Thursday, March 31, 2016

Classic TV: The Thin Man (1957)

One of the pluses of Get TV is that its corporate parent, Sony, is diving headlong into the MGM library to fill out their program schedule.

Wednesday's primetime schedule usually consists of a block of episodes of a long forgotten series. In March, it was The Thin Man, with Peter Lawford assuming the role of detective Nick Charles, originally portrayed by William Powell in the movie series two decades earlier, and Phyllis Kirk as Nick's wife, Nora (Myrna Loy in the movies). The closest that Hollywood ever came to recreating the vibe of Thin Man might've been with Aaron Spelling's Hart to Hart in the late 70's-early 80's, except that Jonathan Hart (Robert Wagner) wasn't a practicing detective, but he and wife Jennifer (Stefanie Powers) did have a dog, Freeway, who was a poor puppy's Asta.

Lawford had one previous series, Dear Phoebe, under his belt when he signed on for Thin Man, which lasted two seasons on NBC (1957-9). Unfortunately, he wouldn't land another series gig after this one ended. The one episode I watched last night was entertaining, but the plot was as transparent as plastic wrap. Since I haven't seen any of the movies---yet---, I can't honestly compare.

The Rap Sheet offers this intro:

For what it's worth, The Thin Man was the creation of noted mystery novelist Dashiell Hammett, whose most famous creation remains Sam Spade ("The Maltese Falcon"), who, like the Charleses, made it to radio, but didn't land a TV series.

Rating: A.

No comments: