For #inktober I drew Lieutenant Schrank from West Side Story, easily one of my favorite characters. As played by character actor Simon Oakland, he’s so hardboiled and yet so adorable! Look at him, he’s so gruff and angry but totally sincere. To quote pulp cover blogger Rex Parker, “I love old-timey tough guys with their high-waisted pants and short loose ties and rolled cuffs and adamant stances and aggressive cigarette-gripping.” That just sums it up right there.
References courtesy of Mambo to Murder and the Simon Oakland tribute site run by lucky-ladybugs-lovelies (It’s weird to think the guy died over thirty years ago, when I was a clueless tot rocking out in the summer of ‘83 to Eddy Grant and Donna Summer, but life is weird that way).
Ohmygosh, it’s Lieutenant Schrank/Simon Oakland fanart! Gorgeous!
I’ve been devouring the book And Now, Back to Mannix by JoAnn M. Paul today. Overall I thoroughly enjoy it, although I’m disappointed that she doesn’t have a section to talk about Joe and Lew’s friendship in season 1. Lew is barely mentioned at all; she prefers to focus on seasons 2-8. It makes me want to write a book just focusing on season 1 and singing its praises. There’s some good stuff there, too.
Also, while I mostly agree with the author’s preference of Mannix over Rockford and heartily disagree with Stephen Cannell’s idea that Mannix occasionally taking a job for a kid at no charge is preposterous, I don’t entirely agree with the author’s assessment of Jim Rockford as just being money-hungry and cynical, either.
It’s true: Jim is cynical. And he likes to be paid. And he likes to stay out of fights whenever possible. But he’s also a really nice guy and a big softie at heart. He wants justice for those who deserve it, and in spite of any reluctance he might have in getting involved, he does anyway. Even if Jim isn’t your typical private-eye hero in a lot of ways, like Joe is, he is a private-eye hero and does embody some of what makes them special.
To that extent, and even if Stephen Cannell would be horrified by it, Jim Rockford and Joe Mannix are ultimately cut from the same cloth.
One thing you’ve gotta love about Tom Vernon is that this man is smart. Mary’s wailing away about him forgetting she hates anchovies and insisting that’s what she’s mad about, but unlike some sitcom men, Tom doesn’t buy that for one second and finally draws it out of her that she’s really upset about their relationship.
Sorry for the divergence from usual posts, but I thought of this joke and had to do it. LOL.
Build-a-Bear’s Ninja Turtles give new meaning to the phrase “Heroes in a Half-Shell”.
Joseph being precious.
I love how they didn’t try to make the father the bad guy, even though they’re divorced and the show focuses on the mother. They’re both honestly good people who want the best for their kids. They just have different ideas on what the best is.
ROTFLOL. Sorry for the sudden, random break in regular types of posting, but this amuses me so much I had to comment.
I was stunned when I heard Disney was doing a show called Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Neverland was always a place where pirates were the bad guys. I guess this explains it; it sounds like Disney now has the same trouble figuring out what a pirate is as the Japanese anime One Piece does. That’s one reason of many that I just don’t get that show. Pirates always take other people’s property; that’s what a pirate lives for. If a pirate isn’t going to steal, they should come up with a different name for what they are.
It amused me when I used to watch One Piece and Luffy was so shocked and alarmed that Nami actually didn’t like pirates. Oh, Heaven forbid! The type of pirates Nami encountered are what pirates generally are. And Luffy honestly isn’t a pirate by any stretch of the imagination, no matter what he thinks of himself.
I’ve never really understood why kids often dream of being pirates. I finally determined it was probably usually because of the love of adventure and maybe the romanticized idea of camaraderie among the crew. They probably don’t even usually think about stealing from people or killing people who get in their way.
I honestly don’t recall ever dreaming of being a pirate, even though I had a crush on Fox’s version of Captain Hook and liked Mad Dog and Don Karnage on Talespin. I never thought the lifestyle sounded appealing, and then there’s also the thing that most pirates are generally very filthy. Blech. (Which I suppose kids like too, if they hate baths.)
(Top two pictures are from The House on Willis Avenue; I still haven’t screencapped Nice Guys Finish Dead.)
So yesterday we finally watched Nice Guys Finish Dead. I hadn’t seen it for a couple of years and only remembered I hadn’t liked how Vern St. Cloud was written. I also remembered it was very silly and Lance White was nearly perfect.
That isn’t far off the mark from how I felt last night, either.
ROTFLOL, Lance felt like an overgrown Boy Scout. He was just so good it was unreal. He donated all the money he inherited after his wife of two months died. He didn’t load his gun. He even hated punching out the killer.
If I ever write or draw something where Ginger and Lou meet him, Ginger is going to be losing his patience very fast.
One thing I’ve never liked on the show is when it seems like Jim Rockford gets all the bad breaks. I usually find it sad, not funny. They seemed to really stretch that idea to the point of unbelievability in season 6, including this episode. With Lance around, you knew he’d keep getting shown up (albeit often amusingly). Jim won the award for most valuable P.I. in Los Angeles, but you’d know it would be a fluke and he’d have to give up the award at the end (even though, despite his words, he really wanted the thing). And it was sad how he was the one who put up the bail for Beamer, even putting his own car on the line, and Beamer just kept thinking Lance did everything for him. Jim even recommended Beamer be made part of the detectives organization thing and Beamer thought that was Lance’s work too. To Lance’s credit, I loved that he told Beamer it was Jim.
Jim was pretty adorable. I love when they’re in Lance’s apartment and Lance says his wife died, and even though Jim is really frustrated with Lance, he shows he feels bad about that and says he’s sorry. Jim being such a softie at heart is one of the things I love about him.
Vern really was a jerk. I was kind of wrong about remembering that the animosity was on both sides in this episode. It was pretty much all on Vern, until Vern pushed Jim to the edge of his patience. Vern tells Jim to just say “Thank You” as an acceptance speech, and Jim doesn’t want to put him out, so he’s just the nice guy and does what Vern wants. Then Vern pokes fun at that and says, “What kind of acceptance speech is that?”
There’s the incident of Vern punching Beamer, although admittedly he might not have done it if Beamer hadn’t threatened him with “Put ‘em up!” first. But Vern definitely acted like a jerk in that scene.
And there’s when Jim, Beamer, and Lance hurry to the hospital after hearing that Larry was beat up, and neither Larry nor Vern is very hospitable. Larry keeps whining he wants them to go and Vern, instead of apologizing, insists that they leave. Of course, Larry is worried Beamer will recognize him as being the murderer (which he does), but Vern is just being a jerk.
In Vern’s defense, I suppose he figured that the group didn’t care about Larry’s health and only came because they wanted to further the investigation, and he saw no need to be polite and hospitable in that case. It goes back to Vern’s dog-eat-dog attitude and whatever embittered him years ago. Something obviously did, judging from what he says in Sticks and Stones.
Also in Sticks and Stones, he can be downright sweet at times. But for whatever reason, the writers didn’t want to show that sweetness in the other episodes, which I feel was a very bad move and just makes Vern look one-dimensionally terrible here.
So I was pretty worn-out after that bizarre episode, and although I wanted to see Chris, I didn’t feel like wallowing through all of The Hawaiian Headache, which is quite a headache of an episode. Jim being the “bad breaks boy” continues to the extreme in that episode, Jim’s Army commander is a Class A jerk and we’re supposed to believe he’s the good guy, and it’s just randomly shoehorned in at the end that Dutch Ingram is the killer (which I still don’t believe).
So I decided instead to break out In Hazard from season 2. It was rather refreshing. I could see that the writing was much better at that point, the characters were all treated with respect by the writers, and it had a nice, happy ending for people (including Joseph Campanella’s character).
People always complain that the writing was going down by season 5. I can’t swear to that, but I can definitely say it was going down by season 6. I really, really enjoyed the season 2 episode and am very glad I chose that one instead of watching another season 6 episode right then.
On a sidenote: I am chagrined that I forgot Dennis was promoted to Lieutenant. I wrote him as a Sergeant in my Rockford fic that takes place after season 6. Oh dear. I wonder if anyone noticed.