The boys are tasked with investigating Playboy Island. The island is owned by billionaire William Thorne, and a series deaths have attracted the attention of the authorities. They believe ...
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The boys are tasked with investigating Playboy Island. The island is owned by billionaire William Thorne, and a series deaths have attracted the attention of the authorities. They believe the appearance of Johnny Doors, a high ranking crime syndicate figure may indicate an attempt to take over the financial empire by the Mob. Written by
The first episode of Season 3 could not make it more clear that something has gone drastically wrong. What exactly happened here is a mystery to me. George McCowan, who has directed some very good episodes in the past seasons, totally loses his way on this one. And as we go forward in Season 3, there will be some good and normal shows again. But this - this is complete nonsense.
There is no point in describing the details of the episode and pointing out the problems. There is very little here that isn't a problem. It's James Bond meets Austin Powers with Lewis and Martin in the lead. Most of the first half is ludicrous and seems to be played for laughs. OK, you think, I guess this drama is now a comedy show. As usual, their undercover characters are the dumbest people imaginable with accents that sound more like speech impediments. If you are going undercover for real, it would probably be better to not act so stupid that people will remember you as the weirdest person they ever saw. So everything is crazy and lame. Then out of nowhere, PMG and DS will drop into their smart-cop characters and start to treat it like a real case. Part 1 ends with them washing up on the beach after being dumped by the voodoo priest, who has previously subdued them by blowing an innocuous-looking white powder in their faces that made them writhe on the floor like insects sprayed with bug killer. Oh, I forgot to mention that at this point they are in their calypso-singer disguises of silk shirts tied across the chest, tight Capri pants, and black-face. Yeah, really.
On to Part 2. Apparently, someone decided enough was enough and tried to turn this into a real show again. Starsky and Hutch basically stop using their undercover characters and start being cops trying to do a job. It's too late really, because the plot is so crazy and convoluted, but it's nice to see them act like themselves. But they still have deal with a voodoo priest who controls minds from afar, a nurse who they trusted for help from the very start who is untrustworthy, and a sudden subplot that comes out of nowhere. When it's all over, the plot will somewhat come together, but after all that has gone before, it hardly matters.
The supporting cast members for this show are universally bad. Lines drop like lead balloons. At first I thought that was being done on purpose, to highlight how comic this was supposed to be. But, no, I think they were just that bad. The detective they are sent to work with is awful, the sexy women working the hotel are all terrible, the voodoo priest chants randomly and laughs menacingly but is just weird and not convincing as a villain. I couldn't tell the Samantha Eggars and the Joan Collins characters apart and thought they were the same person for three quarters of the show. The second half at least has Starsky and Hutch acting mostly real and like themselves, even if everything else is terrible. That's the only reason the show gets more than a 1 out of 10 rating.
The very worst and saddest part for me is how they are squandering the relationship between Starsky and Hutch. Because they had been able to portrait a close male friendship that was not typically seen, accusations that the characters were gay were all around. It felt like someone decided to throw in references to that and make some statements about it, but they were awkward statements and wasted the very special aspects of PMG and DS's great chemistry together. It was like, see, they can wear gay- looking clothes and not be gay. See, they can walk around together in tight shorts and bare chests and not be gay. See, Starsky can touch Hutch's butt, and not be gay. By doing this, they just made everything worse and wasted that unique ability that PMG and DS had to let each other into their personal spaces without reservation. Sad. Sad. Sad.
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