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The last line of the theme song was said in a sexy male way--"You're just so damn slick."
I had never heard of any of these actors before so had no preconceived notions. I didn't know that Shannon Tweed had been a Playmate of the Year and one of Hefner's women but that made this show all the more remarkable for ignoring that background and creating sweet, vulnerable characters, and plots that dealt with other issues. She was good at her craft and put the character across very well.
I loved the back story. Sally had lived in podunk nowhere and had seen the planes land with all the beautiful people and longed for that lifestyle. The catch was she didn't have any money. Heaven knows she was beautiful enough to marry for money but that wasn't Sally. She invented a persona as phony and seemingly wealthy as Remington Steele. In a sense, she was the Laura Holt of Canadian charter aviation. She didn't have a plane. She didn't have a pilot. She couldn't fly a plane. She was just a crazy kid with an entrepreneurial dream.
She managed to get two pilots to sign on and they managed to hang onto a plane (at one point literally when the seller tried to trick Sally and make off with it) which they painted with her logo of Slick!, a name she had on her car license plate and affected in her business dealings. Jean-Phillipe, a romantic adventurer with enough money to suit him, seemed in sympathy with her aims, although not usually with her methods, and Mack was won over by her moxie and treated her like his little sister. Both had back stories that gradually came out of why two excellent pilots were working for usually no salary and in Mack's case, a share of a company that barely existed.
The show was shot in fabulous locations when they weren't in Vancouver. (Mack lived on the US side but we didn't see much of the area.) Most of the locations were in the south of France the home territory of Jean-Phillipe, who came from the upper crust. (I have to say that the plot about his tortured love affair gone wrong was best forgotten. He really couldn't do emotionally tortured. I counted the show down one point because of that.)
There was a friend who got into trouble quite often (with customs, with criminals) and therefore got them into trouble quite often, because, well, you help out a friend, even a troublesome one. And because Slick Air hovered on the brink of bankruptcy all the time they took on a lot of clients who were shady at best. I liked the one with the gold plates and the mob going to a family funeral in Salerno--not Italy as they mistakenly thought but California.
One of the best parts of Fly By Night was that it was a buddy show. Very unusually, (and in fact I've never seen this happen on an hour long US TV show where they always run out of ideas, rely on manufactured sexual tension, and then have the characters get together and the whole show goes downhill), the main characters on this show weren't sexually involved with each other. It was charming to see them hoping each one of them would "get a life" and not be stuck with celibate slickdom. And in fact in one of the shows Sally did hook up with an unexpected person for a brief interlude although it was played for gentle laughs, and the fellows were pleased and hoped maybe she would unpack her boxes and do more than merely exist outside of work.
I taped most of the episodes and have played them many times. It isn't true that you can find everything on the internet. Some of the quirkiest, least Hollywood shows that ever aired have come out of Canada. Late night gems that once graced our TV sets. But try to get them on DVD or online and it either costs a fortune or it can't be done.
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