Friday, January 11, 2013

Small Screen Action

Continuing my theme from the other day, I thought I would talk about some of my favorite “action” shows from the past.  And I mean from the “past” because I haven’t really watched TV for so long, I can’t really pass judgment on anything recent (though I did like the first couple of episodes of the Hawaii Five-0 reboot).  So, naturally, the majority of these shows will be from the 80’s (just like everything else I love).  As before, these are shows that I have watched significant portions of their runs.

It should also be noted that in this particular instance, I am only focusing on shows that take place in the modern world, and have a lot of action.  I think Sci Fi shows will be another post later on.

So, here’s my favs:

Magnum PI
This is by far one of my favorite shows of all time.  I love the premise, all of the characters, and the whole “pseudo-noir” detective vibe.  I mean, this show was the definition of cool; tropical locations, hot babes, cool car, cool helicopter, great action scenes.  It had a good blend of drama, action and comedy.  I had an idea for a reboot involving Magnum’s nephew.  I might have to flesh that out, just to see if anyone would buy it.  And that mustache.  It was practically a co-star.

Another of a string of “buddy PI” shows, this one was pretty cool because it never took itself too seriously.  It was very similar in theme and tone to Magnum, so I liked it a lot.  The characters were fun, the helicopter was pretty nifty, and even the resident nerd was enjoyable to watch.  The action was well-done, and it had it’s fair share of hot babes and cool So Cal locations.

This little gem was cancelled during, or shortly after, its first season (happens a lot to my favorite shows).  It starred Jeffrey Meeks as a former Ninja/Special Forces operative, who has retired to Hawaii to look for his long lost son.  Great fight scenes, nice, over-the-top premise, and very cool settings and locations.  But, best of all, Lee Majors.  I love that man.

The Human Target
This is the second iteration of a show based on a comic book of the same name (the first starred Rick Springfield, and didn’t even last a full season).  This version starred Mark Valley (cousin to one of my local friends, and a fellow Army/Desert Storm Vet), and featured a great cast.  It was high on action, intrigue, danger, romance, and some pretty good sexiness.  Like many great shows, it didn’t take itself too seriously, and did a good job of blending action with drama and comedy.  I didn’t get to see any of the abbreviated second season, but the first season was pure awesome.  Oh, and Lee Majors.

The A-Team
Ok, who didn’t like this show?  With a cast of characters like this, that cool van, the travelling do-gooders premise, and the constant danger of being caught, you could totally forgive the fact that, despite them being a Special Warfare team, they never actually killed anyone.  And really, everything is better with Mr. T.  The interaction between BA and Murdock was pure TV gold!  Hell, I even liked the recent movie a lot.

Burn Notice
I discovered this show purely by accident one night, and went back and watched the entire first season on NetFlix.  I have been meaning to continue with the later seasons, but life gets in the way sometimes.  That being said, this show has a great premise, an awesome cast of characters (including the legendary Bruce Campbell), and some really great action and stunts.  The subplot of Michael clearing his name was well-maintained, and was never buried beneath the main premise of him just helping people out.  Even his family problems with his mom provided some great viewing.  All in all, one of the best action shows to come out in recent years.

Miami Vice
The very definition of 80’s cool, this show was a must-see.  In fact, I recently started watching it again on NetFlix, and I was surprised at how well-written it was.  I think this show was ahead of its time.  Aside from the plethora of hot locations, hot babes, and hot cars, this show had some really good characterizations, and truly dramatic moments.  And, on top of all that, it was pretty good as just a cop show, with police procedures and all that.  Really, a pioneering show, that, despite its entrenchment in 80’s pop-culture, stands up well after all these years.

Honorable Mentions:
The Fall Guy
Simon & Simon
Vanishing Son
Remington Steele

Interestingly, many of these shows had great theme music and songs as well.  Especially Magnum PI and Miami Vice.


Kort said...

What, no Knight Rider? ;'P

Kort said...

Remington Steele
The Fall Guy
Airwolf & Knight Rider
Simon & Simon (one of the best theme songs IMHO)
Hardcastle & McCormick

...and who could forget Automan (or does that qualify as SciFi?)

Tom Doolan said...

I will cover Knight Rider in my next post, "Sci Fi TV" (never cared for Airwolf much). And after that will come "Space Opera TV" just to keep everything straight. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Magnum PI and Miami Vice I liked a lot. I will admit to hating the A-Team. We will have to disagree there.

Tom Doolan said...

I'm pretty sure my fondness for The A-Team stems from the fact that it came out when I was 12.