Monday, December 26, 2005

And Rex Hamilton As Abraham Lincoln

Paramount tells TV Shows On DVD that they are finally, finally, finally planning a DVD release of "Police Squad!". Hopefully we'll get some Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker commentary to compensate for the long wait.

"Police Squad!" of course was spun off into the Naked Gun movies, but the show is better, for the simple reason that the show is done the way Airplane! was done: everybody plays everything straight and dead-serious, as if they're acting in a serious cop show. Part of the joke is that the characters seem to have no idea that this is ridiculous. The other part of the joke is the accuracy of the parody of bad cop shows: the deep-voiced announcer, the portentous episode titles, the stoic dialogue, the freeze-frames, the inept nods to continuity (every episode ends with Frank Drebin mentioning the names of all the criminals who have been arrested in previous episodes). It's like an episode of a lesser Quinn Martin show, except the creators know it's supposed to be silly.

The Naked Gun and its sequels, by contrast, are mostly straight-ahead farce: instead of a parody of the super-competent TV cop, which is what he was in the series, Frank Drebin becomes a clumsy buffoon in the style of Maxwell Smart or Inspector Clouseau. Leslie Nielsen's always funnier, as in Airplane! and "Police Squad!", when he acts just like he did in his "serious" parts; he's never that great when he tries to be funny.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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