Favorite Television Programs
(NBC 1965-1968) : Starring Robert Culp as Kelly Robinson and Bill Cosby as Alexander Scott, I Spy was a very well written and produced spy show for its time. Plotlines had more to do with the obsurdity of situations Robinson and Scott were thrust into than the standard evil dictators and meglomaniacs which were dealt with by Mission Impossible and The Man From UNCLE.
One worthy episode is "Home To Judgement;" aired Jan. 8, 1968, this one features Robinson and Scott on the run from some unidentified industrial mafia types who they've got the goods on. Seeking refuge in a barn, it
turns out that Robinson knows the elderly couple who own the farm. It's an emotion packed hour of well acted drama.
Check out www.epguides.com for an episode guide to I Spy.
Hill Street Blues
(NBC 1980-1987) : More than just a cop show, creator Steve Bochco's Hill Street Blues was a look at a day in the life of the Hill Street Precinct. The crimes and criminals came and went, but how the charachters reacted them stays with the viewer for decades.
Hill Street Blues for more info on this ground breaking series.
The storylines didn't develop over one 60-minute episode, but took many weeks to unfold. Plot threads would start at the begining of a season and sometimes stretch over a period of years. It takes dedication and
talent to make something like that happen in episodic television.
(CBS 1987-1991) : Ken Wahl starred in this fascinating CBS show about life undercover as mob hitman. Wiseguy Cafe for more info on this series.
Like Hill Street Blues, Wiseguy was told in arc format, although it was more structured in this aproach than the
police show was. There's not enough space here to do Wiseguy justice, but if your local stations or cable outlet sports the reruns of this show it's worth watching. In teh begining of Wiseguy, title character Vinnie
Terranova goes under in a mob orginization led by Sonny Steelgrave (obviously CBS didn't want a repeat of outraged Italians like networks had with The Untouchables over portrayal of Italian stereotypes). Throughout the
ballance of 10 or so episodes, Terranova comes to respect and admire Sonny (even love him as he claims the climatic episode "No One Gets Out of Here Alive"), but ultimately forces Steelgrave down.
Check out the