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You can be told this was a good series and should have run much longer but that means nothing to you if you haven't seen it. Michael Beck, the dower Houston detective, is not happy with being given a smart talking cop transplanted from Chicago for a partner. Michael Pere is "in your face, I ain't backing down" tough and the two have a rocky start. Then one day a man looking to kill Beck over an old grudge walks up to an unmarked police car where Beck is sitting off guard and lost in thought. He turns his head to see his old homicidal enemy pointing a gun at his face and grinning. He freezes, realizing he is a dead man. From nowhere Pere appears firing automatic pistols with both hands. The man flees and gets away but Beck now realizes Pere is the real thing and a friendship begins. Together they roust Houston's seamier side, which is about the size of Costa Rica, and fight crooks and their own head office. By the way, the remark about Pere's brown and white wing tip shoes did not come from Beck. They are visiting Beck's old home town in east Texas and Pere runs afoul of some local toughs. One says, "I can tell from your shoes you ain't from around here." Pere responds, "Yeah, well I can tell from your forehead your parents were first cousins." A fight ensues wherein Pere is trying to defend himself against three or four mean rednecks. When he finally drives them away he sees Beck standing nearby, grinning.
This was the best show of the '80s, and, like so many other great shows, it
was never given a chance. Due to poor scheduling, being pre-empted, etc.,
it never found its audience.
Michael Beck, in my opinion, was the true star of the show. This man is one of those very understated, underrated, under recognized actors that gives a good performance no matter what. While I loved John Hancock as "Chicken", I find it rather disturbing that Mr. Beck is shuttled to the "also starring" category while Mr. Hancock - a supporting player - is listed first!
It is a shame that this series never got what it deserved - a chance to prove itself. It went far beyond the "buddy show" syndrome of the time, in that it showed two men who could care about one another even though they fought about every five minutes!!
I really liked this show, and was disappointed when they pulled the plug.
Beck and Paré had great chemistry and the writing was good. I have
on tape or DVD with no avail.
Beck - "I can tell by them pointy shoes, that yer a city slicker"
Paré - "Yea, well I can tell by yout forhead that you parents were cousins"
I don't exactly know why I remembered that bit all these years Probably the same reason that I cannot remember my bike lock combination from last summer, although I can still remember my locker combination from grade six in 1974. Life is strange that way.
"Houston Knights" is a great 80's TV show. It's too bad it only last
two seasons. The pairing of cult actors Michael Beck (Walter Hill's
"The Warriors") and Michael Pare ("Eddie and the Cruisers" & "Streets
of Fire") is perfect. Pare turns in some of his best acting. Most
people say Pare is a wooden actor but Pare really does show some great
acting chops in the show.
The plot follows two cops who are partnered up even though they dislike each other and are from different worlds. The usual buddy-cop format has the partners being friendly, but in "Houston Kinghts" it's refreshing to see the two men constantly at odds and always fighting each other. The story lines are entertaining and reminiscent of another 80's cop show "Miami Vice".
The show is hard to find but you can pick up a burned DVD set on ioffer.com. The show should have been the next "Miami Vice"...instead it constantly got rescheduled and CBS didn't support the show at all.
The sad thing about Houston Knights not running longer is that insofar
as I know, this is the only series that was based out of Houston, Texas
which is the USA's fourth largest city.
I've visited the city a few times in the past 35 years or so, it's a curious place. There's no doubt about its Texas origins, but the influx of people from the north has given it a look like those urban centers of the north with all the strengths and weaknesses of same. It has a sizable minority population, both black and Latino, it's far more liberal than Dallas.
If you remember Dallas was where the far more successful Walker Texas Ranger was based. That show had considerable more advantages to it with a name star involved and the fact it hewed to the line of more traditional Texas mores.
The show involved a pair of mismatched cops Texan Michael Beck and a transplanted Yankee Michael Pare from Chicago. These two guys grate on each other instantly, but both prove to be tough customers and earn each other's respect. Eventually they prove as compatible as Starsky and Hutch.
In fact Houston Knights had a Huggy Bear character as well, John Hancock played a man nicknamed Chicken who had the best fried chicken in Houston for the price and also had his ear to the ground for a lot of information. Pare and Beck ate at his place a lot.
Sad this show failed to find its audience though it got a two year run.
I met all the stars ,they all were very helpful with the extras,,,especially both Beck and Pare'... I would have been in more of the series ,but they decided to move filming to Hollywood..wish I could get a copy of the Pilot...Thanks
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