Imagine a world where men and women could work together as...

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.

Major Crimes 3.9

Adam Busch, Ryan Kennedy. Superb case-of-the-week, superb Rusty b-story, stunning cliffhanger. Show is on fire! 10/10

The Incredible Hulk 2.17

Whit Bissell, A Martinez, Kim Cattrall.

  • Departure from formula.

  • Very original idea for a story.

  • Two terrific Hulk Outs. The first one, in the cave is one of the best ever shown on the series. Indeed, the entire cave-in sequence is top notch.

  • The first time someone recognises David Banner for who he really is.

  • A close call with McGee.

  • Sympathetic bad guys.

  • A very downbeat ending.


Doctor Who 31.2

Sophie Okonedo. It’s a fairly ordinary story, really. The sort you frequently see on Doctor Who. But the telling of it is extraordinarily clever. So much so that you are completely caught up in it. Wonderful.

On the downside, there are several moments (mostly at the start and at the end) that are self-consciously Doctor Who. And they are somewhat off-putting.

It’s obvious that the writer dearly loves the show, so we get lots and lots of attention lavished on the fact that the new assistant is amazed by everything she is now privy to (that’s the start!) and on the fact that the doctor is a nice chap who is horribly lonely (that’s the end!). These aspects are certainly at the core of true Doctor Who. But they work best when given minimal screentime. 8/10

24 9.10

Best Show on TV!

This episode illustrates not only what is great about 24, but spotlights all the things that it can do that no other show can even touch. The tapestry of storylines suddenly converge in this chapter with devastating effect. It’s a powerful, violent episode. Remarkably it bears almost no resemblance to the show that aired for the first nine episodes of the season. Effortlessly the show reinvents itself, brings new villains into the fold and makes (former) subplots the whole raison d’être of the season.

Clever, exciting, extraordinary. Nothing equals 24. 10/10

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes # 026

Relentless action from start to finish, but cleverly structured to maintain excitement and momentum. The big guns (Cap, IM and Thor) don’t appear until late in the episode. And when they do enter the fray it amps up the episode exponentially. You really feel that this is a season finale and that the show has been building to this from the very start. Superb! 10/10

Alpha House 1.11

Bill Murray. Mixed bag. The funny scenes are hilarious, but there are lots of bland scenes, too. Needed a stronger story, maybe. The funeral of a minor character just wasn’t enough. Something bigger to end the season… 8/10

The one scene in the last episode of The Listener that made me...

The one scene in the last episode of The Listener that made me truly sad was this one: Our last sight of (a very happy) Michelle and Adam. With minimal screen-time and some very good story-lines over the years, they easily became one of the best couples on TV. And I will miss seeing them every week.

Appropriately, I don’t think Michelle ever looked more beautiful or happy than she did in her final scene…

The Listener 5.13

Bruce Gray. Clever, exciting self-contained story, with a terrific and powerful villain. Also: a rushed but incredibly satisfying resolution to the story arc questions from season one, dealing with Toby’s mother.

Die-hard fans (such as myself) will be overjoyed to see this brought to conclusion in the last episode, and by an important conversation between Toby and Becker about Charlie Marks.

A worthy ending to a great TV show. I will miss it very much indeed. 10/10

Call Me Fitz 2.12

Stuart Margolin. Most inventive episode so far, and one of the darkest. Doesn’t quite hold together, though. Last act is like something from a different episode. A bit disjointed. 8/10

Finished a Father Ted re-watch during the week (and finally saw...

Finished a Father Ted re-watch during the week (and finally saw the last episode for the first time!) so I made myself a new wallpaper from the episode titles.

The Avengers 152

Penelope Keith .

  • A fun episode.

  • The central idea is novel.

  • But it gets a bit repetitive.

  • Many good Tara scenes.

  • Witty dialogue.

  • Best scene: the little girl.


Flashpoint 60

Michael Shanks, Rachel Skarsten. Superb! Breaks formula and delivers extraordinarily suspenseful thriller with fascinating guest characters. Shanks delivers a terrific performance. 10/10

The Good Wife 3.21

Stephen Root, David Paymer. Fantastic episode, with two truly great guest judges. Also: a great Alicia/Cary scene. Wonderful. 10/10

Entourage 5.9

Gary Cole. Two storylines: one successfully showing a kinder side to Ari as he tries to help a friend, the other showing some uninteresting shenanigans on set. The fact that Jason Patric is stealing Vincent’s lines is too lightweight a plot for a full episode. Even the twist at the very end doesn’t salvage it. 7/10

The Hardy Boys Mysteries 07

Rosalind Chao. Some elements work really well, but occasional dumb moments keep it from being a great episode.

The story is at it’s best when Frank and Joe are dealing with the consequences of trying to solve the case alone. Things have gone wrong, and it’s really not their fault, but they feel responsible. Several great moments are built around this.

However, the mechanics of the smuggling crime itself are a bit far-fetched. And the storytelling is occasionally unsubtle. A shame. Because it could easily have been a much better episode. 7/10

How The West Was Won 15

Jared Martin. Strong story wastes no time in getting started. Peopled by fascinating and flawed characters. Martin’s fascinating gunfighter (a favourite of mine from the previous season) dominates the first quarter of the story. It’s really all told from his POV. Luke doesn’t appear until the second quarter, and Zeb only appears in the final quarter. Of the family, it is Laura who is the main focus of this episode. An episode devoted entirely to one story (beginning, middle and end) something that has not been before on the show. In ways, it weakens the show, takes away some of what made it unique and makes it a show more like… The Virginian, for example. But, at least in this case, when the story is so strong the resulting episode is magnificent. 10/10

Press Gang 1.9

David Collings. Establishes a genuinely insurmountable obstacle for Lynda. And then cleverly finds a way around it. Beautiful. 10/10

The Slap Maxwell Story 1.11

A slow-moving, but engrossing episode with a very strong finish when Slap and his ex-wife talk about their life together. Slap’s inability to crush his son’s dream is possibly the nicest side of him we have ever seen. 9/10

Orange Is The New Black 1.6

Great balance between all the characters and all the stories. Touching moments. And an ending that is funny and exciting. 9/10

Sliders 033

Robert Englund . Good story, good villain, good sense of urgency. Loved the character scenes between the regulars (and the way they were paired up). Really felt like a proper Sliders episode. 8/10

Chicago PD 1.8

Mark Dacascos. This is the best episode since the first two episodes. There’s a good case-of-the-week, with plenty of interesting story arc material. Good action scenes, as well. 8/10

Major Crimes 3.8

Dan Bakkedahl . Very slim story, but the show gets a lot of mileage from having (the excellent) Luke Perry in the mix. Light, amusing episode. 7/10

Louie 3.12

Jerry Seinfeld. The first half is more of the same awkwardness with David Lynch that we already saw in Part Two, but the second half is a surprisingly effective conclusion to the three-parter. It works. But, to be honest, it would probably have worked just as well as a two-parter. 9/10

Father Ted 3.8

Tommy Tiernan. A one-joke episode. Very enjoyable nonetheless, because of the performances and the call-backs. 8/10

Rude Awakening 1.6

Amazing chemistry between Jonathan Penner and Sherilyn Fenn is the highlight of this pivotal episode. They absolutely sizzle together. It’s wonderful to watch. 9/10