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Uneven, Unbalanced, yet Unforgettable
on July 31, 2005
Starsky and Hutch: Season III
(Out of 5 stars)
(5 classic, 4 very good, 3 good but flawed, 2 at least S&H were good!, 1 Voodoo Priest)
Murder on Voodoo Island: 1 and 2: Seems like a good idea on paper... and even a slight recreation of Season Two's getaway theme "Murder at Sea", sadly this doesn't contain the same magic, and throw in an overzealous "Voodoo Priest" and you've got a real mess. Part 1: 3 stars Part 2: 1.5 stars
Fatal Charm: I'll admit, after the above episodes I was concerned... somewhat. I'm somewhat new to S&H but owning both the first Two Seasons, I know what this show is capable of and this episode solidly hit's the mark. I have a "thing" I guess for these "stalker-type" stories and this one is actually quite chilling. I'm taking a half star off b/c the "hooker undercover" part of the story was weak. And did I hear a "boing" when the axle came off? Sheesh. 4.5 stars.
I Love You, Rosey Malone: If you can look past the silly title you'll find a decent episode. The brightest spot being the chemistry between Rosey and Starsky. 3.5 stars.
Murder Ward: This one has its moments and considering it was cast for TV I think they did about as good a job as they could. This one gives Paul Glaser an excellent vehicle to ham it up. 3 stars.
Death in a Different Place: This one is interesting. Some here seem to rave about it, and while I think it is fair to midland, the interesting aspect is seeing how the term "gay" is "homo-sexual" and how people in general, as far as the show dealt with the subject matter. The end bit, "tag" if you will, was telling:) 3 stars.
The Crying Child: I'm sorry but this subject matter is so typical 70's-After-School-Special that almost by default the episode sank. The problem with a show like S&H trying to tackle this concept is there are NO KIDS on the show so the audience is thrown a "kid" and we are supposed to sympathize and say "Ahhh..." Quincy Season Two has a similar episode that is far better. And excuse ME, but why does this episode begin with a hold-up sequence from a PREVIOUS SEASON?? Is this the Twilight Zone? Also, the plot is just too predicable, would have been better if they would have had the TEACHER beating the kid. 2 stars.
The Heroes: Ok, back on track. There is some great dialogue here and the message about being politically correct couldn't BE more relevant than right now. The "competition" between S&H for the hand of the lady reporter was excellent! Love the scene where they RACE up to the station in hopes of being first! HA! Plus, the casting for this show and junkies, is a bit eerie because the lady that they got truly looks to be strung out on something. 4 stars.
The Plague 1 and 2: I'm kinda starting to get a bad feeling about this Season. Hopefully you can recognize I love David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser, so any critique I have is almost NEVER directed at them... instead as was the case with the last quarter of Season 2, Season 3 just has scripts that are literally all over the map, and some, like this two parter are mixed at best. I've never seen a series with such a penchant for "two parters" when the "one parters" are hard enough to be consistent with. 2.5 stars
The Collector: Here we go again... middle of the road. Again, not terrible but just not memorable either. The thing I loved about Season 1 seems absent in many of these scripts; the BANTER between S&H. It is sprinkled about but just too sparingly. Beyond that, the story is interesting but a lot of the steam is removed when you realize the new collector could just shoot the dog and the child star and make off with the money. 2.5 stars
Manchild on the Streets: I'm sorry, did I miss something? Who are these people!? I'm starting to see that "socially relevant" actually means "totally generic." How can S&H be such great friends with these people and we've never heard of them? Easy to see the "suits" have their hands all over this episode, David Soul directing or not. The performances for the most part seem "ok" but I just can't see how these people fit within the confines of Starsky and Hutch and the story really never develops. Plagues, racism, gays... whatever happened to crime fighting? 2 stars
The Action: Gambling!? Thugery?! I love it! This is a good "above par" episode that deals well with what the duo do best; undercover work with wacky personas. 3.5 stars
The Heavyweight: Being a Classic Trek fan I tend to gravitate towards all things Gary "Mitchell" Lockwood, however this episode doesn't deliver much of a punch... despite the subject matter. 3 stars
A Body Worth Guarding: Well it took awhile but I get my first 5 star episode of Season Three, and it was well worth the wait. You just never know what you are going to get judging by the description sheet inside the DVD set. On the surface it sounds dull... Ballerinas? Y-A-W-N. But what lies beneath is a Hutch performance for the ages, chemistry that won't quit, and some of the best comedic performances of the series. 5 stars
The Trap: The best part of this episode is without a doubt Starsky's new watch and all the ensuing chaos. Kristy McNichol has never really gunned my engine and the simple story of revenge is rather Ho Hum. 3 stars
Satan's Witches: Uh-Oh. Somebody saw 1975's Race With Devil one time too many... this is an interesting re-telling, right down to the rattlers! Aside from that, I actually like this one because of all the banter about camping. 3.5 stars
Class in Crime: This one almost seems like a Columbo. Well cast, well paced, and mimes! Ok, so maybe the mimes aren't too great. Whatever happened to mimes? Anyway, this Paul Glaser episode is his best directed yet. 4 stars
Hutchinson: Murder One: "On Paper" this looked to be a great one. Sadly, it's merely a "good one". Stiff key casting (Hutch's Ex) just didn't measure up to what could have been. Still I'm puzzled as to why the Voodoo Island led off Season Three when an episode like this would do so much more to inform viewers what the show was about. 3 stars
Foxy Lady: Unlike Season 2, this season is gaining momentum as it goes along. Well cast, plenty of humor, well written is some of the high points. I never cared much for the guest actress from the last legs of Three's Company, but she's all legs here. 4 stars
Quadromania: Did I say gaining momentum? This is definitely the "Spocks Brain" of this Season. It's almost fitting that nearly 4 minutes of footage is missing because it simply adds to the absurdity. Steel hands? Poor make-up? Hammy acting? Silly plot? It's all here for you, and more! 1 star
Deckwatch: Talk about your 180's! Big thumbs up to Paul Glaser for an excellent episode. Suspenseful, 3 dimensional dialogue, solid casting make this an excellent closer. The suspense created by something as simple as the tick of a clock was not lost on me and the ultimate climax and the way it was shot was stunning, making this the second 5 star episode of a wildly unbalanced season. 5 stars
What happened to the beautiful artwork as seen in Season Two's set? The pictures were "groovy" and the disc artwork was fitting. With Season Three it looks like they just gave up and said "The hell with it... make it striped" Don't get me wrong I'm grateful to have this set but it's just so basic and RED with little detail. 3/5
Extras...? What are those? None to speak of. Actually, none to write about either. 0/5
Ahhh yes, the price point. I marvel at how there seem to be so many different price schemes for similar lengths. I paid about $37 for this... and it's over TWENTY hours of material. Star Trek, S1, S2, S3 (Original) is over a hundred bills for the same length. And Quantum Leap Season One is $30... For SEVEN hours. Now, I may not be a Vulcan math wiz but there do seem to be huge Leaps in price points. I for one, think this series is the perfect happy medium. 5/5
I'd say the picture is actually superb considering the age of the print, no complaints by me. People seem to forget 1977 is no longer merely ten years ago. 4/5
The sound is interesting. I had assumed the soundtrack would be the Gotcha Theme from S2, I was quite surprised to hear Mark Snows Theme. I liked Season Two's opening theme better but actually I love the closing Theme here in Season Three. Lastly, why didn't they spend some time and re-master these in 5.1? What is this... 1977, all over again? Don't we wish. 3/5
Now, where is Starsky and Hutch Season 4? The Rockford Files DVD sets? Can I get an Amen, Brother?