With the first season recently released, we get a holiday treat with season 2 of Remington Steele to be released less than four months later in November. While season one is my personal favorite, this season is still strong, making this one of my all time favorite tv series. Gone are James Read and Janet DeMay, but Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond) joins the cast permanently. Now that Remington and Laura have an established working relationship, we get to see them working more in tandem while they explore their relationship. Fortunately, the mysteries are still strong. The chemistry between the leads is even stronger.
Red Holt Steele, one of the best episodes in the entire series, appears in this season, blowing up Laura's house from the first season and preparing the way for her well-known loft apartment that becomes so familiar throughout the rest of the series. Another of my personal favorites, Love Among the Steele, explores the history of an Auburn speedster.
Season 2 Episodes (1-22 are Season 1, of course)
23. Steele Away With Me [2 part episode]
24. Red Holt Steele
25. Altared Steele
26. Steele Framed
27. A Steele at Any Price
28. Love Among the Steele
29. Scene Steelers
30. Steele Knuckles and Glass Jaws
31. My Fair Steele
32. Steele Threads
33. Steele Eligible
34. High Flying Steele
35. Blood is Thicker Than Steele
36. Steele Sweet on You
37. Elegy in Steele
38. Small Town Steele
39. Molten Steele
40. Dreams of Steele
41. Woman of Steele
42. Hounded Steele
43. Elementary Steele
The debonair ex-con-man and strait-laced detective return in the second season of "Remington Steele." This smart, funny detective series was one of the last of its kind, wonderfully odd and full of sometimes all-too-realistic crimes to be solved. The second season is, if anything, more polished than the first.
Things have changed a lot since Laura Holt's (Stephanie Zimbalist) fictional boss came to life, in the form of a nameless thief with a taste for the good life (Pierce Brosnan, pre-Bond). Now the wild detective cases continue, with a new ally: Mildred Krebs (Doris Roberts), an IRS agent who decides to join in on the thrilling ride. Too bad she doesn't know the truth about Steele.
The agency deals with a bunch of new, strange crimes: An amnesiac bigamist who is about to be murdered, international art thieves, mystery weekends, poisoned TV dinners, babies and boxers, aging jewel thieves, tracking down the jewels that Steele once tried to steal, and criminals in the circus.
Sure, there's comedy -- Laura and Steele have to deal with Laura's sister's marital problems at a dental convention, where someone is trying to steal a set of false teeth. But more dangerous cases abound -- Laura's house is bombed, and Steele is stalked by a mysterious enemy who is determined to see him dead... except that he never offended this man.
Time polished the rough edges of "Remington Steele" -- the second season flows more gracefully than the first did. Things have settled into their necessary grooves; don't expect as much "what's your name" demands and inter-office bickering. Just more character devopment and wild cases.
The most notable change is that Bernice and Murphy are no more. In their place is computer-savvy Mildred, an endearing older woman who still doesn't know that Steele is a fake. Mildred's kindness and guts are somewhat overshadowed by a desire "to be special," and her almost maternal caring for Steele and Laura.
More of Steele's past is revealed -- an old girlfriend who broke his heart shows up, and Laura finds out little tidbits here and there. Pierce Brosnan plays these scenes with raw feeling that is truly moving to watch, as well as Steele's funnier moments. Zimbalist shows off some of Laura's softer spots, as well as some very funny comic moments (wearing a giant tooth costume).
"Remington Steele Season Two" is even more funny and tense than the first season was, and introduces viewers to the indefatigable Mildred. A delightfully escapist detective show.
Remington Steele was a truly stylish television show that tapped into the kind of Stanley Donen light mystery romance that is missing from the movies today. Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist were perfectly cast and the show only got better with each episode. The Henry Mancini theme music captured the feel of this light and sophisticated show tinged with humor perfectly. It was as evocative and as much a part of the show as his "Peter Gunn" theme had been decades before.
Laura Holt (Zimbalist) couldn't get her private detective agency off the ground in spite of her skills until she invented the phantom agency head, Remington Steele. Business was booming and everything was going swell until Pierce Brosnan shows up and assumes the roll of the nonexistent Steele, both around town and with clients. An uneasy alliance was formed that to the delight of fans moved more and more towards the romantic as time went by.
Brosnan's Steele was debonair and stylish, his past a shady mystery ala' "To Catch a Thief." Each season Laura discovered new things about his past in Ireland and his exploits in other countries. Steele was also a film buff and would make constant references to films of the 1930's and 1940's he would recall pertaining to the case. It made all us film buffs who knew just what he was talking about feel like we were insiders, and was one of the many charms of this wonderful show.
Brosnan and Zimbalist were a terrific screen couple in the tradition of all those ones we remember fondly. One could say they were our generations Nick and Nora Charles. There was a fun anticipation for viewers as week after week we watched the two become involved in a mystery while they danced around their growing affection for each other. And it was always fun as little tidbits of Steele's past were discovered by Laura.
This series was fun and sophisticated and always left you feeling good. This kind of entertaining film is missing from today's teen driven box office. It is also missing from the "reality" driven television we see so much of today. Remington Steele filled a void left for those seeking the kind of fun escapism which all but disappeared when the Hollywood studio system began to collapse.
Though season one holds a fondness for all us film buffs and Remington Steele fans, and has one of the show's shining moments with the episode, "Vintage Steele," the overall quality of the show improved with season two as Doris Roberts was added to the cast as Mildred Krebs, and two other characters were lost. The show became even more fun than before, and both Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist, whose contribution to the show's success can not be overstated, seemed to really settle in for good as everyone's favorite TV couple.
Much was made of Stephanie Zimbalist not being pictured on the cover of the season one DVD release, and hopefully that glaring omission will be corrected here on the second season set. She was wonderful as Laura Holt, and we tuned in just as much to see her as we did Brosnan. It was their marvelous repore on screen that made the show what it was, and what it was, was one of the best shows ever on television.
Remington Steele was something really special in television. Every one of the episodes and every one of the seasons was enjoyable. Every lover of classic films was in love with this show. It was a refreshing reminder of what television could, and should be. I have this on my wish list to pick up and you'll want it on yours as well.
on September 25, 2005
Remington Steele is that rare television series that plays as well if not better twentysomething years after its initial run. Part of this is due to the fact that it tended to take a classic approach to set design, wardrobe, music and makeup for the most part avoiding the excesses that bogged down and aged many of its contemporaries. The storylines are also still fresh as they evolved in a classic style drawing much of their structure and content from the wonderful screwball comedies and film noir movie genres. But ultimately, it is really the pairing and interaction of the two main characters that makes this a timeless classic. Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan are perfectly cast as PI Laura Holt and the boss she conjured up, Remington Steele. Both actors are best known for their dramatic roles, but their comedic timing and delivery here is impeccable and their chemistry dazzling. Not enough is made of the fact that both of these roles were quite trendsetting in the 1980's. Zimbalist as Laura Holt is a first rate PI who solves cases with brainpower not super power and Brosnan, masquerading as Remington Steele, is a man turned on not off by an intelligent, capable woman.
The first season of the series established the playing field and the rules of engagement but the second season with the addition of Doris Roberts as Mildred Krebs sets the tone and course the series would take for its remaining time on the air. Roberts excels as Mildred (think here a kinder, gentler but equally nosey Marie Barone), the IRS auditor turned office manager of the Remington Steele detective agency. Roberts received an Emmy nomination along the way for her work on this series. In season two there is also a shift in the dynamic between the two lead characters, as Remington becomes a much savvier detective. This puts he and Laura on a more equal level professionally although he still manages to consistently avoid legwork. On the personal side, the duo continues to do their delicate dance around each other while trying to learn more about each other's past.
Some personal favorite episodes from a consistently excellent year include: "Red Holt Steele" (many believe this to be the best episode of the show's five year run) in which Laura finds herself homeless and Remington consoles her, "Steele Framed" and "Elegy In Steele" that introduces the master villain and formidable enemy, Major Descoine, "A Steele At Any Price" in which Laura takes a liking to being an art thief, "Love Among The Steele" that relates the romantic history of a 1936 Auburn which would go on to become Steele's car and truly another character in the series, "Steele Knuckles and Glass Jaws" - Remington, boxers, and a baby, no need to say more, "Steele Threads" featuring the battling Bloustein brothers and Sam St. Cloud, "High Flying Steele" in which the duo go undercover at a circus as trapeze artists, "Dreams of Steele" which has the pair envisioning some pretty funny "what if" scenarios including their life together after the agency's PI license is pulled, and "Woman of Steele" which brings back Brosnan's late wife Cassie Harris for an encore as a woman from Remington's past.
Remington Steele is highly engaging and intelligent escapism fare. And with the state the world is in today, it offers a wonderful diversion. Here's hoping that the remaining seasons will find their way quickly to DVD along with some episodic commentary from Zimbalist and Brosnan.
on September 20, 2005
When I was 11-16 years old, I absolutely LIVED for "Remington Steele." The style, sophistication, class, intelligence, and wit captured the imagination of my young self, especially as I was condemned to a childhood growing up in a middle of nowhere cultural wasteland. To me, Pierce Brosnan was way-hot, but it was Stephanie Zimbalist who was my absolute hero. Her independence and intelligence served as an important influence in my life, and I'm not quite sure where I'd be without that influence today. As such, I'm happy to hear that the rocket scientists at Fox had the novel idea to put her on the freaking cover this time. Sheesh.
The second season of the show was great. I should note that the "Try this for a deep dark secret..." intro is gone this season, replaced by a jaunty rendition of Mancini's theme song and episode clips. Personally, I preferred the first season intro, but I guess the producers deemed it not as important in the second season as Remington and Laura were becoming more equals. ("He's the boss, but she's in charge.") It's still a fun, even cute, intro, though, as it depicts Remington and Laura watching clips from first season shows in a movie theatre.
In "Steele Away With Me," Laura and Steele head off to "A-ca-pul-co!" (a reference to the best episode ever, "Vintage Steele," which is included in the first season boxset). We meet Mildred Krebs, who becomes their new secretary and who is a lot of fun. Some people view her as the Scrappy Doo of the show, but I've never really understood that. At all. Mildred, plain and simple, rocks.
This season also includes fan favorite "Red Holt Steele", in which Laura's house gets blown up. The fact that this episode is considered a favorite is another thing I've never really understood... because when I watched it as a kid it just always really bummed me out. I'm kind of interested to watch it again, thought, as maybe I'll feel differently now. [Note: Ok, ok... it IS a really great episode. So much so, in fact, that I wish they would have included commentary].
Additionally, we get to meet arch-nemesis Major Descoine ("Steele Framed"). There a several other notable episodes including: "Love Among The Steele" (a tres art-deco episode in which Steele gets the Auburn), "High Flying Steele" (Carnies! Steele breathes fire), and "Steele Sweet On You," ("Cho.. cho.. chohhhh...")
The extras on the discs are GREAT. A series of small documentary-type featurettes dealing with the various aspects of the show, they include interviews with writers, producers, crew, and Stephanie, Pierce, and Doris. It's great to see them each again, and even better to hear them discussing the show.
on December 17, 2005
The wonderful resource of tv shows on dvd has this to say
about the unfounded rumor that there will be no more
seasons of Steele and Laura on DVD.
"We called Fox to verify that they were still working on the show, and they said, "Of course!" We should have news about season 3 in the next month or so. Pass on the good news; Fox hasn't ditched your favorite show."
Having just watched a handful of season two tonight, I can only say please bring it on.
Television as it should be. ENTERTAINING!
From the titles to the credits and everything delicious in between.
I was a bit hard on Brosnan in my review of Season One.
It wasn't his fault they slighted Stephanie on the packaging/advertising.
He is so watchable as Steele. And from season one to season two you can see him polishing his craft as he goes along.
I don't believe I ever saw a series show such growth from its freshman season to its sophmore.
Maybe the X-files transformation comes close.
Love these DVDS.
Steele, Remington Steele.
Holt, Laura Holt.
Music to my ears and senses.
on January 5, 2006
"I think someone is shooting at us. Because we're kissing. Someone's always shooting at us when we're kissing." - Pierce Brosnan as Remington Steele
When Remington Steele returned to NBC for its second season on September 20, 1983, viewers would have noticed a number of changes - both superficial and substantial - to the series. Gone was the exposition-heavy opening credit sequence in which private investigator Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist) explains how the firm she opened failed because clients preferred dealing with male P.I.s. She solved the problem by creating a "decidedly masculine superior" Remington Steele. The ruse was a success, until a mysterious conman (Pierce Brosnan) stepped in and assumed the place of her imaginary boss. In its place was a new sequence featuring Laura and Steele watching clips from the series in a grand movie theatre while listening to an orchestral version of the show's theme song. In the season's second episode, "Red Holt Steele," Laura's cottage is blown up and she moves into a converted industrial loft. The spatial difference is quite considerable. Her bungalow barely had room for her cat, but Laura's new loft can even accommodate a trapeze when the duo goes undercover at a carnival ("High Flying Steele").
However, these changes are merely window dressing. The season also features a major cast shakeup. Steele's friendly rival for Laura's affections, her fellow P.I. and business partner Murphy Michaels (North & South's James Read) is off to Denver running his own firm. Receptionist Bernice Foxe (Janet DeMay), now married to a musician, has run off. Into her place steps Mildred Krebs (Everybody Loves Raymond's Emmy magnet Doris Roberts), a no-nonsense IRS agent sent to audit Steele. She can't resist his charms, though, and is soon a member of the Remington Steele Investigations team as secretary, computer whiz, and junior agent.
Mildred is a welcome addition to the show. Roberts is charming, and the character adds a new dynamic to the series. Murphy and Bernice knew that Steele was a fake, placing all of the characters on the exact same level. Mildred, however, thinks that he is the real deal. She loves the glamour of the job and practically follows Steele like a puppy tagging along after its master. Better yet is her relationship with Laura. Since Steele is, in Mildred's eyes, the boss, she is barely even willing to share the slightest bits of information and research with Laura.
In "Steele Framed," Guy Boyd makes his first appearance as Major Descoine, a master of disguise out to frame Steele for murder. This episode has an intriguing premise, especially as Laura and Steele search for clues in the wrong Steele's past. It seems that he is out for revenge after Laura (or, in his mind, Steele), solved a case that led to the suicide of his wife. As Laura says, "He's not after your Remington Steele, he's after mine!" Descoine returns later in the season for "Elegy in Steele." In this episode, he vows that Laura and Steele will be dead in one hour. "Elegy" is so senseless as it lurches from set piece to set piece that it's almost fun. A country club across the street from a downtown L.A. high rise? TNT blasting on an operating golf course? A country club that also engraves headstones? Talk about full service. This episode is redeemed thanks to a wily performance by Quinn Cummings (Family).
In keeping with Steele's obsession with old movies, many of the episodes in season one of Remington Steele were based - loosely - on classic Hollywood films. The duo investigate a 1936 Auburn in "Love Among the Steele," the mystery of a necklace missing since the `30s and the reappearance of the Auburn that might contain the key to the case. Straddling old Hollywood and modern-day L.A., this episode is a bit too reminiscent of season one's "Steeling the Show."
Guest stars in season two include Chloe Webb (Tales of the City), Jack Blessing (Moonlighting), David Warner (Marple), Barbara Cason (It's Garry Shandling's Show), Delta Burke (Designing Women), Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle), Jeffrey Jones, Clive Revill, Bibi Besch, Faith Prince, Bert Remsen, Roy Dotrice (Beauty and the Beast), A Martinez (Santa Barbara), Maryedith Burrell (Fridays), Judith Light (Who's the Boss?), Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation), J.D. Cannon (McCloud), and David Garrison (Married...with Children).
The twenty-one episodes that make up the second season are divided onto four double-sided discs. Two slim, black keepcases hold two discs apiece. The front of each case features the same publicity photo of Brosnan and Zimbalist. The back of each case features a listing of episode titles, airdates, and brief synopses, as well as a small set of publicity and production photos. The cases slide into a cardboard outer sleeve which features the same photo of Brosnan and Zimbalist.
The menus are simple and functional. There is no "play all" feature. Enjoy !!
on December 2, 2005
I thoroughly agree with the many reviewers who have praised this release and Remington Steele in general. I've been watching TV from its early days in the 1950s through the present and am convinced that Remington Steele was as good as general audience TV gets. No its not Shakespeare, but I don't think that most of us who watch TV really want weekly doses of Shakespeare. Remington Steele was a suberbly done combination of action, adventure, and romantic comedy with good scripts and fine acting by attractive and appealing people. It was -- and still is -- consistently entertaining and no other series was better. I agree that the addition of Doris Roberts as Mildred Krebs made the second season even better than the first, and I thoroughly enjoyed the first season. If you are a fan of Remington Steele you've probably already bought the DVDs of the first two seasons. If you've forgotten how good this show was, please do yourself a favor and get them now. And, like so many other Remington Steele fans, I beg the studio to give us the remaining seasons on DVD as quickly as possible.
on March 10, 2006
The series is wonderful, but there were severe quality problems with the discs. Two episodes were unviewable on a new purchase. One bad band on each of the two discs. I'd give the series a rating of five, but the quality control was inferior.
on November 10, 2005
I have been waiting for the release of this season.
Everything comes together in season 2 of this creatively written series. And though we lose James Read as Murphy, we gain the motherly Mildred Krebs. Season 1 seemed a season devoted to the introduction of our main characters.
This season 2 's shows herald the start of a real romance between the feisty, workaholic Laura and the dashing, mysterious Remington..
After a two part season opener where we learn a little more about our female detective,there's a fire at Laura's home which redefines how she dresses, where she lives and who she wants to be. It's shows us how sensitive Rem can be.
The Rousing "Steele Knuckles", the ultra romantic "Love Among The Steele" stand out in my mind. And the 2 would-be lovers come into possession of one of the premiere automobiles of all time, a 1936 Auburn convertible. Remington was created to drive this car!!!!
The amusing Alatared Steele and Scene Stealers are told with apparent humor without losing it's mystery edge..
My Fair Steel and Steele Threads are more serious mystery episodes.
More glimpses into laura's family with Steele Sweet On You when we meet her sister and Brother inlaw for a mishap at a dentists's convention.
If you only buy one season, I suggest you make it season 2.
Things start to fall apart, chemistry-wise in Number 3 and 4. Remington becomes a bit more of a comic character. I wont even comment on so-called Season 5 and it's complete destruction of the characters they spent years creating.
Season Two will give you hours of viewing pleasure with the creative writing that made Remington Seele the premiere TV Mystery/Romance series of all time.