Imagine a world where men and women could work together as friends, partners and equals…
30 years ago today, September 18th, 1984, the tv cop show Hunter started.
There are very few shows I love as much as Hunter.
It was the first show to showcase a male/female partnership without romance.
Every show before, and most of the ones since, brought romance into the mix.
But when Hunter went off the air on May 10th, 2003, Hunter and McCall were still best friends, partners, equals.
I was 14 when I watched the pilot. Hunter was an action hero in the classic mold. And, about ten minutes into the first episode, he choose a woman as his partner. That hadn’t happened on TV before. Every show from A-Team to Airwolf failed to write female characters as equals. Most shows that had a female lead with equal billing choose to portray her as a romantic interest. Hunter did neither of these. She was his partner. And she was pretty much exactly the same as him. Which is why he wanted to work with her.
Roy Huggins (the genius behind everything from Maverick to The Fugitive to The Rockford Files) became the producer with the start of Season Two and the show toned down the action and rapidly became one of the most cerebral and intelligent cop shows ever made.
I’m very honoured to be an active part of online Hunter fandom. I’ve been chatting online with fellow fans (mostly female) about this wonderful show for over a decade. This month we have been celebrating the show’s birthday, by sharing our stories. Some stories I’ve heard over the years are quite bleak. Women/Girls living unpleasant lives because of the behavior of some man or other, growing up watching Hunter and seeing that a man could love a woman without wanting to have sex with her and was willing to be her partner and treat her with respect. Even let her take the lead.
Some people say that TV doesn’t matter much. But they are wrong.