Most years, something ends up on the fall TV schedule that makes you say "How, exactly, did this end up on TV? Aren't TV execs paid ungodly sums of cash to prevent this sort of thing from entering my living room? What in the hell got into the Burbank water supply?" In most circumstances, 10-8 would elicit these sorts of questions, but I think I've got this one all figured out.
End of last season, ABC was looking at Dragnet and saying to itself, "Man, that was a flop! Can this show be saved?" Two executives (let's call them Bubba and Chip) both came up with brilliant ideas.
Bubba was all pleased with his idea. "How about this?" Bubba said. "Instead of doing a boring police procedural drama, let's do a TV version of the 1987 Dragnet movie."
"The one with Tom Hanks and Dan Ackroyd?" asked the executive.
"The very one."
"But that was a spoof. Of Dragnet."
"Exactly. And people loved it. So, instead of doing a straight remake of the old radio and TV drama, we'll do a parody thereof."
"You went to college, didn'tcha?"
"College boy. Get out of my office."
"Wait, wait. I've got..."
And so Bubba crawled away, bearing with him the shame of rejection.
Then Chip entered the mighty executive's office.
"So, here's my idea. We do the exact same show, but we call it L.A. Dragnet."
"People love Los Angeles. I think people just didn't realize our show was set there."
"And we get rid of Ethan Embry!"
The executive laughed and Chip knew he had a winner of an idea.
Bubba, though, couldn't bear to let his brilliant idea slip away. He forged the executive's signature on a production order, and promptly went into business shooting his version of Dragnet. "It will be shot in Los Angeles! And funny! But also serious! And violent! And they'll talk about sex! And farting! Who doesn't love fart jokes? And it'll be about the Sherriff's Department. Except, they'll have jurisdiction everywhere in the city, not just in unincorporated areas! They'll be above the law! Eagle Rock? Santa Monica? All Sherriff's Dept. territory! I'll show those uppity LAPD boys. Mwuahahahahaa!"
So, if you have the misfortune to find yourself watching 10-8, just remember Bubba. Then it'll all make sense. And if you see Bubba on the street, smack him for me, would you?
Rating: C- (Bonus points for shooting in Northeast Los Angeles)Reviewed by Padgett Arango