Part three and I’m back with the Cs!
When I think back to my childhood, C is most definitely for CRIME. No, I wasn’t some delinquent, tearing up the neighbourhood, but I did (and still do) love a good crime drama / whodunnit / case of the week show.
I think most of this enjoyment comes from my grandparents, specifically my granddad, who always enjoyed trying to solve the mysteries before the detective on screen.
But let’s start with something that is always great in a sandwich: CHiPS!
Featuring over-the-top car chases, Jon Baker and his partner ‘Ponch’, made the streets of Los Angeles safer, taking on the bad guys and each other as wise-cracking officers from California Highway Patrol. It was a full-on action crime drama and I loved it (plus I had a crush on Erik Estrada!)
Unfortunately, the 2017 film version was fun but didn’t have the same heart that I remember, being more focussed on the comedic element than the drama. Reboots eh?
The fame of crime fighting duos didn’t just go to the men. In fact, this next pair were arguably more accomplished and popular.
Cagney and Lacey.
No-nonsense detectives from New York, Cagney was the single-minded career woman and Lacey her partner who juggled family commitments with breaking the will of the most hardened criminals.
They were great role models for a girl growing up in the 80s too, showing how hard work, determination and intelligence would take you further than just looks.
And obviously their partnership worked well, both in the fictional and real world. The actresses (Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly) went on to win Lead Actress Emmys six years running (one or the other of them), apparently only matched by one other show since.
But the ultimate, ‘undercover’ cop accolade must surely go to Columbo.
I say undercover, as although he always introduced himself as a detective, his disheveled appearance, in that manky over-coat, surely made every criminal think they had won the jackpot in trying to outwit this bumbling dimwit.
Yet it was just a ploy! It often seemed that the crime witnessed in the first few scenes and the subsequent unpicking was merely there to allow the viewer to catch up, as Peter Falk (in the title role), had worked everything out the minute he set foot on the scene!
I remember my grandad was fascinated by how he had worked it out and how Columbo cleverly led the suspect a merry dance before slapping him or her with rock-solid evidence and motive. Just brilliant!
And finally, as I mentioned I would drop in one or two movie favourites, I had to end with a nod to Close Encounters. A firm sci-fi favourite of my mum’s (this and fantasy is all her influence), it will always retain a nostalgic place in my heart for kickstarting a love of alien life-forms!
IMAGE CREDITS: telegraph.co.uk, thesun.co.uk, IMDB.com