I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Saturday, February 25, 2006

"Maximum Bob" (1998)

I love Beau Bridges. I think he's an actor who doesn't always get his due. He is really good at playing sneaky, underhanded guys who are not above pulling cons to get their way, and he played one in this show. Bridges was Bob Gibbs, an outlandish judge who lorded it over a small Florida town. Gibbs was the kind of guy who would give 10 years in jail to someone for getting a minor traffic ticket. Gibbs was married to Leanne (Kiersten Warren) a nice, but very kooky woman who had worked as a mermaid in an underwater entertainment show. Leanne nearly drowned during one of her performances and was saved by the apparitition of a long-dead slave girl named Wanda Grace (RaeVen Larrymore-Kelly). Since that time, Wanda Grace would give guidance to Leanne.

Sheriff Gary (Sam Robards) was a feet-on-the-ground guy who loved the tango. He liked Kathy Baker (Liz Vasey), a go-getter of an Miami public defender who often bumped heads with Judge Gibbs. Gibbs liked her too, but she was not interested. She had planned to leave town after trying a case, but stayed on after Gibbs put her in jail for contempt. The real reason was that she had resisted the married man's advances. When she got out after her brief lockdown, she helped the judge catch the bad guys in town, while foiling Gibbs' other crazy schemes. The blockheaded Crowe brothers were one of the reasons that crimefighters were needed in town.

This quirky series, based on an Leonard Elmore book, was loved by critics, but disappeared from ABC's schedule after a month due to low ratings.

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"Solid Gold" (1980-1988)

This syndicated show was a hodgepodge, a mix of elements of other shows such as "Hullabaloo", "Where The Action Is", "Soul Train", and "American Bandstand". It serves as a good time capsule of the music scene of the 1980's.

Most of the performers lip-synched their popular hits in front of an enthusiastic audience. Later in the show's run, the title was changed to "Solid Gold In Concert" to reflect the inclusion of more live performances. Just like on "American Bandstand", there was a countdown of the week's top hits. Unlike "Bandstand" that kept the same host up to the last couple of years they were on the air, "Solid Gold" has changing hosts, some of whom left and returned to host later in the show's run.

The hosts were famous in their own right. Classy Dionne Warwick, who had numerous hits such as "Walk On By", and "Alfie"; Marilyn McCoo, who was a member of The Fifth Dimension ("Up, Up, and Away"); Andy Gibb, the younger brother of the guys who made up The Bee Gees; Rex Smith, who had some minor hits back then; and DJ Rick Dees who had a novelty song ("Disco Duck"). Other regulars included Nina Blackwood, who was one of the original VJ's on MTV, and comedian Wayland Flowers and his outspoken puppet, Madame.

A troupe of dancers on TV shows is not uncommon (the June Taylor Dancers on "The Jackie Gleason Show"; the Fly Girls on "In Living Color"), and "Solid Gold" boasted the Solid Gold Dancers, a group of lithe hoofers.