Re: RARA-AVIS: the voice of hardboiled: after all

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 14 Aug 2001

John speculated that the homicidal maniac episode of Crime Story that Todd found "unlikely" might have been from the second, inferior season.

Actually, John, it was the third episode in the first season. I wached it last night (watched 1-3 that I had taped). I think Todd was generous. The part was so ridiculously overdone, in psychology and acting. And why did he look like a '77 New York punk (a lot like Richard Hell) instead of an early '60s JD? This was the worst of the three episodes I've watched, but its faults were just exaggerations of what left me cold in the other two.

There are good things. I really like that the cops are at least as vicious as the crooks. The scenes of violence are well handled, both disturbing and chaotic. And I like the glimpses of downtime, like the party scene where the cops and their wives dance and singalong with the Impressions. However, the presentation is so overblown, it seems pretentious. This can even be seen in the set. Crime Story shouts its time period at you, never lets you settle in, wants you to notice every stick of furniture, every car, every piece of clothing. Chinatown, on the other hand, was accurate in its details, but was more confident, let the background be background.

I, too, am coming to understand why I never got very far with the series the first time around. I'm going to stick with it a bit further, but I've got my doubts.


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