10 August 2005

The Stalk Exchange

      As if this blog did not already have enough stuff about which to despair, ABC is planning to revive one of this blog's long-missed TV favourites, The Night Stalker.   The malignant bastards. So much of the fun of the original series was that Darren McGavin (a wonderful actor, too often forgotten these days) was the Columbo of the mystical underworld, crumpled, slovenly, indefatigable; but add to that, he was snarky, sarcastic, and sometimes downright sour, but never so blindly cranky as his disbelieving editor, played by the long-late Simon Oakland (of the original Psycho).   

      Bizarrely, I can see a (pardon the pun) revamped Night Stalker working, but not with an overly trim and damned-near beatified cast.   Ugh.   The LAST thing I want to see is a Buffy-inflected version of CSI, replete with Bruckheimer production values (and Ridley Scott-like lighting).   Sadly, I can't think of an actor up to filling the original Kolchak's shoes, save for McGavin himself (alas, now 83) or perhaps a younger Robert Loggia (who is now 75).   Crumpled, slovenly, indefatigable-- but not prone to playing his part as cheap Animal House-ian comedy?   Can't think of a one, though I confess this might be a limitation on my part. Fifteen years ago, maybe Ned Beatty.    Or even Harris Yulin.    (Shame both Martin Balsam [also from Psycho, he being Detective Arbogast, sent to his death down those famous stairs] and E.G. Marshall are dead.)    But now?

      I guess it hardly matters.   It looks like the new Kolchak will be utterly un-Columban.    What the fark is next, Archie Bunker as played by Jack Black?   Perish, perish, perish that thought. Then again, Gloria Bunker these days would be played by Jessica Simpson-- in hot pants, and sudsing up the Jeffersons.   Perish, perish-- no, wait a sec--- no, still perish that thought.   *shudder*

      AFTERTHOUGHT: It has occurred to me that one actor could do Kolchak: John Spencer.   Neh?

      Oh, Crap, I am officially That Old, even if I wastoo young when the show was first on the air.   But I grew up on it in reruns in much more innocent days.   Next week, Columbo, starring Nick Lachey.

      And people wonder why I drink.

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