Starsky and Hutch: Season III
(Out of 5 stars)
(5 classic, 4 very good, 3 good but flawed, 2 at least S&H were good!, 1 Voodoo Priest)
Murder on Voodoo Island: 1 and 2: Seems like a good idea on paper… and even a slight recreation of Season Two’s getaway theme “Murder at Sea”, sadly this doesn’t contain the same magic, and throw in an overzealous “Voodoo Priest” and you’ve got a real mess. Part 1: 3 stars Part 2: 1.5 stars
Fatal Charm: I’ll admit, after the above episodes I was concerned… somewhat. I’m somewhat new to S&H but owning both the first Two Seasons, I know what this show is capable of and this episode solidly hit’s the mark. I have a “thing” I guess for these “stalker-type” stories and this one is actually quite chilling. I’m taking a half star off b/c the “hooker undercover” part of the story was weak. And did I hear a “boing” when the axle came off? Sheesh. 4.5 stars.
I Love You, Rosey Malone: If you can look past the silly title you’ll find a decent episode. The brightest spot being the chemistry between Rosey and Starsky. 3.5 stars.
Murder Ward: This one has its moments and considering it was cast for TV I think they did about as good a job as they could. This one gives Paul Glaser an excellent vehicle to ham it up. 3 stars.
Death in a Different Place: This one is interesting. Some here seem to rave about it, and while I think it is fair to midland, the interesting aspect is seeing how the term “gay” is “homo-sexual” and how people in general, as far as the show dealt with the subject matter. The end bit, “tag” if you will, was telling:) 3 stars.
The Crying Child: I’m sorry but this subject matter is so typical 70′s-After-School-Special that almost by default the episode sank. The problem with a show like S&H trying to tackle this concept is there are NO KIDS on the show so the audience is thrown a “kid” and we are supposed to sympathize and say “Ahhh…” Quincy Season Two has a similar episode that is far better. And excuse ME, but why does this episode begin with a hold-up sequence from a PREVIOUS SEASON?? Is this the Twilight Zone? Also, the plot is just too predicable, would have been better if they would have had the TEACHER beating the kid. 2 stars.
The Heroes: Ok, back on track. There is some great dialogue here and the message about being politically correct couldn’t BE more relevant than right now. The “competition” between S&H for the hand of the lady reporter was excellent! Love the scene where they RACE up to the station in hopes of being first! HA! Plus, the casting for this show and junkies, is a bit eerie because the lady that they got truly looks to be strung out on something. 4 stars.
The Plague 1 and 2: I’m kinda starting to get a bad feeling about this Season. Hopefully you can recognize I love David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser, so any critique I have is almost NEVER directed at them… instead as was the case with the last quarter of Season 2, Season 3 just has scripts that are literally all over the map, and some, like this two parter are mixed at best. I’ve never seen a series with such a penchant for “two parters” when the “one parters” are hard enough to be consistent with. 2.5 stars
The Collector: Here we go again… middle of the road. Again, not terrible but just not memorable either. The thing I loved about Season 1 seems absent in many of these scripts; the BANTER between S&H. It is sprinkled about but just too sparingly. Beyond that, the story is interesting but a lot of the steam is removed when you realize the new collector could just shoot the dog and the child star and make off with the money. 2.5 stars
Manchild on the Streets: I’m sorry, did I miss something? Who are these people!? I’m starting to see that “socially relevant” actually means “totally generic.” How can S&H be such great friends with these people and we’ve never heard of them? Easy to see the “suits” have their hands all over this episode, David Soul directing or not. The performances for the most part seem “ok” but I just can’t see how these people fit within the confines of Starsky and Hutch and the story really never develops. Plagues, racism, gays… whatever happened to crime fighting? 2 stars
The Action: Gambling!? Thugery?! I love it! This is a good “above par” episode that deals well with what the duo do best; undercover work with wacky personas. 3.5 stars
The Heavyweight: Being a Classic Trek fan I tend to gravitate towards all things Gary “Mitchell” Lockwood, however this episode doesn’t deliver much of a punch… despite the subject matter. 3 stars
A Body Worth Guarding: Well it took awhile but I get my first 5 star episode of Season Three, and it was well worth the wait. You just never know what you are going to get judging by the description sheet inside the DVD set…
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Love the packaging on all Seasons (1-3) and want Sony to continue with the final season as they have done with the previous seasons. I also would like to make sure that they do not get syndicated versions of the episodes, most notably Quadromania, which is a subpar transfer compared to the rest of the package. Also, it would be nice if the episode is a 2 hour special to let it run the entire 2 hours without breaking it into parts. I love the 2 part concept when it was originally aired in that way (ex: Las Vegas Strangler, The Set Up, and The Plague) Murder at Sea and Voodoo Island (aka Playboy Island) were 2 hour episodes. Season 4 has the famous 3 part episode Targets Without A Badge. I hope they transfer it with the proper To Be Continued at the end of each part. Also, showing the previously on Starsky and Hutch sequence before starting the next part would be highly welcome. It adds to the authenticity of the real broadcast. Let’s make sure that Season 4 is done properly without any syndicated transfers, keeping the original episode in full form.
I am glad that this great series has been released on DVD. The Packaging has been top notch but it was a shame that the episodes on Season 3 were “digitally re-mastered???” in a chopped up form! Even the VHS’s weren’t as badly chopped as they are here on this set.
Extras? Why none! How about including commentaries by Mr. Glaser and Mr. Soul on at the very least, the fine episodes that they directed. (A great example of that is the commentary by Paul Glaser on the DVD of “Running Man”.) Episodes “Deckwatch” and “Class in Crime” were excellently directed by Mr. Glaser. Well paced, and everything in it’s place! Right down to the ticking clock in Deckwatch as if everyone’s heart were beating at the same stroke! Fabulous!
Some of the best episodes in this season include:
I Love You, Rosey Malone
The Plague 1 and 2
For the final Season 4, please try to have more respect for the original artistry that went into the episodes. Transfer them as originally aired and keep them in the order that they aired as well.
It’s been 30 years of “Starsky and Hutch” and there is a HUGE following that continues to this day. I really do hope that the final edition will be loaded with great things… Then and Now interviews, maybe some bloopers (fans know that they’re out there! MOST important, commentaries by the Fab Four.. Paul, David, Antonio and Bernie. A reunion discussion with just them chatting about “things” would be great too!
As I’ve said before, this is more than a story of 2 good cops, look beyond and behind the badge and you will see its a story of 2 men who are compassionate, caring and share a loving brotherhood bond. Thanks for a great series guys! You’re the best! And, you know, Paul, David, their on-screen and off-screen friendship and their series has created more bonding friendships than any other.
Here’s hoping for the BEST DVD set in the series to come out. Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul…. THE ONLY STARSKY & HUTCH!