Thursday, April 09, 2009

We're Little Black Sheep Who Have Gone Astray

Steve from Grand Forks e-mails on "Riptide":

Loved your post on "Riptide," you magnificent bastard yourself. Made me laugh. great line.

I never watched one minute of that show, I don't think.......But I am a Cannell fan, more or less... all he had to do was Rockford for me.....

You are conspicuous, however, in your failure to mention the ambiguously gay trio vibe of the Riptide guys. . . . .. hmmm, strange, that failure.....

Steve's ignorance of the glories of "Riptide" is evidenced by his audacious claim to be picking up a "gay vibe" from the cast. Had he been more familiar with the show, he would known that when the two main characters weren't cracking cases, they were banging tourist boat waitresses two at a time. And while Boz may have been the shy nerdy type, I'm sure he had know problem picking his way through the leftovers.

Speaking of the glories of Stephen J. Cannell, looking through the impressive list of shows that he created I can find several classics from my youth:

* 21 Jump Street

* Adam-12

* Baa Baa Black Sheep (at the time it aired, my favorite show)

* Baretta

* Hardcastle and McCormick (another one that I had forgotten about--great theme song)

* Hunter

* Quincy, M.E. (another guy living on a boat, solving crimes, and having his way with the ladies--many half his age!)

* Riptide

* The A-Team

* The Rockford Files

* Wiseguy

If you think about the countless hours of entertainment delivered by those shows, you realize that those of us who grew up durng that time owe Mr. Cannell a debt of gratitude. Thank you.

UPDATE: Steve e-mails with a rebuttal:

so you're saying the Riptide boys were really deep in the's called ACTING.

your coverup of it all is, well, of a vibe of its own....

one way to stop the vibe would be to hype the Beavers a lot more.....I've been arguing we haven't even done enough of it....

Although it did lead one local TV anchor to get racy: "Even those who aren't (B)eaver fans are hoping for a happy ending," he said.

There's really no such thing as too much Beaver talk is there? Since today's semi between Miami and Bemidji State starts in just a few hours, you should consider Fraters Libertas as your home for prime Beaver conversation.

UPDATE II-- Andrew e-mails with more on Cannell's creations:

Boy, your Grand Forks guy is *WAY* off; any producer who creates shows that featured the greatest fighter aircraft in the history of the Second World War (the F4U Corsair, if just for the cool look and waaaay overpowered engine); an opening line like "Welcome to the world of forensic medicine!" and pulling back a sheet, only to have a student pass out; George Peppard gleefully chomping on stogies while Mr. T. pitied fools and fired various automatic, no, there could be *no* underlying homoeroticism in any of Mr. Cannell's shows.

If anything, he helped remind us that it was okay NOT to be a Jimmy Carter/Phil Donahue-esque weenie, and for that, I thank him.

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