What do you do when you are out of things to binge? You’ve seen the movies that you want to see. You’re re-listening to podcast episodes. Needless to say, you’ve got some time to kill. I’ve found myself in that position the last couple of weeks. While normally my time isn’t that free, and normally there is a lot to do, I’ve been finding myself surfing and seeking, looking for stuff to watch. I’ve only recently become an Amazon Prime guy, so there are a lot of shows on there I hadn’t given a chance to yet. Here are some quick thoughts on a few of them.
I watch the pilot of Magnum P.I. for the first time. The original with Tom Selleck, that is. Not that recent remake with some guy whose name I don’t know and that I don’t care to learn. Technically, I watched the first two episodes, because it was a two-parter. They had to introduce us to Thomas Magnum, who didn’t have his Detroit Tigers hat, Higgins, and also some characters I didn’t even know existed. Cultural osmosis failed me there. It was totally adequate. There are way better procedurals from back in the day, though. Like, for example The Rockford Files. That used to be on Netflix and I miss it.
Speaking of private eyes, apparently I was on a private eye kick because I also watched Peter Gunn. If you think Magnum is an old-school show, get a load of Peter Gunn. The show aired from 1958 through 1961. In that vintage TV way, they made 114 episodes over three seasons. Gunn is a hepcat of a bygone era. He wears suits and loves jazz. At the time, that made him trendy. Now it would make him eccentric. You never learn the name of the city he operates in. You can guess the kind of people he deals with. The one episode I watched was solid. Also, it’s a drama but it’s only a half hour long. If you like the idea of a jazz-loving, smooth-talking P.I. from the 1950s, give Peter Gunn a shot.
Lastly, I watched another show of that vintage. It’s called The Naked City, and it aired from 1958 through 1963. The first season was a half-hour long, but then it became an hour-long show for the final three seasons (and 99 episodes). The nude city in question is New York, and it was an anthology show about cops in the city. That means, unless cop shows we’re used to, there aren’t a regular group of cops we follow around. Honestly, that’s an interesting premise, but it also makes me imagine the show can be hit or miss. I watched an episode about a robbery on Christmas Eve where a cop gets shot. It could have been better.
There you have it. Of the three shows I watched, I would recommend Peter Gunn the most. Although, if I’m being honest, what you should do is see if you can find The Rockford Files available somewhere and watch that.