Jack Killian is an ex-cop in San Francisco. He quit the police force after accidentally shooting his partner. He was approached by Devon King, the manager of a local radio station, and ... See full summary »
Jack Killian is an ex-cop in San Francisco. He quit the police force after accidentally shooting his partner. He was approached by Devon King, the manager of a local radio station, and accepted a job as a talk-back host. Ever the humanitarian, Jack (together with his side-kick Billy Po) often gets personally involved with the plight of those who call his show. Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
One of the earliest episodes dealt with the aftermath of AIDS, as Jack's old girlfriend (played by Kay Lenz) develops the disease, and Jack hunts down the man who infected her. The episode was eventually rewritten to show compassion for people with AIDS, and won Kay Lenz an Emmy award. See more »
[shouting, as someone is pounding at his front door, waking him up]
Whoever you are, you're going to die!
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This series has been consistently overlooked and underscheduled, but to me that just adds to it. I don't know how things are elsewhere in the world, but in Britain it occasionally appears on TV in and around midnight, and even excepting the title it fits in perfectly.
The action feels quite lonely, like the people listening to late night phone-ins. Although it is often sentimental in its message, it is underplayed and well acted. This is a detective series that definitely doesn't end with a freeze frame of the regular cast laughing.
When I do find this on television, I feel like I've stumbled across a minor gem, in the same way you might enjoy finding a good CD from an underappreciated band.
I've heard that the lead actor Gary Cole doesn't have much of a reputation in the US, although I've never seen him in anything else and know nothing about him. He does a good and convincing job in both the conventional dramatic segments of Midnight Caller, and the urban philosophical monologues that begin, join together and end the episodes of this unusual and surprisingly engaging series.
And of course the theme tune is absolutely top whack brilliant.
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