Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Accidental Pirate

I think my trail has gone cold.  In the fantasy where the Verizon truck keeps driving by my house, and there are strange clicks in the doorbell intercom (not really...it's a fantasy...) I have begun to peak through the blinds and determine that I am safe after all.

For now.

The Internet makes everyone look so professional -- even the commenters on my blog, who bother to open with a compliment, then link me to a vitamin regimen.  Have you ever gotten that junk mail with the hand-written envelope, and the post-it note attached to a "clipping" that says "Hey - how have you been, though of you when I saw this," and it's a...vitamin regimen?  Or the emails that are always convincingly from the same name as someone you actually write to (even when it is spelled KaryLou or Baxter) but it just a coupon for an over-the-border vitamin regimen?

Well this story is not really like that.

It starts with the production memoirs of Barney Rosenzweig, creator of much great TV in our day, and most bravely as the driving force behind Cagney and Lacey.  CandL is not great TV.  It is awesome TV -- in the sense that it shows us exactly who we are at a point in time, and in such a way that makes us both enamored of and horrified by it.  Like That Girl, or LA Law. And this is one great book about how all that went down.

As I read it, I wanted nothing more than to watch me some Mary Beth and Christine.  Choose your Christine.  Netflix delivers on requests like this, but they proudly present "The True Beginning," which are Sharon Glass episodes.  My personal feeling about Meg Foster's failure is that her eyes don't register on film.  It's like Cagney and Lacey and the Wolfman.  And Loretta Swit mostly plays Margaret Hoolihahn, but that pilot movie is shot through an angry feminist (sorry, we called them Libbers) lens that you really ought to look through for historical purposes, even though it is merely awesome TV and not particularly great.

I went trolling for a better score, and found a claim on the entire series -- PLUS pilot film, plus Meg Foster (ugh, FFWD right through that mess).  Did I dare?  Late Night, plus wine, plus a driving saxaphone theme song... yes I did.  It looks legit.  I promise you, it looked legit.

The package arrived some time later, covered in stamps and a chinese shipping bill.  and here... we...go.
Let me say - the claims were correct.  It is indeed all there, packaged in those color-copied boxes you find at the flea market tables (kind of air brushy, and mostly purple).  Complete?  You bet -- complete with the LA TV station bug they were recorded from.

Oh, Barney.  oh, Sharon.  I have sinned against you.  I didn't feel real bad, though.  I kept them.  I haven't even watched them all.

I would like my academic readership to consider floating a course on "The Great Debate: Career vs Family in the Dialogue of Cagney and Lacey."  It's fascinating.  And I think we know that the consequences are one makes you a drunk and the other makes you a shrew.

oh, ouch.  well, that stings more than a little.

1 comment:

  1. Your heart was pure. I don't think you had the requisite "intent". Mean, and motive perhaps, but not intent. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


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