 16 [18 favorites]


I swear I remember Night Man playing the solo from "Baker Street" in the show's intro, but it appears I've somehow confused intro with outro, show with episode, and Night Man with Lisa Simpson.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 11:47 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


I have a deep and abiding love for Quark to this day. Even the theme music is funny; as if they ran the theme to Star Trek through the mind of whoever composed the theme to The Love Boat.

And Orphan Black's got nothing on the Bettys.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:48 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


sonascope: "Quark"

Sadly, I have the box set, right on the shelf beside my box set of Buck Rogers.

What an appallingly stupid show, but still.
posted by sonascope at 11:48 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


Come to think of it, you could have a crimefighting trio to match Batman, Robin and Batgirl, or Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr.

Manimal, Vegetaboy and Minergirl!

(that last pronounced with a short I obviously)
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:51 AM on May 16 [3 favorites]


I vividly remember watching Automan, The Highwayman and Manimal - although for some reason I thought Highwayman was an older show than it was.

When I was a kid, I couldn't tell you who many famous people were, but I knew the names Glen A. Larson, Donald Bellasario and Stephen J. Cannell. Felt like they were family.

Which is a sad commentary on my childhood. Le Shrug.
posted by Thistledown at 11:53 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


As it happens, Quark goes very well with Jason of Star Command. Filmation stupid is a whole species of dumb unto itself, but (A) holy crap, Tamara Dobson, (B) scattergay Charlie Dell, (C) evil Sid Haig, (D) that stupid toy robot, (E) all the terrible sound effects you've heard one billion times from every Filmation thing ever, and (F) I really, really, achingly wanted to pick up the soap in the shower with Craig Littler back in '78.
posted by sonascope at 11:53 AM on May 16 [6 favorites]


sonascope: " Sadly, I have the box set, right on the shelf beside my box set of Buck Rogers."

:)

I really must buy Buck Rogers in the 25th Century on DVD one of these days. Loved that show when I was a kid.

When I started this post I went off on a huge Buck Rogers tangent on YouTube. None of the '79-'81 series is up except the credits (and that iconic theme song,) but many of the old movies and serials are. And episodes from the radio show and some of the movies are in the internet archive. So much fun.
posted by zarq at 11:55 AM on May 16


Those Manimal transformation scenes... The people doing the show must have been aware of how silly they looked. (And yet, how cool they were at the same time.) The one Tesseractive links to where the camera zooms in on the pigeon... There's not enough coke in California to explain that.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:55 AM on May 16 [4 favorites]


Oh man that panther transformation. Such beautiful nightmare fuel. Yeah, gonna toss that to some friends so they don't sleep.

Edit: Hurrah for typo corrections
posted by AngelWuff at 11:56 AM on May 16


Huh. IMDb says Dennis "Pedro Cerrano / Allstate / President" Haysbert was in 5 episodes of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Cool!
posted by zarq at 11:58 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


The opening to Manimal is the best piece of crap ever. It's so stupid and racist it goes right into the showgirls zone for pure entertainment. I link to it whenever possible.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:11 PM on May 16


If you're a certain age, this (sadly) how our brains are wired up.
posted by mikelieman at 12:14 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


"What are you doing here?"

"I live here."

ROOoooWWWRRR!
posted by Kevin Street at 12:16 PM on May 16


Sadly, I have the box set, right on the shelf beside my box set of Buck Rogers.

From Twitter (guest-starring MeFi's own mightygodking):

MGK: Seriously, Buck Rogers is a great concept, which is why they tweaked it for Captain America when they brought him back

MisteralexWiebe: That's just silly! There's no link between Steve Rogers, Bucky, and OH MY GOD

Bonus OMG: opening credits for the theatrical release of Buck Rogers in the 25th century is NSF11-year-olds who begged their parents to take them to theater. Shot of spacebabe slipping down the Buck Rogers logo like it was a playground slide is so hilarious they had to show it twice.
posted by straight at 12:24 PM on May 16 [8 favorites]


You forgot Night Man's car, the Plymouth/Chrysler Prowler, and the fancy holographic stand-in for when he had to quit being Bill Clinton and go fly around.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 12:28 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


(Also Buck Rogers in a coma apparently dreams about spacebabes writhing around with him on his own name written in giant glowing future stuff.)
posted by straight at 12:30 PM on May 16 [4 favorites]


You forgot Night Man's car, the Plymouth/Chrysler Prowler, and the fancy holographic stand-in for when he had to quit being Bill Clinton and go fly around.

So... he has actual technology that projects the image of a bare-chested man with a ponytail playing the saxophone in front of his window?

Most 80s futuretek evar.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:32 PM on May 16


(Also Buck Rogers in a coma apparently dreams about spacebabes writhing around with him on his own name written in giant glowing future stuff.)

This makes total sense.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:33 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Oh I remember Automan. I know it was real. I believe!

Never got to see Tron when I was that young. Had to wait til 87 when our school showed it to our fifth grade class...

But I remember learning about 90 degree angles from Automan (not to be confused with Carman, the shitty Christian Evangelist "comedian" singer/parodist). Quark was basically a rip off of Bit only... with the cool transformation into the vehicles, right?

I remember that helicopter. Million times better than "Airwolf".
posted by symbioid at 12:37 PM on May 16


running order squabble fest: "So... he has actual technology that projects the image of a bare-chested man with a ponytail playing the saxophone in front of his window?"

This guy?
posted by symbioid at 12:38 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


I remember really liking The Highwayman but maybe it was just the sheer goofiness of it all.

Is it me or do both Streethawk and The Electric Knight fit into these shows thematically?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:39 PM on May 16


It's only raison d'etre was to ride the coattails of Jacko's very brief 15 minutes of fame.

And the award for the best impersonation of a really coked-up Sting goes to ...

A friend of mine in college was super into The Highwayman. No, I never really knew what that was all about, I just remember the Jacko voice he did at every meal.

"Quark"

1977, sci-fi TV, I should've been all over this. I was a nut for The Man From Atlantis, Logan's Run, and The Fantastic Journey, but I have no memory of Quark at all.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:43 PM on May 16


I always tend to tie in Streethawk with Night Rider in my head. I'd ride Streethawk back to my lair where Airwolf would be idling ready for fresh adventures with Ernest Borgnine.
posted by arcticseal at 12:46 PM on May 16 [4 favorites]


I loved Automan as a child (as well as Knight Rider, Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica and all the Glen A. Larson greats)... Manimal was utter tosh though. I used to watch it in the vain hope he'd turn into something *other* than a black panther. Oh well.

I remember watching a show about some Astronaut who'd been zapped in space by some cosmic energy, and who subsequently developed superpowers when exposed to sunlight... but too much sunlight would make his brain explode (or something). I remember his eyes used to change colour the longer he was in the sun from blue to green to yellow to red.

I'm fairly sure I didn't hallucinate this, but nobody I've ever mentioned it to seems to remember. To be fair, it probably wasn't a Glen A. Larson production, and was probably cancelled after 4 episodes, but it still irritates me that I can't find any trace of it online!
posted by chrimble at 12:48 PM on May 16


chrimble, I believe you're talking about Northstar.
posted by zarq at 12:56 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


I'd ride Streethawk back to my lair where Airwolf would be idling ready for fresh adventures with Ernest Borgnine.

As it was the first R rated movie I'd ever seen, I was always more partial to Blue Thunder in the cola war between the network helicopter shows. Also, I hated Dallas, so it was easy for me to change the channel over to ABC at that time slot (and by easy I mean I had to physically go outside and turn the giant mast antenna in front of our house to change towards the direction of the ABC transmission tower north of us as opposed to the CBS tower in the East.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:57 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


I took Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers absolutely seriously back then, in a way that I didn't with shows like Automan and Manimal. It was obvious that Manimal was tongue in cheek, but Buck Rodgers was about the future! It had to be good. (One of the characters was descended from Isaac Asimov, for Pete's sake.) The frequent cheesiness the show indulged in grated on me, and was subsequently corrected in action figure reenactments.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:57 PM on May 16 [5 favorites]


In public I will pretend to have no memory or knowledge of the decade called the 80s but in secret I will admit to having loved Manimal.
posted by tommasz at 12:58 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


I remember watching a show about some Astronaut who'd been zapped in space by some cosmic energy, and who subsequently developed superpowers when exposed to sunlight... but too much sunlight would make his brain explode (or something). I remember his eyes used to change colour the longer he was in the sun from blue to green to yellow to red.

And they had him solve insanely hard math problems by writing them on a sheet of glass, so he could look through the glass and receive sunlight, while solving the problem.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:58 PM on May 16


BTW... If I remember right (there's no wikipedia page on the movie) Northstar wasn't a series but a pilot movie that wasn't picked up. Starred Greg Evigan as an astronaut who stared into the sun during a spacewalk. (Or passed through cosmic rays or something.) When he returns to Earth, he discovers that he has superpowers when his eyes are exposed to sunlight.

His powers had levels. Yellow. Blue. Red. Too much exposure to sunlight would turn his eyes red and kill him.
posted by zarq at 1:00 PM on May 16


I remember being in grade school where the next day after Manimal was on we all would try to do the Manimal transformation with our hands like claws. Like for hours. Simpler times.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 1:02 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Now I wanna see someone whip up a Night Man/Dayman mashup.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:02 PM on May 16


sonascope: Other than one kid who watched it at the same time as me, I've never come across anyone else who remembered Lucan. I loved that stupid show so much. Years later, I caught a random rerun of the original tv movie and managed to record it; the tape is still sitting somewhere in a plastic tub, because I could never bring myself to get rid of it. I, uh, possibly keep looking for DVDs, too.

I also watched and loved Man From Atlantis and Quark, but never Once Upon a Town, sorry!
posted by current resident at 1:03 PM on May 16


As long as we're mentioning obscure TV superheroes, let's not forget The Phoenix, starring Judson Scott, aka Khan's sidekick from STII.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:07 PM on May 16 [7 favorites]


Anybody remember Lucan? The one about the boy raised by wolves who fights crime? That only lasted a few episodes but I remember digging it.
posted by jonmc at 1:14 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Bought a cheap box set of Knight Rider series 1 recently (mainly because the theme tune is so good - the riff! the drums! the timing!), watching it now so many of the effects are done very cheaply or via suggestion. You just couldn't do it like that anymore. Like in that series Hasselhoff must have pressed the Turbo Boost button a million times, but it never actually shows the lift off (or explains how the hell it might work). Its always:
- Kitt travelling towards obstacle
- Close up of Turbo Boost button being pressed
- Interior shot of Hasselhoff lurching towards the steering wheel while a Whoosh sound happens
- Exterior shot of Kitt already in the air, halfway over whatever the obstacle was
But in 1982 you could get away with that. What did stand out in the few episodes I rewatched was the dialogue between Kitt and Hasselhoff, which was frequently pretty funny.
posted by memebake at 1:14 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


*refreshes page*

I guess so.
posted by jonmc at 1:15 PM on May 16


The TVObscurities blog sonoscope linked to earlier is fun. Some of the shows mentioned I recall from Harlan Ellison's TV reviews, some of them I've never heard of. I totally missed ABC's 1991 series My Life And Times and now I want to see it because it sounds like a cool idea that might've been a great show in better or luckier hands. (I'm also struck by the central conceit's resemblance to The Young Indy Chronicles that aired the same spring.)
posted by octobersurprise at 1:18 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


The other notable thing about Knight Rider is the large number of scenes that maybe read OK in the script, but were really goofy once actually filmed, but somehow got left in the programme anyway. E.g. "KITT pins the two soliders to the wall - they are unable to move but unharmed" (Series 1, Deadly Maneuvers). So badly done.
posted by memebake at 1:22 PM on May 16


I would not have thought this possible but the Manimal transformation sequence is even more awesome than I remember it.

And by awesome I mean nightmarish.
posted by edheil at 1:32 PM on May 16


Or Misfits of Science!
posted by symbioid at 1:40 PM on May 16 [9 favorites]


Oh man, I had forgotten the Manimal transformation. That's some Classic Who level special effects there.
posted by immlass at 1:41 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


chrimble, I believe you're talking about Northstar.

Holy God. This is the inspiration for Heat Vision and Jack.

I never knew.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:44 PM on May 16 [9 favorites]


Automan was awesome.
I still want Cursor to make me a car that moves orthogonally, none of that 'gradual turn' bullshit that human-made cars do.
posted by signal at 1:49 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Tuned To The Frequency… OF EEEVIL!
posted by zamboni at 1:50 PM on May 16


Yeah, I didn't realize Heat Vision and Jack was so closely inspired by...real things, like literally the astronaut and sun thing came from another show. Jeez.
posted by Tesseractive at 1:50 PM on May 16


I remember trying to watch an episode of "Night Man" once when it was airing in syndication.

I got about ten minutes in, grasped that that the premise was little more than "Bruce Wayne is replaced by Kenny G" and bailed.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 1:50 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


When the Sypeculative Fyction Channel first went on the air, they made it their business to air these short-run sf and techno-fantasy series that had recorded too few episodes before cancellation to have much hope of a run in syndication. This service was for me their sole justification to exist.

Here's some of the series I remember seeing in the early days before they had any home-grown content:

Alien Nation (1989, 22 eps)
Automan (1983, 12 eps)
The Immortal (19670, 16 eps)
The Invaders (1967, 43 eps)
Max Headroom (1988, 14 eps)
Planet of the Apes (1974, 14 eps)
The Prisoner (1967, 17 eps)
Star Trek: The Cartoon (1973, 22 eps)
The Time Tunnel (1966, 30 eps)
UFO (1970, 26 eps)
V (1984, 19 eps)
 
posted by Herodios at 1:55 PM on May 16 [9 favorites]


sonascope: "And yeah, I have the whole run of Otherworld on VHS, so I know it actually happened."

OH THANK GOD I AM NOT ALONE SOMEONE ELSE SAW IT
posted by scrump at 1:58 PM on May 16 [7 favorites]


"As long as we're mentioning obscure TV superheroes, let's not forget The Phoenix"

I always remember this show because it was the first time I ever noticed (I'm sure it wasn't
the first time it was ever used) that camera trick of dollying away while simultaneously
zooming in the lens, giving the effect of the central figure staying the same size but the
background enlarging dramatically (the opposite effect too was used, ie. background
shrinking, etc.)
posted by Chitownfats at 1:59 PM on May 16


memebake: "Like in that series Hasselhoff must have pressed the Turbo Boost button a million times, but it never actually shows the lift off (or explains how the hell it might work)."

Nearly every turbo boost in the series.

You're right of course, they never explained how turbo boost worked. But if you watch carefully, you can spot the ramps the production team used whenever they had a shot of KITT getting airborne.
posted by zarq at 2:00 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


In case anyone else was wondering how many Trans Ams were destroyed during the course of the series after watching that video:
"The stunt work was hard on the cars, and the show typically ruined four to nine each season. The Trans Ams were sold by GM to the producers for $1 each. Each one cost about $18,000 to modify into K.I.T.T.

Two of these cars were modified just for jumps. They were given a lightweight fiberglass body, stock car quality shock absorbers, a stripped interior, and a powerful engine. Each one weighed only 1,500 pounds, thus making the jumps easier."

posted by zarq at 2:05 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


Automan, by the way may be the first hologram-as-person in television history. Yes yes the visual effects were derived from Tron, but those people weren't really people, and they weren't really holograms. (Sorry Rimmer, you're still the best, but not the first.)

Pretty sure that SRT 5752 from THX 1138 is the first hologram-as-person in a film, tho' he's not really a hologram anymore once he escapes.

The singing vegetables and other characters in Firesign Theatre's I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus (1971) were the first I ever heard of. Hologram technology as such was less than ten years old and 'hologram' had barely entered the public vocabulary at this point.

If anyone can think of any earlier examples in any media (including print) I'd like to hear about it.

 
posted by Herodios at 2:15 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Poor Glen, you would think after the second flop he would stay away from using "man" in his series titles. His grit and determination still speak to us all these years later: "I can do it, I know I can! One of these men will make it to the top of Neilsen mountain, I shall not quit until that glorious day happens."
posted by jeremias at 2:21 PM on May 16


Holy cats. I caught each and every single one of these at least once when they were first broadcast, either by chance when flipping around or, if I heard of it in advance, because I was a kid and there was science-fiction on TV and you could laugh and heckle it if it sucked. I remember howling when Automan explained he could drive a real-life car around 90-degree turns because he was related to Donkey Kong and Pac-Man.

The Manimal transformation footage was so bad I remember my dad nearly going into conniptions he was laughing so hard. I was one of those kids who read all the TV Guide Fall Preview issues cover-to-cover enough times to memorize the damn writeups, and I always loved their snark on Manimal:
With the entire animal kingdom to choose from, Jonathan could have become a sooty albatross, a duckbill platypus, a snail darter--but no-o-o! In the pilot he chose only a black panther, a hawk, a kitty cat and a shark.
Otherworld I remember primarily for the episode where the kids in the family end up introducing rock and roll to a society of repressed teenagers in a kind of dystopian Footloose.
posted by Spatch at 2:28 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


The other notable thing about Knight Rider is the large number of scenes that maybe read OK in the script, but were really goofy once actually filmed

This is also a succinct description of the entire turn-superhero-comic-books-into-movies enterprise.
 
posted by Herodios at 2:29 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Johnny Winnebago (I WILL TRAVEL ALL THE WEIRD HIGHWAYS), Mann and Machine (I WILL TEACH YOU LOVE, ROBOT YANCY BUTLER), and Hat Squad (WHAT DO YOU MEAN THIS HAT THING IS NOT COOL WHERE IS MY GOLDWING) were all formative, if short lived, shows for me.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:29 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


I actually liked The Highwayman, partly because, well, Sam J. Jones. (Don't miss his one-ep appearance in Stargate SG-1, it's fantastic. "What, you really think I'd have given you a weapon that was effective against me?" *shoots himself* Ooooohh... *swaggers off*)
posted by xedrik at 2:35 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Glen A. Larson is responsible for more my childhood than is probably good for me. Thanks, zarq.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:47 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


The peculiar thing about Lucan was that I wasn't the only one who thought fondly of Kevin Brophy long after the world had forgotten about the wolf boy.
posted by sonascope at 2:49 PM on May 16 [4 favorites]


Was going to mention The Phoenix & Otherworld if no one beat me to it. I'm trying to figure out if the cheesy fantasy series from that era with the evil prince in black is some kind of opium dream or real. Only bit I can remember is a scene where he shoots an arrow at two riders, kills one, and then when his lackey says 'good shot' he sneers and says 'I was aiming for both of them'.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:58 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


BrotherCaine, that sounds like Wizards and Warriors, which was gloriously cheesy in every way.
posted by current resident at 3:03 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


I remember Lucan, and Quark, all too well. (and Quark was NOT stupid! it was CLEVER! Like, there was a Roddenberry bush that time, and Ficus had that weird mating ritual...)

But most important? "Better than bionics! He's ... the Gemini Man". (Setting the bar a bit low, they were.)
posted by allthinky at 3:32 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


OMG Harve Bennett made "Gemini Man". omg.
posted by allthinky at 3:33 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


I can't see how I can avoid mentioning The Questor Tapes at this point...
posted by mikelieman at 3:44 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


Unless I'm mistaken, the purchase of Malibu by Marvel means that Samuel Jackson's cinematic 'Nick Fury' potentially lives in the same universe as that goofy "Bat-Kenny G" Nightman.
posted by Megafly at 4:55 PM on May 16


Has anyone else heard of the Quincy boardgame? Or is that another white whale I've been chasing...
posted by pepcorn at 5:01 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Unless I'm mistaken, the purchase of Malibu by Marvel means that Samuel Jackson's cinematic 'Nick Fury' potentially lives in the same universe as that goofy "Bat-Kenny G" Nightman.

And Night Man had an episode where he teamed up with Manimal...

We have to go deeper.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:01 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


Automan was the very first time I quibbled over a special effect. As I explained ad nauseam to anyone at school who would listen, you could tell the car's turns weren't real, because if you watched closely, could you see that the place where it stopped pointing, say, south, was a little further away than when it started pointing, say, east, and the back of the car would be slightly--and at this point I would realize that everyone had gone on to do something more popular and interesting. But it was wrong! This did not, however, stop me from setting up my C64 in front of my TV and typing very quickly ("He's typing in symbols, it's faster!") in order to help Automan solve crimes.

Good god, how many shameful confessions can there be about TV shows? Sonascope reminded me about another: I spent SO MUCH TIME taping webs between my fingers so I could be like the Man from Atlantis. So much tape. So much time. So much getting in trouble for using up all the tape, didn't I know it cost money, and how were we going to wrap presents?

No embarrassing memories of Otherworld, thank god, although it hit me that that one episode where they went into the store and everything had black and white labels strikes me pretty much every time I step into the grocery store.

And I had totally forgotten my schoolboy crush on Lucan until this thread. A crush which I've somehow gotten tangled in my mind with my mooning over Moon Boy from the Devil Dinosaur comic.
posted by mittens at 5:14 PM on May 16 [5 favorites]


Also, if you ever tried to build a model of a rocket called Vulture from toilet paper tubes and construction paper, you might just be a member of The Obscure Science Fictionist's League.
posted by sonascope at 6:08 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


OH MY DAYS NIGHT MAN IS ADDRESSING THE PROBLEMS OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY IN SAN FRANCISCO THIS IS NOT GOING TO END WELL.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:10 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


I spent SO MUCH TIME taping webs between my fingers so I could be like the Man from Atlantis.

I spent SO MUCH TIME underwater in swimming pools bobbing my butt up and down trying to swim like the Man from Atlantis.
posted by straight at 6:34 PM on May 16 [5 favorites]


Also from Glen Larson is Masquerade, a lighthearted spy series that ran for less than a full season in 1983-84. I watched them all because I was 13 and had no cable and there was nothing else on. Consequently, I have the chorus to the theme song (sung by Crystal Gale!) seared into my memory.
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:37 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


(also gurgling that WUB WUB WUB sound he made when swimming like a kid going VROOM VROOM VROOM on his bicycle because it's really a talking sports car)
posted by straight at 6:37 PM on May 16


I realized this was the perfect thread to ask what the hell that vaguely remembered Starman ripoff was, and by the time I reached the bottom I already knew it was The Phoenix. Thanks everyone!

This is the thread where I admit that i was really into The Renegades for some reason, even though I don't remember a damn thing about it now.
posted by usonian at 7:36 PM on May 16


Ah, the Manimal panther transformation, the most disturbing of the trinity of things I remember pre-pubescent me reacting to in a way that should have made me realize I wasn't quite heterosexual.

(The other two being the WWF and Jim Palmer's underwear ads, which I think is less unique.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:39 PM on May 16


Cliffhangers was my drug of choice.
posted by benzenedream at 8:45 PM on May 16


I very vaguely remember these as being part of a ton of shows that were released and flopped and disappeared around the same time (which could be a compressed/expanded time period due to childhood memories), but one gnat I remember only very vaguely (and thought was on par with Manimal in terms of awesomeness) was a very short lived Knightrider ripoff about a guy and a motorcycle. The only part I even vaguely recall is the guy being fitted for his futuristic riding suit, which entailed him needing to stand completely still in a giant tube as it slowly filled with a special foam that would record his exact body measurements. Witty banter ensued with the stock nerd-scientist character as the foam filled the tank.

Any ideas?
posted by Ghidorah at 8:58 PM on May 16


I am kind of astounded that Manimal didn't go at least a full season. I have such clear memories of watching that show.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:01 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


When it comes to cancelled shows from the 80's I'll alway remember Probe
posted by Megafly at 9:10 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Ficus had that weird mating ritual...

"And then what?" asked the Princess, as she and Ficus lay, side-by-side, with their arms and legs up in the air.

"Then we wait for the bee," replied Ficus, calmly.

This totally killed me. First, it was a rejection of the basic stupidity of Star Trek ("Is this what you humans call love, Captain Kirk?") Second, it was an acknowledgement that ALIENS ARE NOT LIKE US, THAT'S WHY THEY'RE ALIENS! Ficus Benjamina is like a Terry Pratchett character dropped into a US "scifi" series.
posted by SPrintF at 9:14 PM on May 16 [5 favorites]


When it comes to cancelled shows from the 80's I'll always remember Probe.

Wait... you didn't mean Probe? (There were two Probes? It's imProbable!)

The pilot for the real Probe was very strong. It was a pretty cool idea that, I think, laid the groundwork for 24: an agent in the field backed by a team of real-time experts. A contemporary remake would be something along the lines of Global Frequency.
posted by SPrintF at 9:26 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Look, if you swing the other way, more power to you.

But Erin Gray in Buck Rogers was what made me realize I liked girls.
posted by Cyrano at 9:34 PM on May 16 [9 favorites]


The 10th Regiment of Foot: "The Highwayman was born to fail. It's only raison d'etre was to ride the coattails of Jacko's very brief 15 minutes of fame."

Oi!
posted by Chrysostom at 9:44 PM on May 16


The 80s : so much coke, so few laws of physics.
posted by fullerine at 10:41 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


I totally missed ABC's 1991 series My Life And Times

Yes! That was a staple of my first year away from home at college. I clearly remember the future scenes featuring high-speed maglev trains and possibly extinct candy (Milk Duds? Mounds?) that the grandfather asked his grandson for.

I also took note of the 1989 flashback to the SF earthquake, where the narrator's brusque boss tells him that he is a terrible stockbroker and should change careers...while the boss is dying in a crushed car!

Also, a really big party in the year 2000 New Year's Eve.
posted by JDC8 at 10:45 PM on May 16


When it comes to cancelled shows from the 80's I'll alway remember Probe

For a moment I thought you were were referring to Search, which was originally titled "Probe" for the pilot. It was one of those "cycle" series from the 1970s, which rotated through three lead characters, played by Doug McClure, Tony Franciosa (who had a similar gig on the completely awesome "Name Of The Game" series a few years earlier), and Hugh O'Brien.

It was a thoroughly globetrotting high-tech spy adventure series, created by Leslie Stevens, better known for "The Outer Limits". Great fun. Perfect title sequence.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:38 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


(The pilot link has the only instance of the full version of the Dominic Frontiere theme... definitely worth playing all the way through.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:48 PM on May 16


Ghidorah, Street Hawk!
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:42 AM on May 17 [4 favorites]


OMG, I loved Automan! Sure I watched all the other Glen Larsen shows too, but Automan was perfect for my budding nerd self. Confession: it was clear that Automan himself was supposed to be the heartthrob, but I had a crush on Desi Arnaz Jr, because he was the one that could do all this cool stuff with a computer. Nerd power!
posted by Joh at 4:04 AM on May 17


Like I said, physics? We don't need no stinking physics.
posted by fullerine at 5:01 AM on May 17


I demand respect for M.A.N.T.I.S.! The early Fox series in which Carl Lumbly, paralyzed millionaire engineer, invents a cyborg exosuit that allows him to walk...and fight crime!
posted by Iridic at 7:12 AM on May 17 [4 favorites]


I loved Manimal. It was on not long after my parents separated and I remember going to my dad's depressing apartment for the weekend: one of the highlights was watching Manimal.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:25 AM on May 17


Yeah, but with MANTIS we're moving away from Glen A. Larson weirdness and into Sam Raimi weirdness. Which I'm totally okay with (go green).
posted by Tesseractive at 8:19 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]


This is probably also the thread in which I should mention that I had many, many, many sleepless nights as an eight year old after watching the Buck Rogers "Space Vampire" episode when it ran in syndication. Good Christ did that episode scare the living shit out of me.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:03 AM on May 17 [3 favorites]


Apparently I watched Quark when it aired. Just watching the pilot, I already knew Quark's first name was Adam, I sort of recognized the twins & even some of the jokes sounded familiar. But I have no direct memory of watching the show. All for the best from the sound of it.
posted by scalefree at 9:48 AM on May 17


In the series' final installment, Miles Hawkins and Lt. Maxwell are killed disposing of an invisible prehistoric dinosaur
Whut.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:04 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]


Apparently a lot of my childhood was filled with watching short lived mid-season replacement Sci-fi shows.
posted by Badgermann at 10:04 AM on May 17 [4 favorites]


This is probably also the thread in which I should mention that I had many, many, many sleepless nights as an eight year old after watching the Buck Rogers "Space Vampire" episode when it ran in syndication. Good Christ did that episode scare the living shit out of me.
My Buck Rogers kindertrauma moment was apparently in the pilot, when he's back on Earth in the 25th century and there's a scene set in the ruins of old Chicago, with radioactive mutants chasing him, or something like that. I remember them banging on pipes to communicate, I think? As I recall the mutants were all hooded and shrouded, which somehow made them scarier than any cheesy makeup appliances could have.
posted by usonian at 10:20 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]


I'm perilously close to losing my weekend to watching Sledge Hammer! clips (1986-88).
posted by euphorb at 11:19 AM on May 17 [4 favorites]


Manimal might have been a flop, but it's got the most fun-to-pronounce title in TV history. Manimal, light of my television, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Man-i-mal: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Man. I. Mal.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:11 PM on May 17 [3 favorites]


Sam Raimi's television series are practically a subgenre of their own.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:46 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


Thank you, zarq! Northstar. Wow. I've just been transported about 30 years back in time...
posted by chrimble at 3:25 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


Ghidorah, as BrotherCaine said, that was StreetHawk. I remember when StreetHawk came out a few years after Knight Rider; even though me and my buddies were about 10, we all knew that some dumb TV person had sat down somewhere and thought "They did a show about a car that was a big hit, how about we do a show about a Bike!". As such we treated it with the scorn it deserved. The stupid thing about StreetHawk - and any 10 year old could spot this - was that the special powers on the bike (superspeed or whatever it was) could only be activated by some boffin sitting miles away in a control room, rather than the actual dude riding the bike. Whose bright frikkin idea was that? What sort of bike-mounted technogy needs to be activated by some other guy miles away? The people that thought up StreekHawk clearly didn't have a clue.

See also AirWolf vs Blue Thunder
posted by memebake at 4:03 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


Perhaps if there was some sort of crime-solving boat....
posted by Chrysostom at 7:16 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


Crime-solving boat? Riptide!
posted by usonian at 9:22 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


See, this is the only shirtless, sax-playing guy I ever picture.
posted by runcibleshaw at 11:48 PM on May 17


I can confidently say that I never watched a single episode of Night Man, but I must have watched the opening credits in disbelief multiple times ("Is this for real? I mean, this isn't a sketch comedy cold open or something?!") because... I remember it.
See, this is the only shirtless, sax-playing guy I ever picture.
All I can picture is the Careless Whisper prank guy.
posted by usonian at 5:30 AM on May 18


Crime-solving boat? Riptide!

Or Thunder in Paradise!

The big problem with a crime-solving boat, of course, is that the villains can evade it by being on land, where villains mostly are anyway. So you can only really fight crime when it is either smuggling or having yacht parties.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:54 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]


But Riptide had the guy in the helicopter, didn't it? No staying on land for the bad guys there, nosiree.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:01 AM on May 18


Riptide had it pretty much covered - a boat, a helicopter and cars. None of them were super though, AFAICR. The distinguishing feature of Riptide was the robot. I mean, I say distinguishing. It was the 80s. Everything had a robot.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:45 AM on May 18


Like I said, physics? We don't need no stinking physics.

Goddamnit, I just (strategically) stacked all those empty boxes and vegetable crates!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:24 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]


Crime-solving boat? Riptide! . . .

Riptide had it pretty much covered - a boat, a helicopter and cars.

It was the 80s. Everything had a robot . . . .


There were no robots to speak of, but you're now reminding me of the plethora* of crimefighting dramas on teevy in the early 1960s, each with an exotic vehicle gimmick. There was:

Route 66 -- Together they fight crime in a Corvette.
The Whirlybirds -- Together they fight crime in a helicopter.
The Everglades -- Together they fight crime in an airboat.**
Sky King -- Together they fight crime in a twin-engine Cessna.***
Sea Hunt -- Together they fight crime in a cabin cruiser (and SCUBA gear).
Surfside 6 -- Together they fight crime from a houseboat.****

And much later:
Then Came Bronson -- Together they fight crime while one guy rides a motorcycle.
The Rat Patrol -- Together they fight crime -- okay, okay, they fight Rommell -- in a jeep (or two).

-------------------------------------------
* It was definitely a plethora. I counted.

** Bonus: The theme music was a re-write of the murder ballad "The Everglades", a minor hit for the Kingston Trio. From "You won't live long in the Everglades, Running like a dog in the Everglades" to "Lincoln Vale of the Everglades, The man on patrol in the Everglades".

*** "Out of the blue of the Western sky comes Sky King! . . . Brotchaby Nabisco."

**** Surfside Six was the link between the exotic vehicle shows and the exotic locale shows, like:

Hawaiian Eye --Together they fight crime in Hawaii.
77 Sunset Strip -- Together they fight in Hollywood.
Bourbon Street Beat -- Together they fight crime in New Orleans.

and of course:
Surfside Six -- Together they fight crime in Miami.

And Troy Donahue appeared in both Surfside 6 and Hawaiian Eyeball. You may remember him from such films as The Monolith Monsters and Monster on the Campus.

And Ivan Tors was the link between the exotic vehicle shows and the exotic crimefighting animal shows, like:

Flipper -- Together they fight crime with a bottlenosed dolphin.
Gentle Ben -- Together they fight crime with a black bear (and sometimes an airboat.)
Lassie -- The dog pretty much does all the crime-fighting here.
Fury -- Ditto, the horse.
Skippy the Bush Kangaroo --Yeah, well . . .
posted by Herodios at 10:16 AM on May 19 [5 favorites]


Hey, Herodios, don't forget that the crime-solving lovable truck-driver and his chimp sidekick BJ and the Bear were an Ivan Tors "vehicle" (pun intended)!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:53 AM on May 19


I think a lot of people were disappointed to to discover that it wasn't that kind of bear, or that kind of BJ.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:11 PM on May 19 [6 favorites]


Otherworld - where all the futuristic cars looked like Toyota minivans.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:45 AM on May 22


Stingray - mysterious guy fights crime with a classic sports car.
posted by scalefree at 5:09 PM on June 4 [1 favorite]


scalefree: “Stingray - mysterious guy fights crime with a classic sports car.”
Oh, man… I had completely forgotten about this Stephen J. Cannell classic. Which is totally inexplicable because teen-aged me wanted to be Ray so bad.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:46 PM on June 4 [1 favorite]


I loved Stingray when it aired but sadly it hasn't aged well. I tried to watch it last night but could not get through the pilot episode. Between the hackneyed & frequently nonsensical dialog, the more-than-usually one dimensional & stereotypical characters, the truly glacial pace of the narrative & the fetishistic depiction of all the cars, I'm a little embarrassed I ever saw something in it.
posted by scalefree at 11:19 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


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