RARA-AVIS: Re: Homicide and Noir TV

Kevin Smith (kvnsmith@colba.net)
Thu, 16 Sep 1999 05:34:59 -0400

Teri wrote:

>I'm not sure Homicide qualifies as noir, but it
>certainly is one of the most hard-boiled shows ever
>to be on network television, not to mention one of
>the very best. Sure, it declined the last couple
>of years, but there were still moments of brilliance.

Well, it varied for sure, but the last season's two-parter with the disgraced Kellerman's return as a window-peeping private eye, working for a defense lawyer, against his former colleagues, was noir of the finest kind. Kellerman's complexities, divided loyalties and moral ambiguities were right out of Hammett.

The thing about HOMICIDE was that when an episode was over, you knew you'd seen something. We'd all be lucky if Mosley's Easy Rawlins could be brought to the boob tube with even half as much savvy and style and true grit as Homicide was, but I wouldn't hold my breath. This is network television right outta Hollywood, after all. I'll be considering it a major triumph if they don't cast Urkel as Easy.

But speaking of TV noir, does anyone remember DIE KINDER (The Children)? It aired on PBS as part of MYSTERY several years ago, I think, but it was a long way off from the usual Lord Limpnoodle and Detective Inspector Forthwright-Upright twitchfest, or the multi-part frothed-up gothic stuff. It was a bleak, dark, rather nasty tale about an expatriate American eye butting heads with a gang of German terrorists who'd been accused of a department store bombing (not sure if it was a missing daughter job or what).

Yeah, I hardly believe it, either. But I saw it. Does anyone else remember it?

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/ Now available! Our Summer Issue, focussing on Radio Private Eyes, plus new fiction by Peter Parmantie and Kathy Korty.

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