August 2, 2011

Remmington Steele

Years ago, for a Christmas present, I got my parents a subscription to Netflix. They are among the last holdouts against cable and only get a few local stations, like PBS, so I felt they needed the entertainment. Little did I know they would use the service to rent videos like Discovering Yosemite National Park. I love movies (maybe too much) and can recite hundreds of useless facts like:
  • Richard Dempsy (Peter from the original Narnia series) was born on May 16th 1974
  • The Score was Marlin Brando’s last film
  • Keeley Hawes married Matthew Macfadyen after they both stared in the BBC series Spooks
If you ask me in an hour I can give you three more useless facts, but probably won’t be able to recall these three. Good for bar trivia, bad for concentration. A few nights ago I was seriously craving Sherlock Holmes and logged onto Netflix for some instant viewing. I have now watched the great Jeramey Brett four nights straight while doing homework.  I am debating asking the folks to change the password so I can't get on for my cinema fix, but what fun would that be? 

I have a theory as to my cinema obsession and random fact retention. When I was growing up my parents were just as anti cable as they are now. As a result we got between three and four channels: CBS, ABC, PBS, and PAX. PAX was the old channel 21, a Christian station that believed the current television shows were corrupting America's youth. To counter this unholy television tide they only aired wholesome 70's and 80's TV (and Touched by an Angel). While the folks were out my sister and I would watch Matlock, Rockford Files, Diagnosis Murder, and the wonderful Remington Steele. Que useless movie trivia:

Remington Steele first aired in 1981 and starred Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan (straight off the boat from Europe). Brosnan, as the title role Steele, would recognize a movie plot in every case. Though he was not a trained detective, but rather a con man, he would solve the case by yelling "Strangers on a Train! Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Warner Brothers 1951!" and then recite the movie plot. Low and behold, the case would mirror that screen play and the case would be closed. Remington Steele ran from 1981 to 1987. Rodger Moore became James Bond in '87 (License to Kill) and '89 (The Living Daylights) because Brosnan couldn't get out of his contract with the show in time to film. It was wonderful and I've seen the entire six seasons many times. Anyway, watching Brosnan for all those years made me pay close attention to movie facts. If I could remember that much about social science I'd have a PhD by now.


  1. We don't have cable either. Or Netflicks. But I sometimes grab movies on -- so we're not totally hopeless (just a few years behind is all).


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