|Index||4 reviews in total|
This show was only on for 1 season, back when NBC went through 1-hour
like Janet Jackson goes through silicone. I was so upset when it wasn't
Nick Mancuso, at his sexiest here, plays "Ray". What do we know about Ray? Well, he's got a penchant for all-black clothing, drives the coolest car of all 80's television (sorry "KITT"...) and he's on a mission to help people out. When you can't call the police, or you've got an unordinary task no typical private-dick can perform, Ray's your man. Just don't offer to pay him in bills, he doesn't want your money. Instead, he insists to be paid in favors! (I'm gonna try that one with my mechanic...fix my muffler and someday I'll owe ya' one..)
Ray's terms-of-service are: "Someday I'll return, and I'll ask you to perform a favor, and you must do it". Sounds like a good deal huh? Well, this is the clever plot-device that allows Ray to accomplish his many bizarre tasks. What's that you say? You need me to obtain those confidential medical documents? Let me just contact that doctor I helped out last spring! This also allows for a continually changing supporting cast; the only familiar things we see from episode-to-episode is Ray and that kick-*ss car!
The show's writing was clever and thoughtful and often asked you to think. Take the episode where Ray had to commit himself to an insane asylum. On other shows, you would have the hero saving the loonies, but not before goofing all over them. Here, Ray gets to know the residents and ponders what "sanity" really is anyway. The writing sympathizes with the mentally-challenged instead of discarding them as Hollywood caricatures. They are portrayed as commonly as your next door neighbor. This is pretty notable considering we're talking about an 80's network action-drama.
Sure, the show had it's "MacGyver"-esque absurdities. Like when Ray gets the cat to bring him keys to the cell where he's imprisoned. But these type of events are inconsequential to the theme or message of each show. And they're actually just plain fun.
This show never got the praise or attention it deserved. It's nearly impossible to find on video, but certainly worth the exhaustive search.
I agree with your comments stingray did not get a fair shake. but they were two seasons of stingray. the 2nd season was filmed in Calgary Alberta Canada and I played in 7 different episodes including the last ever episode with Jeff Conway was the fun bad guy. This would have been my first experience in T.V. and that summer on the set was a fantastic time. I remember it was very strange to see so many people sit around doing nothing. In the last show that we taped, Nick Macuso kept forgetting his lines. The season would only be about 3 minutes long but we spend the whole day and of course it was the only day in the history of Calgary that it actually snowed in August which made very cold. So here I was playing a body guard and freezing buns off and Mr. Macuso was forgetting his lines. We redid that scene so many times that everybody on the set knew everybody lines. However, it seemed that Nick could not remember. I was a great overall experience and I had a chance to talk to Nick, at first I thought he was not that great of an actor, but once I seen his other work I started to enjoy his performance and every time he is in a show, I try my best to watch it. But to me Nick was and will also ways be Stingray. I am looking to purchase or rent the 1st or 2nd season since I have been out of show business and that was basically my only exposure it would be great to show my kids this series. if anybody knows where a person can get this series either 1st or 2nd season that would be great. Vittorio
Caution: some spoilers, of necessity.... I cannot praise the "Stingray" pilot (1985, NBC) highly enough. Ditto the first season of this show (which was canceled, then brought back, albeit with episodes that I don't feel lived up to the surprisingly cool writing of the pilot or the first season episodes). My recommendation: see it however you can. I, myself--for my own use/collection--would love to obtain an UNCUT pilot of this pilot in pristine condition. Regrettably, the pilot--when shown in two parts during season one--cut a couple of minutes from the TV movie. When we first see Mancuso's character, he's talking to a waitress about her missing daughter when the D.A. Investigator approaches the table. The waitress passes "Stingray" a photo of both the missing girl and her dog, giving a response of "She's one heck of a cute kid", and promises to help. Later in the pilot, he does. Let's understate it: "Stingray" was way to good for television, and should have been a movie series. Even CineFantastique magazine gave rave reviews to the show, and they normally restricted themselves to fantasy and SF shows... There must be SOMEONE out there with a pristine, uncut copy of the pilot as origionally aired on NBC, July 14, 1985...If so, please contact FSJ@USA.COM.
I really enjoyed the premise of the show and the main character was cool, too cool for TV for sure. I have a question about the cast and crew credits? Perhaps someone out there in TV land can answer it. I have been a fan of Bruce Lee's work for a very long time and know that he coordinated fight scenes in movies occasionally, to make ends meet, in the lean times. Matt Helm is a good example. He doubled Dean Martin's character in the fight sequences. If you look at those movies, knowing it's him you will see what I mean. Anyway, I swear that when Stingray gets into a fight, in the pilot or first episode of the show, it is Bruce Lee doing the scene. Note the angles of the filming and cutting. Just as in Matt Helm. Over the shoulder, from behind and at a far enough distance to not reveal his face. Yet no credit can be found for his donation to the mystique of the main character. So, if anyone out there in TV land can research this and amend the credits that would be very cool. Bill
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