|Friday, with a chill dog, Streebek with salad|
The great novelty of the original is that tries to present a realism, with characters umming and ahhing and making irrelevant or domestic conversation, just like in the real lives of police officers. Time is taken while people walk from one side of the office to the other. Joe Friday, the cop at the series' heart is not flamboyantly adventurous or heroic, he's a serious-minded public official doing his job. It was the first radio series to be so dry, earnest and factually-based, so its main appeal in recent years (if I may call 1987 a recent year) is as an object to be parodied.
|Friday and Streebek undercover as typical criminals|
In no time the two find themselves embroiled in a web of crime, a vast network of villainy known as P.A.G.A.N., criminals who engage in orgiastic dancing while wearing majestic goat-leggings and chanting 'kill the good', who impersonate police officers and seem to be linked in some way to the charismatic clergyman Jonathan Whirley, a fine performance by Christopher Plummer, who happens to be one of the actors I most like to watch. It's a wonderfully clear-cut world of good and evil, and it knows it.
Oh, and a couple of weeks later we watched:
...which it seems only reasonable to mention at the same time, it being another fine eighties comedy with Dan Akroyd in a leading role. If you haven't seen it, I shall explain in brief: there are some ghosts and some people who bust the ghosts and you should certainly watch it today as it is an embarrassing hole in your education that will be enjoyable to fill.
But of course you've seen 'Ghostbusters', and isn't it excellent? I really haven't a word to say against it. It was just the thing to test out the new television (the old one having perished of old age), and I could watch it again tomorrow, if this Penciltonian project wasn't pressing me toward less familiar years.