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Private eye Laura Holt grudgingly accepts a new partner when a mystery man assumes the identity of her fictitious boss, Remington Steele. Together, the two battle crime as their feelings for each other. Written by
Melissa Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Wonderful Private Eye/Romantic Comedy, with Sparkling Brosnan Performance!
"Remington Steele" has become such a 'cult favorite' since it's 1982 debut that the show's many fans can recite episodes, plot lines, dialog, even the 'unrevealed' aspects of both Laura Holt and the mysterious Mr. Steele's past, and, amazingly, their futures, as well! For a show that some critics initially brushed off as a "Moonlighting" clone, the series has proved to be far more enduring, and beloved...with much of the credit going to the leads, beautiful and talented Stephanie Zimbalist, and the remarkable future 'James Bond', Pierce Brosnan.
The premise of the show was clearly stated in the first season's opening credits; a brilliant young investigator, Laura Holt (Zimbalist), decides to start her own agency, but the era's chauvinistic attitude toward women prevents clients from hiring "a woman". So she invents a fictional 'boss', Remington Steele, brilliant, charismatic, but always busy on other cases, so potential clients would deal with his 'associate', Ms. Holt. The scheme works brilliantly, although, as the client list increased in stature, it became increasingly difficult to fend off their demands to meet Mr. Steele...and then HE appeared!
A young, lean, enigmatic Irishman (Pierce Brosnan), initially involved in a smuggling operation (although on the "side of the Angels"), gets out of a difficult situation by declaring himself "Remington Steele", and quickly discovers the status (and available funds!) the 'Nom De Plume' gives him. Although Holt is initially furious at the pretender, an important client happily passes his business to 'Mr. Steele', and his physical 'presence', documented by the press, forces her to accept the mysterious stranger...on condition he NOT meddle in cases! Of course, the new Steele, whose passion is Classic Hollywood movies (as, indeed, Brosnan's was, as well), simply can't miss the chance to 'live out' the 'Film Noir Detective' lifestyle, creating a constant source of episode plot lines...and Holt and Steele would develop an increasingly romantic bond, as well, which would, eventually become a full-fledged romance.
For many "Steele" fans, the first season's episodes are the most fun, with Brosnan less-than-competent as the master detective, Zimbalist displaying great comic timing in her reactions to his "successes", and James Read ("North and South", "Charmed"), providing a rugged sex appeal as her more dependable, skilled associate/'boyfriend'. But the Steele/Holt chemistry was so strong that Read would eventually be written out (as well as the two-dimensional secretary, Bernice Foxe, played by Janet DeMay), and a stronger character, motherly Mildred Krebs (the wonderful Doris Roberts), would be introduced as the new secretary/confidant, in the second season; her presence provided a stability that actually improved the show.
So much has been written about the series, and so many legends surround it (the most famous being that NBC, on the verge of canceling the show after four seasons, upon hearing Brosnan had been chosen as the new James Bond in "The Living Daylights", quickly reprieved it for a season of 'made-for-TV' "Steele" movies, to take advantage of the publicity...costing Brosnan the 007 role, for a decade), that "Remington Steele" has achieved a fame that has far outlasted the series' five seasons. Certainly, the warmth and camaraderie of the cast and crew throughout the run made the production 'special' (unlike the frequently explosive atmosphere on the "Moonlighting" set), and there is ALWAYS talk of a 'reunion' show, reuniting Steele and Holt for a new adventure, even after a twenty-year 'retirement'!
Not bad for a "Moonlighting" 'clone'!
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