As many readers of this blog know, I am deeply in the throes of a major "thang" for the classic Ironside series of the late 1960s/early 1970s. (So much so that I record the morning reruns on MeTV here in Chicago, and I've burned through several seasons on Hulu).
So when pal Ron of the awesome Zone 4 podcast and Facebook page mentioned that this was being revived, my nearly burnt-out-by-cynicism-and-too-many-butter-omelets heart burst with joy. Why, do you ask? I've posted the trailer, and for your reading pleasure, here are five reasons why I'm glad this is coming (other than, well, it's Ironside).
- It Is Both Timely and Timeless - although the notion of a "sitting detective" isn't new (both a classic pulp and mystery trope), there is something about a 21st century cop - all action and muscles - being struck down in his prime and using his smarts? Great idea. Plus, it can lead to some great Law & Order-esque storylines.
- Great Casting - honestly, Blair Underwood isn't exactly the first person I would think of to cast in the role....but he nails it. Plus, there's that guy from The Wire, and some other familiar faces. It's actually a good idea, unlike, say, casting Dirk Benedict as Columbo. Yes, that actually happened.
- It's a Classic Universal Franchise - In the 1970s, Universal seemed to have a monopoly on television mysteries, especially the classic "Sunday Night Mystery Movie." And let's face it, nobody wants to see a prime time version of McMillan and Wife. Ok, maybe me, but other than that...with "franchises" driving creativity in Hollywood, this may not be the best known brand, but if pitched right (say, "House as a cop"), you'll have a hit.
- It's Part of a Current Trend - Like House, Monk, and the late, lamented Law & Order: Criminal Intent, it features a lead character with some particular quirks. Underwood's Ironside looks to be a lot more harder-edged and nastier, and although I don't necessarily like characters darkening...it seems to have potential.
- New York Rather Than San Francisco- I just love New York's architecture, almost as much as Chicago's. Plus, it just seems much more appropriate to the character.
And now, who do I blackmail to pitch a script? Or at least get my hands on the writer's bible?