Sunday, August 1, 2010

Darling, You Are Such A Darling

Just for fun sometimes I see what is recommending for me.

For the most part hulu has decided that I like science fiction, police procedurals, and (for some completely unknown reason) anime. I pretty much don't watch anything animated as a rule, and I'm not a huge fan of police shows, but sometimes you find some good things ("Raines", starring Jeff Goldblum as a homicide detective who carries on conversations in his head with the victims) along with the bad ("Cleopatra 2525", which I didn't get far enough along in the pilot episode to even figure out if there was a plot beyond "there are three girls with minimal clothing in the future").

Hulu also has some older series available, and somehow "Hart To Hart" was on my list of recommendations. I vaguely remember watching a few episodes as a kid, something about the rich guy (Jonathan Hart), his wife (Jennifer (?) Hart) and their superannuated factotum Max (who sounds like he should be dragging around an oxygen tank, not helping these people fight crime). I tried to watch the pilot today. Oh boy.

  • This show is the seventies. Mrs. Hart's hair is like a fourth cast member. She looks like a poodle -- not the little ones you see walking down the street, but the standard poodles all fluffed up for the show ring. I kept losing track of the dialog because I was mesmerized by her hair.
  • Sideburns. Dear god.
  • Men in tight pants. All the men. Not an exceptionally good look for most of them.
  • Brown suits.
  • A car phone. Granted, they don't show anything other than the handset, which looks like a regular handset, connected by a regular coiled wire to some place in the dashboard. But still, Mr. Hart had a car phone.
  • Insipid dialog. Really, this is the thing that made it impossible for me to get past the fifteen minute mark. The Harts call each other "Darling" so incessantly that it ceases to sound like a term of endearment, and starts sounding like they want to be cursing at each other through gritted teeth, but can't because it won't get past the network censors. Really, when they have interchanges like "Darling?" "Yes, Darling?" "I think I'll take a drive to the coast this afternoon, Darling.", you can only think that the original version of the script said something completely different...
  • There were payphones on every corner. For some reason this struck me as the strangest part of the whole show.

I don't know. Maybe the series got better after the first episode. Maybe all television was just so bad back then that this looked good in comparison. Or maybe I was a little less picky when I was eleven years old.

Or just possibly, Sydney Sheldon created the easiest drinking game of all time...


JJ said...

I vaguely remember this show. I think I watched a couple of episodes in reruns. I much preferred shows of a slightly later vintage. Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Remington Steele. And there was also a police show with partners who were secretly married and had neighboring apartments with a secret passage connecting them. Magruder and Laud?

Hmm...I apparently watched a lot of mystery/police dramas.

Prior to all this, I watched a lot of sci-fi type stuff. I learned English from Star Trek, Batman, Wonder Woman, and The Bionic Woman. I'm amazed I don't use Kapow! more often in conversation.

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

I watched a lot more Remington Steele (at least the first few seasons). I don't remember Scarecrow and Mrs. King. I don't think I ever even heard of Magruder and Laud...

I just looked up M&L on imdb to see if it was Canadian (it wasn't) and here is the first line from the user review: "This was a good show. I think. I was young and I watched a lot of crap back then."

I didn't realize that English wasn't your first language... This reminds me of a friend of mine ("French Paul") who learned English by watching Happy Days reruns. It's a little odd to hear the Fonz imitated with a French accent.