Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Spy Who Came in from the Old

James Wolcott reminds us that the iconic TV shows of our childhood don't often hold up so well when you buy the box set dvd collection. Case in point, The Man From Uncle.

Wolcott compares and contrasts TMFU with the original Mission Impossible series, that while also somewhat low budget and cheesy, and dealing with similar Cold War espionage in similarly exotic locales, never descended into camp. The show of the era that he fails to mention that actually filmed on location, was smart, and rarely camp, was I Spy.

The always hip, Robert Culp as undercover agent / tennis bum Kelly Robinson, and his inter-racial heterosexual life partner Alexander Scott, played with great charm by a young Bill Cosby before he became the paterfamilias of the Huxtable clan and started pimping Jello, jet-setted about the globe chasing woman and foiling foreign agents. Truly one of the best spy genre shows on TV and though I haven't seen it in many years, I doubt that it would come off as dated and cheesy as TMFU.

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