Remington Steele (1982–1987)
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So, if we ignore the fifth and concentrate on the previous four seasons, what do we have? An excellent series, very much of its time, with a premise that just wouldn't stand up today! Can you imagine a show in these politically-correct days where a woman invents a male boss to attract business? Stephanie Zimbalist starred as Laura Holt, the woman behind the man an attractive, spunky, fiercely independent private investigator. Pierce Brosnan played the handsome and mysterious thief-with-no-name turned eponymous super sleuth. The sexual chemistry between Laura Holt and Remington Steele was the driving force of the show but it had so many other plus points too. The first episode (License To Steele) sets the tone which future shows followed: an exciting mystery, tight plotting, fine script, a stylish feel and explosive sexual tension between the two protagonists. This was an absolute pre-requisite in the 1980s. Everyone was either doing it, or nearly doing it, or talking about doing it: Cheers' Sam and Diane, Moonlighting's Maddy and David, Scarecrow and Mrs King's Scarecrow and Mrs King(!) and Laura Holt and Remington Steele were no different! The writers of Remington Steele delighted in torturing their audience, keeping us guessing as to when the two would finally consummate their on-again, off-again rocky-romance as they ran around solving crimes. The series finished in 1987 but the plethora of websites dedicated to it and fan fiction inspired by it, is testament to its enduring appeal. Remington Steele? 100% pure class.
Stephanie Zimbalist played Laura Holt beautifully. She was a character I admired, a woman striking out on her own, even though she initially had to use deception to get her business on track. Pierce Brosnan was charming as the mysterious con man. Who can forget the wild antics of Doris Roberts as Mildred Krebs, especially the time she was involved in the Steele, Inc. scheme to open a chain of Remington Steele agencies without the knowledge of Laura or Steele?
This is a series that MUST find a place on DVD shelves everywhere.
I have constantly tried to pin down what it is that I like so much about this show. Perhaps it is that I just happened to stumble into it at the right time, perhaps it is because I am a hopeless romantic. I have never really been able to come up with an exact answer. To me it has just always had the perfect combination of romance and mystery that created a nice kind of tension in the show as a whole. You couldn't really separate the two elements, the mysteries seldom stood on their own without the subplot of Remington and Laura, and their romance thrived on the mysteries. I have heard that PAX tried to air the series and cut out all the romance scenes, I've never quite figured out how that would work.
For those who are not Steelites (and I realise that RS is not really that well known a show), the stories of each episode centre around the characters at the Remington Steele detective agency. At first glance it's just your normal PI Office, bullets flying, phones ringing, femme fatales wandering through the door every afternoon and a head man to keep it all under control. But there is one minor difference, that headman is a figurehead...one Remington Steele by name...though none know if that's his real name.... who takes all the bows while the real head of the office, Laura Holt, does all the dirty work. Add in their unlikely, and constantly challenged desire for each other...and you have Remington Steele.
One of the shows that unfortunately got lost in the 80s, RS is worth checking out if you like mysteries and/or simple romance...before everything became graphic and over-explicit. And if anyone out there has a copy of the Steele Threads episode that they are willing to part with, please let me know :)
25 years later, I just bought the DVD sets and I just love them. I had previously purchased the Moonlighting series, because I remembered loving that show, but this one managed to keep its integrity year after year. Moonlighting went downhill quickly after David and Maddie "got together." I have to say this series has the edge over Moonlighting in my book, but at the same time you can see that Glenn Gordon Caron had a part in its first season (Remington and Laura even have overlapping dialog, although Maddy and David did it more successfully) before he had success with Moonlighting.
Now go buy this series!
"Remington Steele" -- Seasons One through Three are available in stores and on-line now. Seasons Four and Five will be available beginning August 15, 2006.
("Remington Steele" also stars Doris Roberts of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' fame as Mildred Krebs. It was created by Michael Gleason and Robert Butler.)
Remington Steele was a smart and funny romance disguised as a detective show. Although there was a mystery in each episode and it was resolved, the viewers were really tuning in to see the antithetical romance between "Remington Steele" and Laura Holt.
With the premise being that "Remington Steele" was a made up person to front for the female owned detective agency, and that Brosnan's character filled the vacuum almost as blackmail, the series had a unique and enterprising premise that you would expect to find in a motion picture rather than a TV series.
The moment in the pilot when Laura Holt realized what was being perpetrated on her was a priceless scene.
We were delighted when the full series, including the made for TV movies of the last year, were made available on DVD.
Oh yeah and there's Pierce. For the ladies.
Here in the TV Series "Remington Steele", Brosnan (in his pre-Bond days) never failed to pour on the charm and put in a captivating performance as the show's title character.
In "Remington Steele" our hero is teamed up with the always-alluring P.I., Laura Holt. And, together this dynamic duo scrupulously fights vicious crime and corruption with a fine sense of style and (sometimes comic) flair - Always making certain to never mix business with pleasure. Well..... Almost never.