Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Mod Squad Season 2 Vol 2|
Actor: Mod Squad
Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 05/26/2009 Run time: 663 minutes Rating: Nr
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The Mod Squad, Pete, Linc & Julie = Quality Television
Ilikestuff | United States | 07/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was born in 1962 and immigrated to the US in late 1969 with my family, landing, as so many before us did, in New York. If you know anything of history, or better yet, if you're old enough to remember, those times were unlike any that had gone before or have come since. Nearly revolutionary in their scope and power, but far more hopeful than bitter, a youthful, yearning energy to build a better world seemed to be driving the cultural change and upheaval of those times. I vividly remember staring at the beautiful young people on the streets (though all older than me at the time) with their long hair, and their wild clothes, as strains of Cream, Led Zeppelin and other psychedelia drifted out of open windows.
At the same time, I discovered The Mod Squad. Being only seven to ten or so when the show was on the air, I knew at once it was dealing with the culture that I had seen "out there" and from which all of Middle America seemed to be trying so hard to hide. I was also too young to fully understand what was truly going on and how this TV show fit in. And then it was gone. The show was cancelled in 1973. The hippies disappeared off the streets, the music slowly changed and the world grew older.
But the memory of this show stayed with me, frozen in my mind like a secret, shining picture of a youthful promise that was somehow never fulfilled, in part because of my own broken and fragmented memories and understanding of the cultural and political changes of the strangely foreign nation to which we had come back in 1969.
Imagine then, my excitement at finding out that The Mod Squad was finally being released on DVD. Other shows had run in syndication and been released on DVD, but The Mod Squad had not been seen again since 1973, except briefly, I understand, on Nick at Night and in a limited and incomplete VHS release. It had disappeared just like the hopeful promise of those times it portrayed. And now, I was finally going to be able to see it, granted as a forty-something adult, but at least understanding would no longer be a problem. Honestly, I was expecting a trip down memory lane and not much more.
What I got instead was a terrific TV show. The writing is solid (pun intended) and the four characters at the center of the show hold it all together effortlessly and impressively well. Pete Cochrane is the person every guy would have wanted to be: young, handsome, capable, caring without being weak, courageous, funny and unswervingly loyal to his fellow squad. Linc is the kind of guy you wanted to know, and the guy you wanted on your side; the guy there for you when things got tough. Almost frighteningly intense in his beliefs, ethics and convictions, you know that he's by far the most likely to lay down his life for his beliefs or his friends.
Julie Barnes - what can you say? It seems positively chauvinist to start by discussing her looks, but more than being a beautiful young woman, she seemed to somehow portray the "standard" of her era, the way that Farrah Fawcett would do a few years later for the late `70's or like Marilyn Monroe had for the fifties. Julie is sweet, sensitive, and the description of her as "the canary with a broken wing" that I believe Aaron Spelling himself used for the character is right on the mark. It's too bad that she's also the only weak link in the show.
Don't get me wrong, I love Julie like all the rest, but more than Pete and Linc, she's a product and a victim of her era. When the Mod Squad premiered in 1968, it was just two years after Gene Roddenberry had been forced by network execs (read idiots in charge) to put his female Star Trek officers in skirts, a mere seven years after Rob and Laura Petrie weren't allowed to sleep in the same bed, and the same era when certain TV stations in the US wouldn't run Bewitched because it depicted - witches. Is it truly possible that was only 40 years ago?
But unfortunately, the character of Julie Barnes only seems to go as far as the producers felt they could get away with. Rather than the capable, skilled, crime fighter she could have been, more along the lines of Mrs. Emma Peel in the slightly earlier, but still contemporary British show The Avengers, Julie Barnes is more often relegated to the role of the damsel in distress. What a wasted opportunity! It would take years and years before we finally would get a heroine who could hold her own along with the boys. Lara Croft, I'm talking to you! Aside from that, Julie's emotional side at times verges on whining, but hey, I can live with that. At least, she's far more substantial than mere eye candy.
Peggy Lipton, I have to say with a slightly irksome tone, is also the only one of the three who is periodically absent from the show, or whose role at times is so small that the only explanation could be that the actress wasn't completely available. While I fully understand the demands of life and work, if Michael Cole and Clarence Williams III could show up every day, why couldn't she?
Tige Andrews as Captain Adam Greer is the perfect anchor who holds the three young undercover cops together, all at once as their superior, leader, supporter, father figure and friend, pushing when necessary, reluctantly holding back when he knows it's the right thing to do, and plain staying out of things when he has to.
The cast all play their characters with an ease and conviction that it's easy to forget you're watching actors. The stories are well written and constructed, and while they sometimes verge on the "softer" side of things (a Spelling trademark and standard), there are also any number of episodes that deal with serious and certainly at the time taboo subjects. The dialogue seems natural for the era without being too "culture locked" and never feels forced.
Having said all that (yes too much, I know) what has surprised me more than anything is just the plain quality of the show and production. Like I said, I would have been happy with a nostalgic trip down memory lane, but what I got instead was a high quality, exceptionally well done and unique police drama that I repeatedly look forward to watching again and again. The fights are exciting and real without being constant and over done, the car chases are good and realistic, and our heroes, while being heroes, certainly are closer to being "real" people than the "super" heroes we've gotten in the post John Rambo era.
Lastly, and admittedly, this could just be my own crumudgeoness coming to the fore, I'm struck with how "pretty" the world looks in the show. The colors are bright and vivid, the cars all look great, the clothes are fun; none of the crumbling infrastructure of America and the cookie-cutter, nonsensically enormous SUV's that we see all around these days. Oh, and not a Starbucks nor a cell phone in sight! How'd they do it?!
And incidentally, check the runtimes for each show: 49-52 minutes! 50 minutes on average of quality TV in an era when the programming was free. Today, you're lucky to get 41 to 42 minutes and you pay through the teeth for it. All that and one of the most fun theme songs ever in TV history.
I can't wait for the release of the next season's installment. If you're a fan you know what I'm talking about, and if you're not, you don't know what you're missing. I urge you to pick up these DVD's. You'll be glad you did."
GREAT SHOW TO WATCH!
C. Carter | USA | 02/17/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this show. I used to watch this on tv back in the day and it brings back alot of memories from my childhood and how easy things were over 30 years ago. I love looking back on this show with all the hip clothes and people that embodied the 60's and 70's. The show was different and not like most cop shows. I loved the characters and the story lines. I am so glad they brought this out as I always wondered if they would ever show this show again on one of the cable networks that deal with shows from the past. If you like nostalgia and want to relive a certain time in your life and love cops shows I would highly recommend all the dvd's of this show."
Pamela G. Lisberg | Inglewood, ca United States | 02/08/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These group of actors were the STUFF!!! I never missed an episode.
I am a 51 yr old African American female.And during my time in South Central LA.Seeing young people that looked so hip and dressed hip was unheard of back then this show was truly "cutting edge" for their time.I wished they worl release more shows.I will buy everyone of them.These actors were before there time!!!"
Television at its best!
Ms. Amadeus Mozart | 02/04/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Mod Squad is a family favourite. With productions like these, makes you wonder what happened to technology. Great color, great script and great photography. What more could a movie want?"