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B.J. McCay was a good-looking young trucker who traveled around the country in his big red & white rig, with a single companion - his pet chimp, Bear. B.J. was based in rural Georgia and was confronted by a succession of corrupt local sheriffs - Elroy P. Lobo (who was later given his own series, Lobo); Sgt. Wiley of Winslow County and his two fellow lawmen, Sheriffs Cain and Masters. The only honest cop B.J. seemed to encounter was the Fox, who spent much of her time trying to trap the crooked local cops. Tommy was a lady trucker friend and Bullets ran the local hangout, the Country Comfort Truck Stop.In 1981, B.J. settled down to run a trucking business in Los Angeles called Bear Enterprises. His new adversary was Rutherford T. Grant, a corrupt politician who headed the state Special Crimes Action Team. Grant was a silent partner in TransCal, the largest trucking firm in California and stopped at nothing to stomp out potential competition. Because of Grant's intervention, B.J. found ... Written by
In the craze of truck-driver shows that came out in the '70s, none had a more original premise than that of "B.J. and the Bear", with its mixture of good ol' boy farce, action, romance and, of course, a monkey!
The plot stayed more or less the same all through the show's run: B.J. McKay (Evigan) worked as a truck driver who constantly dealt with inept lawmen (namely Akins' Sheriff Lobo, who got his own series!), crooked truckers and, usually, bevy after bevy of beautiful women in tight clothes. Who said this show was sexist?
The women worked so well, in fact, that they stayed on for the long haul as "The Seven Lady Truckers" who worked with B.J. and gave the show a big boost from the male part of the TV-viewing public. And who could blame them: women the likes of Landers (YIKES!), Holleran, Julia, McCullough and the Brough sisters were definitely worth tuning in for every week.
And the series, helmed by TV maestro Glen Larson (also of "The Fall Guy" fame) knew what worked in a series and kept action, tough guys and beautiful women in each episode. Oh yeah, and the monkey too. Can't forget him.
All in all, a great reminder of the glory that was truck driving, the heroism that was "B.J." and the monkey that was "the Bear".
Eight stars for "B.J. and the Bear" - keep on truckin'!
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