Hooker Fails To Launch Spin-Off Series 'Hollywood Starr'
Young Hollywood vice cop Dani Starr (Sharon Stone) shoots a trigger-happy baddie (Frank Doubleday) and is really shaken up by it. The former débutante turned tough-as-nails policewoman has a good cry then teams, in an unrelated case, with veteran cop Sgt. T.J.Hooker (William Shatner) to catch a ring of jewel thieves and perhaps also find the guy who murdered her mafioso husband.
This haphazard episode, despite its superior list of guest-stars which included James Luisi, Jonathan Goldsmith and Frank Doubleday, is chiefly of interest for the fact that they were going to set up a spin-off series cop show of T.J.Hooker with it. It was going to be called 'Hollywood Starr'. They had Pointer Sisters sound-alike theme music and everything for it. This backdoor pilot was of course never picked up by the network (ABC) and what is shown suggests why.
Stone is dressed in 1980s haute couture fashions, the latest hairstyle and driving a flashy sports car. There is a lot of other music featured in this episode which was on the charts at the time. All of this flashy Miami Vice rip-off stuff was to have made for a dated kitsch series vehicle for the then 26 year old actress. This slick yet insubstantial concept would eventually have needed its leading lady to consistently turn in believable performances to buttress the improbability of it all.
Somewhere down the line Sharon Stone learned to act and would briefly hold a position on Hollywood's A list. But it was long after her work in this production. Occasionally in this we see brief flashes where she is somewhat convincing in her characterization but those moments are brief and interrupted by long stretches where what she does is completely cringe inducing. Next to nothing of it gives us a glimpse of the actress she was to become.
The entire style of this episode is very different from a T.J.Hooker show. In fact little of what is shown is at all similar. The viewer is continually given pause to wonder why Hooker and his colleagues are in this environ and helping with this investigation. It makes it all very puzzling that these elements should tie in unless the viewer is aware that this was intended for a spin-off series.
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