"Shaft: The Enforcers" wasn't a bad initial ep of this TV series but you won't get the "bad motha (shut your mouth)" you get from the movies
A few months after the third Shaft movie came out, it became a TV series with this ep being the premiere. Actually, maybe "TV series" isn't the right word. You see, this show aired in a 90-minute slot as opposed to the usual 1-hour one that would be standard for a detective show. Actually, rival network NBC had the "Sunday Mystery Movie" which had many 90-minute series rotating with each other with "Columbo", "McCloud", and "McMillan and Wife" among them. So it was with "Shaft" which was part of the "The New CBS Tuesday Night Movie" and rotated with James Stewart's "Hawkins". Anyway, because of network standards, this Shaft isn't the "bad motha (shut your mouth)" that one would want as he doesn't fool around nor does he constantly avoid police here. In fact, he's friends with one Lt. Al Rossi (Ed Barth) who he shares info with. And there's no real action until the show's almost over. At least the theme is back though it's obviously not Issac Hayes' version but something similar and no, you don't hear the lyrics. Anyway, Robert Culp plays Marshal Cunningham who believes in swift justice of the killing kind even after the accused gets acquitted. So John Shaft investigates why many of these accused wind up at the bottom of a swimming pool after their acquittal. I'll stop there and just say despite the changes, I rather enjoyed this initial episode of this "Shaft" series. So if you're interested, I just watched this on YouTube though I don't know how long it's gonna be there. P.S. Among other players here include: Barbara Babcock as Cunningham's wife Jane. Ms. Babcock would years later make an impression as Sgt. Esterhaus' paramour on "Hill Street Blues". Melissa Sue Anderson as their daughter Cathy about a year before her big break as Mary Ingalls on "Little House on the Prarie". Judie Stein as Laura Parks. She's the clerk at the file cabinets that Shaft comes to for help. She's sooo cute with her glasses and '70s short wavy hair. And, last but not least, Richard Lawson-who's the only other African-American in the cast-as Don Lewis who's the pilot of a plane. I had just seen him in the same year's Scream Blacula Scream as Willis Daniels there.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?