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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

All Style, And Less Than Any Substance.

Once upon a time, in the late 50's, early sixties, there was this half-hour series where the leading character helped solve crimes.
This series happened to have one of the worlds most boring leading men starring in it.
The producer, Blake Edwards, must have been aware of this, because he did everything to camouflage this problem.
He gave the leading man an interesting character name.
He surrounded the actor with other actors far more interesting than he was, to possibly deflect the boredom emanating from the lead actor.
These other actors were capable of making you laugh, or at least chuckle.
Something the leading man was not capable of.
The series was totally formulaic.
The leading actor was not particularly proficient at solving crimes.
The show was always shot in film-noir shadows. probably to hide just how boring the lead actor was.
About twenty minutes into the show, the invariably cardboard villains invariably got the drop on the leading man, who was always unarmed and out manned.
He could have easily been shot dead in just about any episode.
But he always managed to overwhelm the odds by finessing his way out of things by throwing some substance in the villains faces, and applying some karate moves on them.
This invariably led to a shootout, where he was invariably out gunned, yet never even injured, and a fistfight where he invariably prevailed.
Usually with some police help.
Blake Edwards helped provide more interest by offering up a really great jazzy score, and phenomenal theme music by Henry Mancini.
If you haven't guessed by now, the show I'm talking about was "Peter Gunn" starring Craig Stevens.
Sorry, Craig.
As to the supporting actors, Herschel Bernardi was an interesting cop.
Lola Albright was an interesting singer and girlfriend.
Hope Emerson was an interesting battleaxe nightclub proprietress.

With different supporting actors, all of the above could describe another show.
The "sister-ship" to "Peter Gunn"
Did I say "Once upon a time"?
I meant "Twice upon a time"
The same time.
Exact same problems.
The exact same solutions.
I'll delve into that one next time.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. I was all set to comment on this until I got to your last paragraph.

    OK, OK, no spoiler from me.

    But you really ought to have made this into one big post instead of two little ones.

    For the benefit of old-timers like me who already knew the answers.

    ... and who maybe don't think they've got another 3-4 days to wait it out ...

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."