Thursday, 10 October 2013

Hollywood Babble On & On #1080: The Return of Remington Steele

NBC has commissioned a remake-reboot-rehash of their hit 1980s series Remington Steele. Except this time, it's going to be A COMEDY.

I'm beginning to think that NBC doesn't even know anything about the shows they're rebooting in a desperate attempt to win back eyeballs while avoiding originality.

For those who lived in caves in the 1980s Remington Steele was private-eye mystery series starring Stephanie Zimbalist and future James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan.

Zimbalist played an experienced and skilled private eye named Laura Holt who is having a hard time getting clients to hire a woman. 

To convince clients to hire her she makes up a nonexistent boss, named Remington Steele. In the first episode a former jewel thief and con man, played by Brosnan, moves in on the role of Steele, and stays on as the face of the agency, while Laura actually ran things.

Now it's time to for a little explaining about the show and how silly it makes NBC's "re-imagining" look.

The show was essentially a comedy with crime getting in the way.

It used the romantic comedies of the 1930s and 1940s as a model for the relationship between the lead characters while parodying the conventions of film noir and more traditional "cozy" mysteries for the crime plot lines.

Ironically, the show became symbolic of how poorly networks can treat people. First they started screwing around with the scheduling, and meddling with the show's successful format, causing the ratings to drop in the fourth season. NBC then used the drop in the ratings to justify cancelling Remington Steele.

The two leads then moved onto movies. Pierce Brosnan most famously was recruited to replace Roger Moore as James Bond, and Stephanie Zimbalist was hired for the female lead of Murphy's partner in Robocop.

Now Brosnan and Zimbalist's movie work got them quite a bit of attention in the media. That made NBC think that the best thing to do for NBC was to screw both of them royally with a stiff wire brush.

NBC then un-cancelled Remington Steele, invoked the actor's contracts to get back to work or be sued into oblivion. Brosnan had to drop out of Bond, and Zimbalist had to drop out of Robocop.

The last season was a total dud. What once bubbled with energy and √©lan had become a limp and lifeless affair, and whatever magic the show was famous for had been ripped out and stomped on.

Even when Brosnan became a box office star in the 1990s after finally recapturing the role of Bond, NBC still gave him grief when he pitched them a sequel movie.

I guess you could say that Remington Steele could be defined for what it showed people.

When it first started it showed that the tired "private eye" procedural format could be made fresh and fun again.

Then it showed just how bad and even downright mean spirited network meddling can be.

And now it shows just how creatively bankrupt and ignorant the mainstream networks have become.

That's what I think, what do you think?

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