One of the best tongue (firmly)-in-cheek Rockford episodes
I can imagine the laugh, the fun had writing the script for this episode.
Lance White is so annoyingly perfect. Everyone knows of, had a 'Lance White' character somewhere in their lives, and this Lance White - the 'real' Lance White - is Jim's.
Watching this episode caused me to laugh out loud so many times, because, as a fan of Rockford's, as well as a fan of good writing, I can just imagine Cannel and Huggins turning red as they threw the book out on Jim, and made Lance, the knight in shining armour, for this episode.
Much credit goes to Tom Selleck's portrayal of e too-goo-to-be-true (and if he is, I wan and kill him!) Lamce White, for embodying Lance, but, no matter how 'perfect,' and how clichéd he, and the story become, he never folds
In other words, when you do a parody - a successful one - you must not 'wink' to the audience. It must be kept serious. That's the same reason why people who try to portray bad actors, set out to make a 'bad' movie, or 'dumb blondes' have such a hard time.
Many people think Marilyn Monroe WAS dumb (sadly), but,m in fact she wasn't, and it's a tribute to her abilities to convince so many she was 'dumb.' A film like Plan 9 From Outer Space could've never succeeded if they were 'in' on the joke.
The same here.
Selleck's ability to keep Lance grounded in reality - no matter how farcical the situation, makes this episode a terrific one.
Credit - as always - must go to James Garner, who had the professionalism and the grace to understand he - the main lead - doesn't need to be the centre of attention, always, and allow the guest stars the ability to come forward, as shown here.
Sigh... it's watching an episode such as this, to see how far TV and film have fallen, because I doubt you'd ever see any writer, or 'actor' allow themselves to be made fun of, or, to allow others to shine - at their expense - as done here.
A truly great Rockford.
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