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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:15 am 
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Here are some thoughts on the Simon & Simon reunion movie. (Minor spoilers)

Simon & Simon: In Trouble Again aka Precious Cargo, broadcast in February 1995, was trounced in the ratings, as it was apparently scheduled opposite sitcom juggernaut Seinfeld. The Simon brothers reunion movie vanished without a trace. However, it is an excellent reunion adventure which most likely benefited from having been executive produced by stars Jameson Parker and Gerald McRaney but it may also have been helped by it's being made a mere six years after the Simon & Simon series ended in 1989, so nobody has accumulated any "rust" as far as remembering how to be their characters again.

From the start, Precious Cargo gets the Simon "tone" right, despite not having its classic theme played over the credits--or at all! There is, however, several instances of the show's trademark slide guitar music often heard when the Simon brothers are in trouble or on the chase. The rest of the score is muddled synth music; indicative of mid-90s TV movie music.

A.J. and Rick look a bit older, with A.J.'s greying mustache and Rick being a little fuller in the face but the two are still in great shape, as witnessed in their fifty-yard dash down the docks of Seattle in pursuit of the obsessive-compulsive bad guy. The brothers haven't lost a bit of their onscreen chemistry, as they bicker and disagree over the usual things. But the love and respect the characters have for each other is present as well, shown to superb effect when the boys think their mother, Cecelia, is dead. Parker in particular is excellent in the scene

The supporting cast are also in fine form with everyone but Lt. Abigail Marsh and Myron Fowler from the series appearing. Tim Reid works wonders with his limited but greatly appreciated screen time and it's easy to see that his chemistry with the leads still remains.

The entire time I watched Precious Cargo I kept saying to myself "This is JUST like the show!" Often times reunion shows are awkward disasters but the Simon & Simon reunion is true to the series. The only thing I didn't like was that A.J. and Janet Fowler, married four years at movie's start but a week from finalizing their divorce with no explanation given, never reconcile as is common in these things. A.J. even tells Janet that he is NOT interested in getting back together! Gah!

The ending, with the Simons bickering while taking a speedboat back to San Diego, looked to leave the door open for a new series if the movie was popular enough, but alas, it was never to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:32 pm 
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I completely forgot to post my top five episodes for the eighth and final season: :oops:

There were only thirteen episodes for this last year (1988-89). I've read that the final two episodes didn't even air until they were put into syndication so the touching end credits in the series finale, "Simon Says Goodbye" weren't seen. Typical underhanded business tactics from CBS, who kicked this series to the curb deapite the fact that it, like Magnum, P.I., was once a ratings giant.

Okay, enough outrage. :wink: Here's the top five for season eight:

1. Ain't Gonna Get it from Me, Jack- After ripping apart the Simons on his program, a talk-show host hires them to find out who's sending him death threats. Worth it just for the fine performance by the great Jerry Orbach, who plays a Morton Downey, Jr-type talk show host.

2. Play it Again, Simon- A.J. takes on the personality of a hard-nosed detective in the search for a mystery writer's missing manuscript. A story right out of the Book of Bellisario! AJ is seemingly back in the 1940s as a hardboiled P.I though he doesn't fare as well as Tom Selleck does in this kind of role. Still, Jameson gives a game performance. Everyone gets to play dress up as different characters.

3. Simon & Simon and Associates- The Simons get more than they bargained for when they decide to add "& Associates" to their business. Another take on the Simons breaking a big case and gaining short-lived success. This time, they take on hired hands to do their grunt work.

4. Simon Says Goodbye- The Simons are hired to find Abby's friend's old flame so the woman can see him again before her wedding. The final episode of the series' 1981-89 run. Worth watching for the last scene between the brothers in the office and in the end credits, where it's clear that it's McRaney and Parker both in and out of character at once saying goodbye to each other and to us, their loyal audience. The episode is directed by McRaney.

5. First, Let's Kill All the Lawyers- Rick tries to settle out of court after Cecilia's lawyer friend grills him on the stand in the case of a murdered law student. The great Kevin McCarthy gives a balanced performance here. All I'll say is that it would be easy to despise his character for what he does but at the same time you understand and sympathize with him

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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:30 pm 
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It's been too long since I've seen most of the episodes to comment on them. I watched the series regularly when first run, saw it in reruns, and occasionally one pops up on a DVD or on TV to watch. It got a bit much at some points, but I liked the show. Jameson Parker was the hook for me because I remembered him from One Life to Live. I was really saddened by what happened to him some time back and how it essentially drove him out of Hollywood and acting. It would be intriguing to see if the Simon brothers were still bickering and solving cases all these years later, but I doubt JP would consider it. It was a good show, though. Maybe one of these days I'll get the DVD set when it's on sale.


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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:45 pm 
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Orrymain wrote:
It's been too long since I've seen most of the episodes to comment on them. I watched the series regularly when first run, saw it in reruns, and occasionally one pops up on a DVD or on TV to watch. It got a bit much at some points, but I liked the show. Jameson Parker was the hook for me because I remembered him from One Life to Live. I was really saddened by what happened to him some time back and how it essentially drove him out of Hollywood and acting. It would be intriguing to see if the Simon brothers were still bickering and solving cases all these years later, but I doubt JP would consider it. It was a good show, though. Maybe one of these days I'll get the DVD set when it's on sale.


While I am quite a fan of Simon & Simon, like with Magnum I much prefer the first four seasons over the second four. Maybe it's just my general dislike for the second half of the '80s but the series' tone changes a bit although Rick and A.J. are such likable characters (as are their supporting cast) that I sometimes just bear that mid-to-late '80s...stuff...that I've never cared for. The show's budget also looked to have taken a hit in the second half as well. Despite these criticisms, I still enjoy the show a lot and it has some great moments, no matter which season one watches.

The short version of ths post: the first four seasons are great. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:34 pm 
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Styles Bitchley wrote:
Its interesting how weak Simon and Simon started in the first season, compared to the following seasons. The writing and structure of the show just got so much better in the second season and the trend continues in the third. Even that theme song from the first season - man it's a stinker! The lyrics (played during the end credits) are so cheesy!

A big contrast to Magnum, which really hits the ground running in the first season. Things evolve over the show's run, but S&S really went through some structural changes. I wonder if it was budget related? Did they decide that there really was something there and they needed to hire some better writers? I wonder who was responsible for leading the changes?


I've restarted my Simon & Simon viewing and this time around I'll have to do a top five episodes list for each of the first four seasons since I've already done seasons 5-8.

As for it starting out weak, the season one episode I just watched this week, The Dead Letter File has the Simons commit a felony in order to procure damning evidence--unless California law permits this-- against Kenneth Mars' (excellent as always) character sabotaged an otherwise good episode.

There's a nod to series creator Philip DeGuere with the cheekily-named restaurant, "Villa DeGuere" in this episode.

Oh, and Janet (Jeannie Wilson) looked sensational. :twisted: However, it will forever amaze me that the sweet, Tennessee-accented Janet had a father, Myron, with the most blatant Brooklyn(?) accent ever! Myron must've (literally) charmed the pants off some Southern belle!

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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:34 am 
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Little Garwood wrote:
Styles Bitchley wrote:
Its interesting how weak Simon and Simon started in the first season, compared to the following seasons. The writing and structure of the show just got so much better in the second season and the trend continues in the third. Even that theme song from the first season - man it's a stinker! The lyrics (played during the end credits) are so cheesy!

A big contrast to Magnum, which really hits the ground running in the first season. Things evolve over the show's run, but S&S really went through some structural changes. I wonder if it was budget related? Did they decide that there really was something there and they needed to hire some better writers? I wonder who was responsible for leading the changes?


I've restarted my Simon & Simon viewing and this time around I'll have to do a top five episodes list for each of the first four seasons since I've already done seasons 5-8.

As for it starting out weak, the season one episode I just watched this week, The Dead Letter File has the Simons commit a felony in order to procure damning evidence--unless California law permits this-- against Kenneth Mars' (excellent as always) character sabotaged an otherwise good episode.

There's a nod to series creator Philip DeGuere with the cheekily-named restaurant, "Villa DeGuere" in this episode.

Oh, and Janet (Jeannie Wilson) looked sensational. :twisted: However, it will forever amaze me that the sweet, Tennessee-accented Janet had a father, Myron, with the most blatant Brooklyn(?) accent ever! Myron must've (literally) charmed the pants off some Southern belle!


I always thought Janet was the most beautiful woman on tv. I was sad to see her character go, but it was nice to see her return and she was still gorgeous.


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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:40 pm 
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A tip of the Tigers cap to J.J. Walters for adding my "Will Kill Pest Control" trivia submission to the Ki'i's Don't Lie episode guide page.

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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:29 am 
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In the ongoing search for decently-sized Simon & Simon promotional photos, I submit the following:

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More to come...

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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:55 pm 
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A black and white shot of the TV brothers that really evokes the glorious early '80s.

Anyone know what brand of wrist watch Rick and A.J. are wearing?

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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:28 pm 
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Little Garwood wrote:
Anyone know what brand of wrist watch Rick and A.J. are wearing?


Anyone? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:57 pm 
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JJ Walters wrote:
Last week, on the same day, back-to-back, I saw the S&S chimp episode ("Burden of the Beast") on Cozi, which was great by the way...


Little Garwood wrote:
I noticed that McRaney handled the chimp in that episode and Jameson Parker did not. I wonder if there is an "ape protocol" in that an animal only "bonds" with one actor? Silly question, but I am curious to know.


I'm always on the lookout for Simon & Simon-related material, and I found this vintage TV GUIDE ad for "Burden of the Beast." Here, it is A.J. who holds the chimpanzee whereas he does not in the episode itself.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:53 pm 
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My epic-long-yet-edited review--they're more observations, really--of what is now my all-time favorite Simon & Simon episode, Pirate's Key. Nobody's reading this thread but here it is anyway:

Rick stupidly cracks wise to the restaurant employee thieves after he's already busted them with the goods on film. It's even more stupid when they steal the senator's car to chase down the thieves they shouldn't have even been chasing in the first place.

Love Myron Fowler's description of 1978-era Rick and his great house on Pirate's Key, the jaunty slide guitar theme that plays when A.J. rushes off to work from his boat while living with an amazingly-beautiful Janet, Rick wearing chewed-up straw hat, jean cut off shorts, and blue "44" football shirt, young-and-adorable Cassie Yates in her off-the-shoulder, red-belt, white cherry dress, speaking with a twang; the on-location filming in South Florida, numerous Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and general South Florida references, the fictional "Pirate's Key", not to mention "Blackwater Key." It never feels like 1978 until I see how beautiful Jeannie Wilson looks in every scene she's in compared to just four years later when she looked awful with that short, tight perm.

This would have been a great South Florida TV show. Pirate's Key often feels like Night Moves, the 1975 Gene Hackman Neo-Noir film.

A.J.'s early years working for Aloha-shirt-wearing Myron, who is a paragon of detective wisdom. His old, cramped downtown Miami office, Hoskins, the weasel Myron assistant who A.J. constantly tells to shut up.

I remember A.J. on a case in that motel room snapping photos with mini camera underneath room service serving tray. It was the essence of being a detective to eleven-year-old me. A.J. and his fancy three-piece suits, his too-large for his face rear-view mirrored aviator sunglasses, that huge newsstand.

Love the obviously L.A. building with the obviously slapped-on "San Diego County Administration Center" sign on it. The blatantly L.A./Mexican Spanish being spoken in "North Miami" by the Suenos girl. There's also a boom mic reflection visible in the Simons' cruddy motel room with the room air conditioning unit so prevalant in South Florida and still seen today in many an older home.

Oh, how I loved this show in its early years. Too bad the original 1978 Pirate's Key pilot film has never been released.

Pirate's Key is hands down among the best, most-realized TV pilots I've ever seen. Everything is in place here. Whether it be the characters' chemistry, motivations, and personas, Pirate's Key gets it all perfectly.

For something filmed as a pilot in 1978 and unreleased in any form until 1983 when things had changed in a major way, Pirate's Key is as timeless a production as one could hope. Chemistry is forever and Gerald McRaney, Jameson Parker, Eddie Barth, and Jeannie Wilson have it in spades. I don't just say this as a lifelong fan of Simon & Simon, but as someone who would base their opinion on having the most cursory knowledge of the show and this pilot.

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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:57 am 
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An early photo of the elder Simon:

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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:03 pm 
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The amazing thing about Simon and Simon is that I watched it as religiously as MPI including summer reruns and latter day reruns (in the nineties) but when I currently read through the episode descriptions I cannot remember the shows anywhere near as well as MPI episodes. I have always wondered why there was such an affinity with MPI over Simon and Simon. I just wish they would bring Simon and Simon back on reruns somewhere as I am not a DVD or Blu Ray fan. I am sure I would be hooked again. The supporting/recurring characters like the mother(Cecelia), Janet, Myron, Downtown Brown and Lt. McMurty were all memorable as, of course, was Rick and AJ. I think it had the best opening instrumental theme song ever. even better than MPI!


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 Post subject: Re: Simon & Simon DVDs
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:09 pm 
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I was a loyal S&S viewer during the show's first four seasons, but I got away from TV and '80s pop culture--and the pop culture of subsequent decades--by 1986. Before the last few years, I hadn't seen S&S since I was a young teen, though I distinctly remember certain episodes. No matter how unmemorable or lightweight an episode is, the peerless Parker-McRaney and supporting player chemistry is what makes the show so much fun to watch. The show is even better imo knowing that JP and Mackie have remained close friends since the series ended nearly thirty years ago.

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