Sunday, September 7, 2014


I just re-watched, thanks to YouTube, "Who Killed the Jackpot?," the April 1965 episode of BURKE'S LAW in which ABC's version of Honey West premiered. Though it's only been a few days, I found the episode so unmemorable that I've already forgotten the whole plot, aside from the scenes in which the show's titular star, Gene Barry's Amos Burke, encountered Anne Francis' svelte lady sleuth.  The following September, HONEY WEST received her own show, which lasted for one season of 30 episodes.

I never saw BURKE'S LAW back in The Day, but upon watching reruns on a local station, I found it meretricious, even for an escapist cop show about a millionaire police captain. In every episode Amos Burke, who usually juggled two or three girls per episode, sauntered his way through crime-scenes, interviewing assorted suspects who were usually kooks or eccentrics of some sort. Whereas a private-eye show like PETER GUNN had a way of making eccentricity charming, BURKE'S LAW treated oddballs with an air of smarmy condescension.

One good thing about Honey West's guest-shot here is that because her character was being hyped, the show spent less time ridiculing weirdos. As I'm not a big Gene Barry fan, I'm doubtlessly prejudiced in saying that Anne Francis steals every scene she's in, particularly in showing off her mastery of judo-skills.

The HONEY WEST TV series-- which had little in common with the 1950s series of paperback novels-- may well be the best thing that ever resulted from the BURKE'S LAW show.

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