Thursday, 26 January 2012

Police Squad!

Smell the Movies
Smell the TV

Transmitted:March 1982 - July 1982
Country of origin:USA
Genre:Slapstick, Cult classic, Spawned spin-off movies
Starring:Leslie Nielsen, Alan North, Peter Lupus
No. of seasons:1

A criminally short lived show that went on to spawn three movie spin-offs (Naked Gun 1, 2 & 3), this is fast-paced, in your face, rapid fire comedy that has more hits than misses.
Leslie Nielsen plays Detective Lieutenant Sergeant Frank Drebin, an incompetent Detective who bumbles and fumbles his way through cases, with the capable assistant of his boss, Capt. Ed Hocken.
The story lines are spurious, at best, but it's deliberate, as the goodness here lies not in the storytelling, but in the weaving of a constant flurry of jokes along with some genuinely weird and wonderful characters.
The jokes themselves come in many forms, be it wordplay, slapstick, puns or background gags, most of them hitting the spot, though some fall a little flat. It's inevitable with this 'gag every few seconds' approach that some will fail, but the ratio is good.
The characters are a delight. From the guest star of the week dying in the opening seconds of every episode, the laboratory scientist who appears to be conducting cruel and unusual experiments on children to the shoeshine who is some form of oracle, the writing is witty and sharp as a cutlass.
Though not especially successful at the time, it rapidly developed a cult following, many blaming the shows' relative lack of success on being way ahead of its time and too sophisticated for the target audience, chief amongst them none other than Matt 'The Simpsons' Groening: and he should know.
Dated by today's standards, if you can see through that aspect, you're in for a treat.

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