Jake and the Fatman (1987–1992)
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The 106 hour-long episodes of this police drama were originally broadcast on CBS from 1987 to 1992. This pending DVD set contains the first half of the 23 episodes from the first season, 21 regular episodes and a two-part pilot, which actually ran "after" the show had premiered.
In some ways the two title characters in the first season of "Jake and the Fatman" could be considered the most authentic looking of any police drama. While Conrad's character on "Cannon" was dubbed "Cannonball" by Mad Magazine, lampooning was unnecessary with the "Fatman" character and Conrad actually seemed to gain weight with each passing episode during the first season. For the second season he slimmed down a bit for their move from Los Angeles to Hawaii, everything is relative. Like "Cannon" he groans and complains but manages to get his man by the end of each episode. But while "Cannon" at least looked presentable, the "Fatman's" grooming makes him look he's been staying in a homeless shelter and staining his tie in soup kitchens.
Of course this was supposed to contrast with his suave police associate Jake Styles (Joe. E. Penny), who cruises for babes in a silver Porsche speedster. But this guy isn't like the squeaky clean detectives on "Hawaiian Eye". As Harry and Wally said: "Jake is some young, oily hotshot who works undercover to do the legwork....Jake looks like the kind of guy who would proposition your fourteen-year-old sister". He did seem slightly more wholesome once the two moved to the Islands but for DVD buyers that won't be until Season Two.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
although other people might disagree i found myself hooked on this show which for an 80's programme (reaganite politics aside) is extremely groundbreaking in a cheesy sort of way. episodes that dealt with vigilante husbands punishing random muggers due to his wife being gang-raped (something he was made to watch)years previously to an avenging cops wife shooting her husband and his partner for the miscarriage he rather violently inflicted on her in the past.
i am aware of the censorship issues that are in operation in network American TV so it is all the more refreshing and intelligent that such a programme could have dealt with these issues in (i am assuming) its prime-time slot.
if you happen to read my rather general review on Jake and the Fatman and i have piqued your interest you would not be wasting your time if you were to give it a go, so search the stations on those cold dark nights and be entertained.
While I cannot profess to be a loyal fan of the show,I watched it with some regularity through the first two seasons or so and was reasonably impressed with how the show(for its day)could deconstruct a "Now you see it,now you don't" type of murder mystery that was similar to the show about the crafty,blue suited Atlanta defense attorney. The combination of the veteran bluster of Mr. Conrad and the seemingly feckless charm of Mr.Penny was able to fill up an hour capably. Even though this show had a solid five year run(that was almost cut down after season one),it's pretty tough to find re-runs of this. If you can,and you feel like this kind of easy-to-digest,late eighties entertainment is your cup of tea,then check this out.