Sunday, March 31, 2013

TV on DVD Review: The Fall Guy - Season 1 Volume 1

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great stunts, especially for a TV show
Cons: Some production, a couple weak episodes, only half the season
The Bottom Line:
Most episodes fun
But I'd get full season set
Instead of just half




"It's True I Hire My Body Out for Pay."

Now here's a show from the 80's that's still lots of fun.

Colt Seavers (Lee Majors) is a professional stunt man. But like most people in the entertainment business, he finds that doesn't cover all of his bills. So he also works as a bounty hunter for bail bondswoman Samantha Jack (Jo Ann Pflug). Helping him out are his cousin Howie (Douglas Barr) and his protege Jody (Heather Thomas). And it's a good thing he can do stunts, too, because that ability comes in mighty handy when the crooks run.

In addition to a full season set, Fox released the first season of this classic show in two halves. This is the first half set. It contains three discs and eleven episodes, including the two hour pilot. In these episodes, Colt goes to Hawaii twice, gets caught up in international intrigue, tangles with the mob in Vegas, tracks an arsonist to a spooky company town, lands in jail (on purpose), faces a corrupt sheriff, and goes undercover in a biker gang. Because the show was set in Hollywood and Colt was a famous stunt man, we also gets lots of cameos. People popping up in these episodes include Farrah Fawcett (in a very touching post divorce scene), Tom Selleck, Lou Ferrigno (aka TV's Incredible Hulk), Robert Wagner, and Linda Evans.

As you would expect from a show about stunt men, this show features lots of stunts. You usually get one "movie" stunt and several "real life" stunts over the course of the episode. There are lots of car chases, car jumps, and people getting into and out of helicopters while in the air. There's even a jump out of a plane without a parachute. This is a guy's action show. It may be TV, but these stunts are incredible if unbelievable. (How many jumps can a car make before it stops running?) The plots, while obviously just an excuse for stunts, are decent. And a few really stood out and had me hooked.

It does suffer from a little 80's cheese, however. The acting from the leads is usually good. The three true leads (Lee, Douglas, and Heather) make a great team. The chemistry of their characters is great, and I love watching them on screen together. Watching them togher isn't as easy as it sounds since Jody is often sidelined. I sure remember her being a bigger factor in the show. Maybe it's my faulty memory, or maybe they used her more as the show continued. The guest stars are usually fine, although some of them overact. It's never too bad, however.

What drives me crazy from a production stand point are the voiceovers. Probably to save on cost, we often get dialogue with a shot of the actor's from the back or their car driving down the road. And it is obviously dubbed dialogue because it sounds different. Minor detail; and I must admit I love looking for it even as it annoys me.

This set is exactly half of the full season set. You even get half of the bonus features, a featurette about the show. It contains interviews with creator Glen Larson and series stars Lee Majors and Heather Thomas about how the series came to be and their take on why it was popular.

Since this set is usually priced at half of the full season set, you aren't saving money to get only half of the season. In fact, I've seen deals recently where the full season was about the same price as this set. So do some looking before you buy, because if you are a true fan of the show, you'll want the full season.

Included Episodes:
1. The Fall Guy Pilot (Two Hours)
2. The Meek Shall Inherit Rhonda
3. The Rich Get Richer
4. That's Right, We're Bad
5. Colt's Angels
6. The Human Torch
7. The Japanese Connection
8. No Way Out
9. License to Kill Part 1
10. License to Kill Part 2
11. Goin' for it

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