- TV Series
Wisecracking New York City cop Detective Eddie Arlette (Mark Valley), who has no respect for authority, finds himself a fish out of water when he ends up being assigned to a Police precinct ... Read allWisecracking New York City cop Detective Eddie Arlette (Mark Valley), who has no respect for authority, finds himself a fish out of water when he ends up being assigned to a Police precinct in the U.K.Wisecracking New York City cop Detective Eddie Arlette (Mark Valley), who has no respect for authority, finds himself a fish out of water when he ends up being assigned to a Police precinct in the U.K.
Dazzling though most of the 13 existing episodes are, the creation is not perfect: J.H. Wyman (the credited creator) packed the series with all the stock elements a "quality" show could expect to drag in audiences - "cute" feuding leads, a "fish out of water" male, stylish "out there" sex referred to titillatingly but not really shown, an odd-ball dog with quirky idiosyncrasies that only the master understands, semi-exotic locales (London) - but had so many of them and so many writers that none of them are allowed to be developed in as much detail as a better produced show might have. It's all the more impressive that the series that resulted is among the best series we have ever seen come and go in a single season.
Mark Valley (awful name for someone who *should* be a star - but then the writers never fully took advantage of or explained the SERIES title either) heads a brilliant cast of largely - and undeservedly - unknown actors who banter and bicker like a 21st Century version of Dashiel Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles & co. The commentator who said it was the perfect show for those old enough to appreciate the witty banter and young enough not to be put off by the kinetic editing and camera tricks was dead on.
MTV has a lot to answer for in headache inducing perspective changes and self important, attention getting crosscuts and flashbacks. These stylistic filigrees may have driven away some first time viewers who would have otherwise loved this series which was good enough on its own merits not to need attention grabbing tricks.
I first discovered KEEN EDDIE midway through the secondary run on the Bravo cable network (largely because the lead - Valley - looked so much like one of the miscast leads in the American version of COUPLING - Colin Ferguson, who has since found a deserved hit in U.S.A. network's EUReKA) and was totally won over in two episodes.
Another broadcast network a decade or so ago (let's not forget that most of them have had their well written and dropped "quality" shows too from TOPPER to HE & SHE and the original STAR TREK to FOLEY SQUARE) MIGHT have developed KEEN EDDIE into a hit of MAGNUM level hit status and made a true star out of Mark Valley. Perhaps if the writing had stooped to pandering ala many a network hit and stripped Valley down to his boxer shorts occasionally (as it did co-star Julian Rhind-Tutt in the first episode - but jokes about British bodies are not totally without foundation) Bravo might have extended the run, but at least we have the delightful 13 episode initial run on a solid (if "extra" free) DVD box set which deserves to be discovered and cherished by devoted fans for years to come.
- Apr 5, 2005