Monday, July 13, 2020

What We'd like to See/Happy birthday to the late Robert Forster

I admit I was late on the Robert Forster (1941-2019) bandwagon.  Like many, it took Jackie Brown to make me not only realize, "Hey, this guy's cool," (I hadn't seen MEDIUM Cool) but to want to see him in other stuff.  On the actor's birthday, I'm thinking about two rare, short-lived 1970s series I'd like to see.

Banyon is a Quinn Martin P.I. series with Forster working out of the Bradbury building in 1930s L.A. See, right there is all I need to know.  If it can't possibly live up to my expectations, well, it's got to be worth checking out, right?

Warner Archive has slowed down its output of rare TV on DVD, but it controls the former NBC series and could release it.  I assume there are issues with clearances preventing it.  I hope it's not just neglect.

Less tantalizing but still intriguing is Forster's 1974 Nakia, with the star as a New Mexico deputy sheriff who is--cue 1970s social relevance--Navajo and often conflicted between "modern" culture and his "traditional" culture. Why is this one less intriguing? Well, Harry and Wally's Favorite TV Shows isn't the final word on everything, but its entry on the series begins:

Nakia is preachy, strident, obvious, and outdated in its fervent condescension.

And it closes with:

Nakia tries real hard to be significant and deep. All it ends up doing is being superficial, trivializing the real efforts of Indians in the modern age.

Well, that does sound a bit like 1970s social relevance! I still want to see it, though. Some episodes are out there, and you can even find one on YouTube, but maybe Sony will find a way to put it out someday.

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