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"Maverick" The Art Lovers (1961)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Bart Plays Jeeves

7/10
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA
12 December 2008

Pretty good episode for a series clearly in rapid decline. By this point, the 5th season, Roger Moore has left, Robert Colbert (Brent Maverick) has proved inadequate, and of course Jim Garner has long departed, though his name still appears in the opening credits! This last is puzzling since I can't find where he appeared any time during this 5th year. Maybe it was a contractual loophole and the producers were hoping.

Pity poor Jack Kelly. He does look tired and no wonder since he's now carrying every episode. The plot here is an involving one that includes the deliciously arch Jack Cassidy as an oily popinjay who tricks Bart into indentured servitude in the home of a wealthy friend (Westerfield). Now Bart's stuck with polishing silverware so he won't go to jail for non- payment of a gambling debt. Of course, it helps that the household includes a pretty daughter (an unfortunately inept Dawson), and you just know Bart will get back at the obnoxious Cassidy-- but how, since Cassidy holds all the cards. Then again, it's their wits that gets the Mavericks by.

Clever use of The Mona Lisa as a plot gimmick, producing several neat twists. Also, this may be the only TV Western to allow a fat Wagnerian opera singer to break glass in millions of unsuspecting homes with shrieks loud enough to shatter the windows. Whew!-- So be prepared. The show benefits from an inventive story that stays indoors instead of moving into the backlot with the phony shootouts among the faux boulders that mar too many episodes, especially these later ones. Too bad, the show didn't sign Cassidy as a recurring character— he had just the right kind of devious charm. This may not manage classic Maverick, but it's still an entertaining entry with a particularly satisfying finale.

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