Tuesday, January 26, 2010


So, "House" creator David Shore & Steve Carell of "The Office" are producing a remake of the classic 70's detective series "The Rockford Files." As a fan of both the show and original star James Garner, you might think that I think that this is a terrible idea. And on one level it is. The original was pitch perfect and completely tied to its era. You had the trailer by the beach, the cool Camaro, the original model answering machine that opened every episode and the cooler than cool James Garner. It wasn't perfect, but boy was it entertaining.

That being said, if Carell and Shore can remember a few important facts, a remake might not be so bad. Here's what needs to happen for it to be good:

  • Jim Rockford is not House. He's not tortured or anti-social. Yeah, he's a little ticked off at being sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit (a theme that producer Stephen J. Canell would exploit a few years later in "The A-Team.") but he's a well adjusted professional doing his job. There are no deep, dark secrets. It's an old-fashioned detective show.
  • Jim Rockford doesn't like guns. He never carried one in the 70's and he sure doesn't need to carry one now.
  • Don't screw around with the theme song. No remixes, no reimagining, no new orchestration or lyrics. Just have the answering machine beep and hit the music.
  • Don't srew around with the car. You can have your General Lee's and your Kitt's and your A-Team vans, for my money the gold camaro was the quintessential cool TV show car.
  • Rockford is cool, so think about that when casting. Sam Rockwell would be a great choice, if you could get him to do TV. If not him, Michael Weatherly from NCIS is practically playing a version of Rockford every week.
  • His dad Rocky is an integral part of the show. You could do a lot worse than throwing a bunch of money at Bruce Campbell to play him.
  • Seriously...if it gets picked up as a series, DON'T SCREW AROUND WITH THE THEME.
So good luck David & Steve (if I can be so bold as to call you that, since we're old pals & all.) Don't mess this up. Make it fun. Make it exciting. And please, please...don't screw around with the theme.

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