Cop shows of old

By Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn)

Hello everyone! Happy Thanksgiving! I guess you are all enjoying all the delicious food - makes me wanna bawl my heart out that I'm not in the US and never get to try out such a feast...

Sigh, I'm in cry mode it seems. Decided to check the TV, and nothing to watch. The usual, boring, humdrum stuff. What's the problem, you may ask? There's too much action, too much happening in shows today. There's no focus, no time to stop and get to know a character. Is it just me? Also dipped into the edits pool on my work, and one of my upcoming novels, Walking on the Edge, has a tough cop as hero. Which made me think - what does TV give us as hard, bad-ass, tough and Alpha cops today?

NCIS? Diverse cast that really make you laugh at times, great characterization, but uh, what else? CSI? Great looking blokes (Gary Dourdan before he was killed off - we get the older seasons here - George Eads, Eric Szmanda) and there's actually lots of brains in this show. But, uh, do you think like me that these shows get too brainy nowadays? Don't get me wrong - gimme a man with brains rather than bulging biceps any day, but sometimes, you want the Alpha, testosterone-laden hero to swash across your screen. You want a character (and get by that ONE character!) who's life and adventures you're following!

Today cop and detective shows are about ensemble casts - I sometimes want to go back to the one guy or duo of heroes and you get to know them like they're family, you know? You engage with these folks in a different way, you live and breathe by their side, with them. And yes, I want an Alpha!! Lo and behold, while I was at my mum's place, I caught a new TV channel on satellite that airs all those old cop/detective shows I watched when I was growing up! And what memories they've brought!

I loved that show. Of course, there was Pierce Brosnan in it (and he went on to be Mr. Bond himself!) and true, he only posed as a PI in that one, but who cares really? It was great characterisation. Well, yeah, he was way too young and had too much hair (and he also had 'normal' male body hair back then, lol!), but who could resist that roguish charm and that killer good-little-boy smile on his handsome features? Certainly not Laura Holt (played by Stephanie Zimbalist)! It was so much fun to watch this couple together. And don't forget Doris Roberts as the nagging secretary, or everyone's idea of the meddling granny/great-aunt! Sigh... They don't do romantic tension like this one anymore...

Magnum P.I
The only way a moustache can be sexy - on Tom Selleck! Hawaii, the fast cars, Magnum's moustache, a killer bod in those hawaiian-flower-printed shirts, Higgins' perpetual frown. And yeah, action and a story to every episode! Who wanna ask for more?

Miami Vice
*Drool, melt, puddle* Don Johnson as Sonny Crockett (okay, I'm only talking of him as Sonny Crockett!). Never liked white clothes on men until I saw this guy - talk of classy and sexy bad guy all in one well-wrapped package! And no, Colin Farrell as Sonny Crockett in the movie version does not cut it (What was with the clothes, and the half-open shirts???)! Totally great relationship between Crockett and Tubbs in the series, the setting was gorgeous, the pace different from other cop shows but this one went in deep, and it completely sucked you into the plot. And did I mention the classy white clothes...? Oh yeah, I did...

My first actual big-time crush for an on-screen bloke! Ken Wahl was hot, and the theme of this series was great. I don't think they ever did an undercover crime drama as well as this one. The set-up was there, the world-building was amazing, the characters were more real than in real life, and Vinnie Terranova was a human cop, a man of many layers. I will always remember that episode when his stepfather, a Mafia boss, dies and Vinnie is left as his heir, taking the head of the mobs-meeting table with all those other Mafia overlords! That's an undercover moment! Like the tag went, His first wrong move will be his last, this one lived up even more to its expectations! And yeah, Ken Wahl was hot... back then... in the black trench coat with the raised collar... yeah, that's him there...

Tropical Heat
This one also goes by the title Sweating Bullets. Hot hot hero - Rob Stewart, and he had the most gorgeous long hair! Nick Slaughter, the hero of this show, was an action man through and through, but he also knew how to stop and wind down, and win a lady or two along the way! Takes place in Key Mariah, Florida - gorgeous setting, and the beaches were great. But, little insider info here - most of the beach scenes, especially where the iconic Tropical Heat bar was located, were shot on my island, Mauritius, using the beach and bar of Le Maritim Hotel in Balaclava, in the North-east of the island! So yeah, the beaches in there are those of my island! So how could I not fall in love with this show? It had action, testosterone, and yeah, brains too (though not in the scientific way). It wasn't just beautiful people on the beach, which proves that you can have beach and pretty folks in a show and still have it make sense and not be an airheady kind of attraction!

So, sigh... Where have the good cop shows gone? The last I saw that could compare to these 80s-90s shows was Life, but where's the iconic Alpha in there? While Damian Lewis shares a striking resemblance with Steve McQueen, he's more the thinking, always-in-a-suit type of cop. Not exactly the sexy man meat of the old shows...

Am I the only one who wants a return to that kind of shows? Tell me - did you like this type of cop/detective show, and which was your favourite?

Aasiyah Qamar - Cultural romantic fiction, with a twist
Available now - Light My World - Eirelander Publishing
Nolwynn Ardennes - The promise of fulfilment...
Coming out January 8, 2010 - Storms in a Shot Glass - Eirelander
Coming out June 4, 2010 - Walking on the Edge - Eirelander

Aasiyah Qamar & Nolwynn Ardennes
Romance the world over


  1. For some reason I think Tropical Heat was a Can. show ugh. Didn't care for it. I was a fan of Magnum P.I. though. Not really any bad ass cops today - well not true - there's Chris Meloni - Det. Stabler on Law and Order SVU - my fave cop show and I think the best Law and Order in the entire franchise. He always gets into trouble for being a bad ass.

    I liked "Life on Mars" - the UK version - very cool - those cops esp. the Captain was a bad ass. We see them again in the follow up show "Ashes to Ashes".

    As for cop shows of "yesteryear" cops tended to work outside the system - and they all had a "cool car" remember Starsky and Hutch? - The car has been noticeably absent from cop shows in recent years. Also no PI shows anymore and they also had "the car". Mark my words - someone is going to think of this and bring it back. ;)

    Thanks for your fun post.

  2. Just put the turkey in the oven ...

    I've never been into cop shows much, but I did LOVE Miami Vice and Magnum. And yes, Sonny Crockett was one sexy man.

    The only cop shows I watch now are Dark Blue (and it's not just because of that delicious Omari Hardwick) and Castle, because it's about a writer. Have you seen them? If not, check out full episodes of Blue here: and full episodes of Castle at:

  3. Zaynah,

    The last comment was from me. My daughter was signed into Google last night ...


  4. Leverage is good - not sure it's a cop show, more a 'con' show, but Christian Kane as Eliot Spencer is hot. Then there's Timothy Hutton - the older he gets the better he gets.

    Saving Grace - Now, there's one kick-ass detective - Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko is the bomb. Love that show.

    Check them out.

  5. My favorite these days is hands down Leverage...not a cop show per se but it's got action, the good/bad element, and something that needs to be solved.

    When I was growing up I watched Remington Steele, Hart to Hart (did I get the spelling right?), Magnum PI, Colombo (still a favorite)...then I like Diagnosis Murder, Murder She Wrote, Suchet's Poirot...not cop shows per se but whodunits. I'm one for characterization more than action.

    What memories you brought up! Loved your blog.

  6. Remington Steele was a huge favorite at my house. I never missed it.

    Then, a few years later I met someone. We were just friends, but obviously there was a lot of attraction bubbling around underneath. I remember saying to another friend, "It's exactly like watching 'Remington Steele', except that it sucks to live it." Luckily, it all turned out okay - we've been married for 17 years. But it was truly a sexual-tension thing for two long, long years before we managed to figure it all out. Yes, what makes for a crackling edge-of-your-seat detective romance on TV really does suck when there's no writers assuring you of the story arc...

  7. Hey ladies!!

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Joanna - Lol, Tropical Heat, hmm, Rob Stewart was hot, lol! Didn't need much more but the show had some other redeeming aspects imo. Never seen a man with more gorgeous long hair to date though!
    Agree on Chris Meloni - totally love to watch him (and he's the sexy balding-type, swoon!), he's got that intensity of the 'old days' cops about him. I think it's the best Law and Order franchise too, for once it's not the original show that wins hands down (as in the CSI series). Love his interaction with Maritsa Hargitay too (never get her name spelt right, this one!).
    And yeah about the cool car. The only one's who's got cool cars now is James Bond and the required Aston Martin, but otherwise, nopes. Sigh. Really wish someone would pick up this genre again.

    Chicki - Lol, when I saw turkey I immediately thought of you, then saw the name Crystal and was like, I dunno this gal! Hmm, yeah, Sonny Crockett was sexy, the kind of bad boy we've all been warned against by our mums. Will try the links you sent. If not, I'll look for them on DVD.

    J - Thanks for the pointers, I'll check them out. I'm dying for some good cop shows and kinda grew tired with all the science behind CSI and the behaviourals behind shows like Criminal Minds and Without a Trace.

    Angela - Hey, I forgot Hart to Hart! I loved that one! Colombo was and still is my dad's favourite cop show, and we used to watch that together. He was also into a show that had a title like 5 last minutes or something like that (sorry, I'm only recalling the French title). Characterization - makes me think BBC shows like In Deep which was great, Wire in the Blood (amazing Robson Green in there!) and then there was Midsommer Murders too. Another one we just caught here was Murder Rooms, about Arthur Conan Doyle and his inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, a surgeon by the name of Dr. Bell. That was a good one, kinda like dark, noir Victorian historical.

    Julia - Lol, that's a hoot, and such a wonderful story too! Yeah, real life is really humdrum without a script writer behind the quips and scenario! So glad you found your man this way, really sweet, though I imagine it must've been neurotic hell to live it!

    Hugs all!!


  8. Great Post! This takes me back. You know, they still run Magnum PI on Polish TV. He hasn't aged a day but he speaks Polish now. It kind of takes the fun out of all the really witty things the characters used to say because none of it translates well. When Higgins says, "Magnum, how could you have possibly been so stupid?" It more or less comes out as, "Magnum, there's some stupid things about you." Not the same.

  9. What a fun post, Z. I liked all those detective shows you mentioned. Magnum was a particular favorite and so was Hart to Hart.

    There's a couple of new shows you might try, Z. One is NCIS: Los Angeles and the other is White Collar. Both are pretty good. The NCIS one has a couple of hot guys. LL Cool J was a real surprise to me. He's a decent actor.

  10. Hey Z

    I have to agree but I was always a Hill St Blues-Scarecrow and Mrs. King kid. LOL!! Oh boy am I giving away my age now.

    Today though I have to say I watch a couple of the BBC-America shows, Torchwood, my fav although the show is in the air was awesome. You get the whole sci-fi/crime drama deal and some hot actors.

    NCIS-LA and NCIS is really really good. I love Abby, she kinda reminds me of me, but in the more goth-genre way, LOL!!!

    Thanks for taking me back to my childhood LOL!!! I am still a youngin at heart!


  11. Hey ladies!

    Thanks for dropping by, loved the comments!

    Morgan, I know exactly what you mean. I saw most of these shows dubbed in French, and when I happened to catch them in the original version or on DVD, I was first like, hey the guy sounds different. Which is weird, coz in English he sounds like he actually does, it's the French voice that's the real weird deal. Lol, did that make sense?
    Funny about the ageing too. While researching this post, I had those people as they were in the shows in my mind, and to find how they've actually aged or what's happened to them since was a shocker!

    Sandy - I love NCIS, will have to check for the LA one. I didn't even know they had an LA one, lol. I have seen LL Cool J in some movie and you're right, he's good.

    Amanda - I love Abby! She reminds me of my Goth days (yeah, I've had Goth days, as well as blonde days, lol). Darlin, we're all youngins at heart! The BBC shows are good, but we get the British ones here. I have a feeling BBC America gets totally different shows.

    Hugs all!!



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