Friday, February 29, 2008

Numbers 10 through 1

I have to agree with the last ten movies being important, but should some of them be in the top 10? Some yes and some no. The “Five Heartbeats do not deserve the distinction of being the number two film. Now that the list is complete I am anxious to hear with others think of the top 50.

10. Do The Right Thing - Director Spike Lee set this movie is the New York neighborhood in Bed Stuy on the hottest day of the year. What an explosive ending. Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis are at the top of their game.

9. Ali – Will Smith brought a larger than life character to the big screen. Before I saw the movie I had my doubts, but Mr. Smith did a wonderful job.

8. What’s Love Got To Do With It – Angela Bassett did herself proud in her portrayal of Tina Turner. When the real Tina shows up at the end of the film I found myself missing Angela.

7. Love Jones – I love this film. Larenz Tate and Nia Long play love struck buppies who keep finding their way back to each other.

6. A Soldier’s Story – A brilliant film about the murder of a Black sergeant during WWII. Howard Rollins lead an all star cast which included Denzel Washington, David Alan Grier, Robert Townsend and Adolph Caesar.

5. Ray – Jamie Foxx was awesome as Ray Charles. Regina King also stole a couple of scenes in the film.

4. Cooley High – Glynn Turman and Lawrence Hilton Jacobs starred in this film about Chicago teens in the early 60’s. This film had a dynamite Motown soundtrack.

3. Glory – This story about a Black infantry squad earned Denzel Washington his first Oscar nod.

2. The Five Heartbeats – Come on! While this movie might belong on the list it definitely does not belong in the top ten, let alone the number 2 position. Hell “Hollywood Shuffle” was much more groundbreaking.

1. The Color Purple – This is a great film, but I don’t know if I would have voted it as the number one Black film of all time. The ensemble cast was wonderful.

Numbers 20 - 11

20. Boomerang – Eddie Murphy was at the top of his game in this humorous turn about black corporate America. Halle Berry, Robin Givens, Martin Lawrence, and David Alan Grier are the supporting cast.

19. Boyz N The Hood – Ice Cube, Cuba Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, and Laurence Fishburne round out this cast south central Los Angeles Se

18. The Great Debaters – Stirring film about a east Texas college debate team in the early part of the 20th century starring Denzel Washington, Jurnee Smollett, Forest Whitaker and newcomer Denzel Whitaker.

17. Shaft – A perennial favorite starring Richard Roundtree about a New York City detective. Oscar winning soundtrack by Isaac Hayes.

16. Friday – This movie is funny from beginning to end. It stars Ice Cube and Chris Tucker, but it is more like an ensemble piece with John Singleton, Regina King, Anne Marie Horsford, and Bernie Mac.

15. Lady Sings The Blues – The tragic story about the life of Billie Holiday play to perfection by Diana Ross. Richard Pryor and Billie Dee Williams co star.

14. Hollywood Shuffle – Robert Townsend’s send up of a Black actor’s plight in Hollywood. Remember there is always work at the post office.

13. Sounder – Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield starred in this film. I am embarrassed to admit I have never seen it in its entirety.

12. Raisin In The Sun – This is the film that Sidney Poitier should have been nominated for his first Oscar.

11. The Wiz – Barry Gordy produced this film of the Broadway adaptation. It starred Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, and Lena Horne.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Numbers 30 - 21

The Countdown continues with choices 30 - 21. There are some gems here, but there are also a couple of question marks. I have to wait until all of the film have been revealed before I can give an honest critique.

30. Coming To America - -Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall were hilarious in this film, which starred such greats as James Earl Jones, Madge Sinclair, Calvin Lockhart, and John Amos to name a few.

29. Eve’s Bayou – The marked the first major role of Jurnee Smollett, who has made the transition to adult roles, which is no small feat. Samuel Jackson, Lynn Whitfield, Debbie Morgan, and a young Meagan Good round out the cast.

28. Claudine – Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones in defining roles as lovers trying to make a relationship work amidst social workers, poverty, and children. This film is noted for the soundtrack written and produced by Curtis Mayfield and performance masterfully by Gladys Knight and the Pips.

27. Purple Rain – A motorcycle riding character know only as “The Kid” play music at a local nightclub with his band. His nemesis is none other than Morris Day of The Tyme.

26. American Gangster – Denzel Washington portrays a ruthless, murderous drug lord in this modern day gangster film. The film earned Ruby Dee her first Oscar nod.

25. Carmen Jones – This film starred Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge as “Carmen Jones”. Ms. Dandridge had the distinction of being the first African American female nominated for a best actress Oscar.

24. The Best Man – The upcoming nuptials of an affluent football player are disrupted when he finds out that his best man slept with his fiancĂ©e while they were in college. Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Monica Calhoun, and Terence Howard star,

23. Lean On Me – Morgan Freeman stars in this true story about a New Jersey High School principal.

22. Malcolm X – The Spike Lee produced version with Denzel Washington literally channeling the spirit of the great civil rights leader.

21. Soul Food – Funny, yet poignant story of sibling rivalry starring Vanessa L. Williams, Vivica Fox, and Nia Long.

Thursday Thirteen # 12 - Thirteen Of My All Time Favorite Soundtracks

I had prepared another Thursday Thirteen, but I had to nix that idea because of the Academy Award voters. I have decided to prepare a list of thirteen of my all time favorite soundtrack albums. This list is in no particular order and it is strictly subjective and done on very short notice.

1. Claudine – Gladys Knight and the Pips

2. Superfly – Curtis Mayfield

3. Car Wash – Rose Royce, Pointer Sister on “You Got To Believe In Something”

4. Dead Presidents Volumes 1 & 2

5. Shaft

6. Sparkle

7. American Hot Wax

8. American Graffiti

9. Hair

10. Let's Do It Again

11. A Star Is Born

12. A Piece Of The Action

13. Life

Please share your favorites.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Numbers 40 - 31

The list goes on with the next ten, numbers 40 – 31

40. Juice – Tupac Shakur was the bomb in all of his portrayals and this role was no exception. Omar Epps was good too.

39. Antoine Fisher – This film was sad, yet triumphant. A film about a boy who lived through the worst abuse imaginable, but came out on the other side with the help of a psychologist played by director Denzel Washington.

38. Dead Presidents – Larenz Tate and Chris Tucker were stellar in this film about the trials and tribulations of Vietnam veterans. This film also marked the first time I noticed Terence Howard, but it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

37. Stormy Weather – With a cast that consist of Lena Horne, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, and the Nicholas Brothers how could you go wrong?

36. Harlem Night – While this might not have been the best vehicle for the talents of Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Redd Foxx you have to love the idea that they all graced the same screen at the same time. The fight between Eddie and Della Reese is classic and funny as hell.

35. Car Wash – One of my favorites from the seventies. It had a superb soundtrack performed by Rose Royce, with guest appearance by the original Pointer Sisters, Richard Pryor, and George Carlin.

34. Basquiat – The rise and fall of tortured artist Jean Michel Basquiat is chronicled in this film.

33. New Jack City – Wesley Snipes gives a bone-chilling performance as Nino Brown in this film about indulgence and the world of illicit drug distribution. Ice Tea, Chris Rock, and Allen Payne round out the cast.

32. Dreamgirls – American Idol’s Jennifer Hudson won the supporting Oscar for her performance as the dismissed diva. This is the film version of the Broadway play based loosely on the life of Diana Ross and the Supremes. Beyonce portrayed the main character, with supporting help from Oscar nominee Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.

31. Uptown Saturday Night – This is the first and possibly the most popular of the three films made with Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier in the lead roles. Though not my favorite of the three, it does have its moments.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Top 50 Black Films 50 - 41

Aol Black Voices have compiled a list of the top 50 Black Films of all times. I will provide ten of the movies everyday this week. Providing them ten at a time is not my idea, Black Voices powers that be made this decision. As I looked at 50 - 41 I was not in total agreement with the positions of some of the movies already, however I will wait to provide my commentary when the final ten movies have been revealed. So here are the first ten.

50. House Party - The first installment of the rap group Kid and Play movies. I thought this was a fun film, which included a lot of up and coming stars, such as Robin Harris, Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, and A. J. Johnson to name a few.

49. The Pursuit of Happyness - I would have thought that this movie would have been higher on the list. The film showcased Will Smith's sensitivity and I really liked how he and his real life son Jaden played off of each other.

48. Menace To Society - I did not love this film when it was released because it seemed to glorify gang violence. This film marked the breakthrough of Larenz Tate as "Ole Dog", a ruthless street thug.

47. Jackie Brown - Love him or hate him, Quentin Tarentino had a winner in this one. The dialogue between the characters was real, though sometimes objectionable. My favorite scene is when Ordell Robie comes to kill Jackie Brown and she gets the drop on him...Classic!

46. Madea's Family Reunion - Tyler Perry seem to have locked in on a working formula. This was one of his better ventures in my opinion.

45. Posse - Mario Van Peebles depiction of the old west seem to hit a note with the audience. I was not a fan of this film.

44. Akeelah and the Bee - This feel good movie about perseverance, overcoming obstacles and believing in yourself was one of the best of 2006.

43. Rosewood - The tragic and true story of events that transpired in Rosewood, Florida. This film tapped in to all my emotions.

42. Drumline - This was a pretty good movie about college life. I wouldn't say it was one of the best Black films.

41. Remember The Titans - Denzel turned in a fine performance portraying the football coach of a southern high school recently integrated.

I will get back to you tomorrow with numbers 40 - 31.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Raisin In The Sun Airs Tomorrow Night

This is the fifth time around for the acclaimed works by Lorraine Hansberry. The first time was the Broadway version. Then there is the classic 1961 version performed by Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, Claudia McNeil, and Ivan Dixon. The third time Esther Rolle took on the role as “Mama”, with Danny Glover, Starletta DuPois, Helen Martin, and Joseph C. Phillips rounding out the cast.

In 2004 there was a Broadway run with the current cast, which consist of Phylicia Rashad in the role as the matriarch of the family, Sean “Puffy” Combs as “Walter Lee Younger”, Audra McDonald as “Ruth Younger”, and Sanaa Latham as “Beneatha Younger”. These folks will be reprising their roles tomorrow night. I must say that I am looking forward to this televised version of the play and I am glad this is being shown February 25, 2008 during African American History month. I have compiled some fact about the play and the playwright.

1. Lorraine Hansberry, the writer of the play, succumbed to cancer at the age of thirty-four.

2. The original “Beneatha Younger”, Diana Sands also passed away of cancer at the age of age of 39 while making the film “Claudine” in which she was the lead. She was replaced by Diahann Carroll.

3. A theatre in Wisconsin, the Hansberry-Sands Theatre, was so named in tribute to them both.

4. The major conflict in the story is the Youngers, a working-class black family, struggle against economic hardship and racial prejudice.

5. The theme of the play is the value and purpose of dreams, the need to fight racial discrimination, the importance of family.

6. The rising action is Ruth discovering that she is pregnant; Mama making a down payment on a house and giving Walter the remaining insurance money; Walter investing the money in the liquor store venture.

7. The falling action is Walter refusing Mr. Lindner’s offer to not move; the Youngers moving out of the apartment to their new house in the white neighborhood; Beneatha finding new strength in Asagai.

I know that Phylicia Rashaad, Sanaa Latham, and Audra McDonald are up for the challenge. I am concerned about Sean Combs because Sidney Poitier's shoes are very difficult to fill. The show airs Monday, February 25th at 8:00 EST. Please check out the trailer for the film and ignore the first minute, which consist of Sean Combs rambling.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Girlfriends Cancelled After Eight Seasons

Girlfriend one of the longest African American sitcoms in the history of television has been unceremoniously cancelled. The CW has decided to cancel the series immediately instead of bringing it back for a ninth season. While no official announcement had been made as of press time, we were told the CW will not even film this season’s remaining nine episodes that were suspended during the writer’s strike.

Ironically, news of the show’s cancellation comes just as the strike has ended and the writing staff was preparing to return to work. We were informed by one of the writers yesterday that Monday night’s one-hour block of new episodes served as the show’s last. “Girlfriends” became the longest-running live-action comedy series currently on network television with the debut of its current season in October 2007. The writers strike suspended production after only 13 of 22 ordered episodes were completed.

The series, created by Mara Brock-Akil, was consistently the No. 1 show in black households since its Sept. 11, 2000 debut. Original cast members Tracee Ellis Ross, Persia White and Jill Marie Jones starred as a group of close friends dealing with life and love in Los Angeles. Jones left the series in at the end of Season 6.

Monday, February 18, 2008

KKK endorses Obama

My aunt in Florida sent me this headline and I had to share it because it is so absurd. White Christian Supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan has endorsed Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States of America. I wonder if Barack will accept the endorsement and/or the money?

Speaking from his Kentucky office in Dawson Springs, the Imperial Wizard exclaimed that anything or anyone is better than having that "crazy ass bitch" as President. This is the first time in Klan history that any member of the KKK has ever publicly supported an African American candidate for the presidency. KKK lodges all over America have been gathering and holding rallies supporting the black presidential candidate.

Grand Turk Cletus Monroe has also been very vocal about the election and has donated thousands of dollars to Obama's election fund. "The boy's gonna do it. My Klan group has donated up to $250,000 to the Obama fund. Anything is better than Hillary Clinton. Hell I'll even adopt a black kid from Africa before I vote for Hillary."

"A few years back we were lynching negroes. Now we're gonna vote for one to be president of the US of motherfu**ing A, damn it! Anyone or anything is better than Hillary Clinton - anything!!" Placards for Barack Obama have been put up around the Klan's Headquarters and the KKK have announced a television ad campaign to support the African American candidate.

This is actually one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard in my life.

An Evening With Oleta Adams

I got a big surprise when my best friend (We go back like spinal cords and car seats) from Long Beach, California showed up on my doorstep on February 14th . Now if that wasn't enough, he came bearing gifts in the form of concert ticket to a show featuring Oleta Adams. You cannot imagine my elation because I have been a fan of hers for years, but had never had the opportunity to see her.

It was the best kept secret in the Dallas area because I had no idea she would be performing that night.
Oleta did a mixture of the old and the new, including the one I think she might be most famous for "Get Here". Her band consisted of a guitar player, a keyboardist, her husband on the drums, and of course her playing the piano. And play she does. The girl has skills and one of the biggest and best voices I have ever heard and believe me I have seen all the major female artist from Aretha to Gladys.

Other gems included in the set were "Circle of One", "Hold Me For A While", Lover's Holiday", "I Knew You When" and "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me". For the encore she performed "I Just Had To Hear Your Voice". I thoroughly enjoyed every second of her performance. Adams is one of those gifted and original voices that haven't received, outside her loyal fan base, the recognition that she richly deserves. Check out Ms. Adams performing her signature tune "Get Here".

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Case Of The Pot Calling The Kettle Black?

"I don't think she should have won. I think it sends a bad message to our young people who are trying to get into this business, the ones who are trying to do it right and really trying to keep themselves together ... We have to stop rewarding bad behavior. I'm sorry. I think the girl is talented, gifted, but it's not right for her to be able to have her cake and eat it too. She needs to get herself together."

Ms. Cole’s comments were mentioned in a post earlier this week within the topic of Grammy quotes. I knew these statements would come back to bite her in the ass because of her history of past drug use during the prime of her career. I don’t know what it is it about recording artist, but they seem to be among the most tortured souls. The thing is that the awards are not rewards for bad behavior, but accommodations for their perfection in artistry.

Most of us do not deny that artist have historically struggled with addiction that ultimately led to an early demise. Some favorites for me that come to mine are Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Jimi Hendrix, and Natalie Cole. I saw Natalie live in the early eighties (probably when she was in the throes of her addiction) and she was the consummate performer. Her lifestyle was less publicized than Amy Winehouse, but nonetheless Natalie Cole also made some very poor decisions when she was younger and dumber.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not condoning drug abuse because I know how detrimental it can be to ones health and well being. However Ms. Winehouse has to make the choice. I can only wish her well and sincerely hope that she chooses life. To Natalie I say, you have been there. Instead of hating why not do something constructive and provide guidance to a young up and coming artist.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 11– 13 Place I Would Like To Visit In The Future

I really like to travel and I have compiled a list a place that I have never visited, but would like to one day.

1. Paris

2. Montreal

3. Rome

4. Madrid

5. Copenhagen

6. London


8. New Orleans


10. Barcelona

11. Tunisia

12. Rio de Janeiro

13. St. Croix

Do you have any destinations that you would like to visit? If so, please share.

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Grammy Quotes

Here are some of the quotes overheard at last night's Grammy Award Show.

"You know it's been 43 years since the first and only time that a jazz artist got the album of the year award. I'd like to thank the academy for courageously breaking the mold this time. — Herbie Hancock on winning the album of the year award for "River: The Joni Letters."

"The record of the year is the ultimate Grammy. It means that you had yourself a pretty big slammy." — during his medley of record-of-the-year winners.

"I just got an award given to me by a Beatle. Have you had that happen yet, Kanye? ... Just kidding." — Vince Gill, accepting the award for best country album from Ringo Starr.

"I appreciate everything and I know you are really proud of me right now and I know you wouldn't want me to stop and you'd want me to be the No. 1 artist in the world. And Mama, all I'm gonna do is keep making you proud." — Kanye West, speaking about his late mother as he accepted the award for rap album.

"It's a pity Amy isn't here, but oh well, God bless her." — Ringo Starr on Grammy winner Amy Winehouse, who couldn't obtain a visa in time to attend the show.

"I think it's a great, great song, I think it's a great, brilliantly produced album and I think we all hope she gets better." — Josh Groban on Amy Winehouse.

"She's walking her walk. We all have a walk in life, we have hard and difficult times and going through that chaos often leads to clarity." — Chaka Khan on Amy Winehouse.

"Dad, I know I promised I'd give you my first Grammy, but we might have to fight for this one." — Rihanna accepting the award for rap/sung collaboration.

"As many of you know, I first started singing when Lincoln was president." — Cher, 61, as she introduced Beyonce and Tina Turner.

"Frank Sinatra looked good for 150, didn't he?"_ Prince, after Sinatra appeared in archival footage in a duet with Alicia Keys.

"I think she is a sexy young lady. I have kids as old as her, but I did enjoy it. That did not deter me from noticing at all." — Morris Day on Rihanna, after his band, The Time, performed a medley with the young R&B star.

“ I am not happy about Amy Winehouse winning because it sends a message that bad behavior is rewarded…I do wish her luck in getting herself together” – Natalie Cole on Amy Winehouse win.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Food Networks Newest Addition - The Neelys

I am a fan of The Food Network. From Giada De laurentiis to Rachelle Ray to Bobby Flay, I watch in awe of their culinary skills. The closest an African American ever got to possibly hosting a show on the network was when Reggie Southerland was runner-up in the second season of “The Next Food Network Star”. Well that is all about to change with the introduction of the Neelys.

When it comes to food, few couples are more familiar around the kitchen that Patrick and Gina. This Memphis couple is co-owners of Neelys Bar-B-Q, one of the most successful restaurants in the South. Simply known as The Neelys, they have a long tradition of cooking on both sides of their family and integrate a variety of different and unique recipes in their menus.

These high school sweethearts share a remarkable chemistry in and out the kitchen which has translated into numerous television appearances. I first saw them on “Paula’s Party”, a show on the Food Network hosted by Paula Deen. On their show, 'Down Home with the Neelys' -- which premiered Feb. 2 on the Food Network -- the energetic duo plan to share many of their most delicious family recipes for viewing pleasure.

But they won't be alone as they will often feature different members of their large clan in what can be aptly titled a family affair. In a show full of family and laughter, the Neelys will make you feel right at home. The show airs on Saturday at 11:00 AM EST/PST and 10:00 AM CST.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 10 - Favorite Television Show Crime Fighters

I made to my tenth Thursday Thirteen, a milestone. This Thurday I will focus on my favorite crime fighters. At first I was going to say detectives, but some are police officers, millionaires, and even an author or two. As Mr. Peabody and Simon ("Rocky & Bullwinkle") would say, I am traveling in the "way back machine" to get these and you will notice I am being very inclusive of women who actually served as role models for myself, girls, and women. I will also provide a little bit of trivia on some of these shows. Now I know some people will say that I forgot this show or that detective. But I really didn’t. I have thirteen positions here and I am filling them with some of my favorites. I wish I had room for all of my favorites, but it’s not Thursday twenty or Thursday thirty-two. Enjoy!

1. The Adventures of Ellery Queen – Jim Hutton portrayed probably my all time favorite detective. He was an absent-minded author whose father was a New York City Inspector. Father would enlist the help of his son to solve the crime and when he solved it he would break the fourth wall (talk directly to the viewer) and ask if they had gathered all of the clues enabling them to solve the crime. John Hillerman was excellent as Queen’s nemesis. Jim Hutton's untimely death June 2, 1979 (of liver cancer) came just before his son Timothy would gain fame with a supporting role in Ordinary People.

2. Rick Hunter was an 80's Los Angeles police detective portrayed by former football player Fred Dryer. For six of the seven seasons the show aired he worked alongside female detective Dee Dee McCall (Stephanie Kramer). The first season was deemed a bit violent by the standards of the day and had to be toned down. What I liked about the show most is the genuinely caring and supportive relationship between the two leads.

3. Cagney and Lacey
– Loretta Swit played the role of Christine Cagney in the original television movie (1981), but she was forced to decline the role in the series when the producers of MASH (also airing on CBS) refused to let her out of her contract. The movie was then picked up as series, first airing with six episodes as a midseason replacement in the spring of 1982, with Meg Foster playing the role of Cagney. The show was then picked up for a regular season beginning with the 1982-83 season, but Foster was replaced by Sharon Gless because CBS deemed Foster too aggressive and too likely to be perceived as lesbian by the viewers. Despite all of the backstage drama the show made for excellent television.

- a very popular detective series featuring Peter Falk as Lieutenant Columbo. The character (who never had a first name), and the series are a creation of the writing/producing team of Richard Levinson and William Link. Columbo ran as a television series from 1971 to 1978, but the character had appeared in a short story, a live-television broadcast, and a stage play before making his first network television appearance in the Made-For-Television Movie Prescription: Murder (1968). Originally written for Bing Crosby, the Columbo role went to Falk when Crosby opted not to end his retirement.

She Wrote – Though technically Jessica Fletcher is not a detective, she does an awful lot of detecting. I always found it odd that every where Ms. Fletcher traveled someone would turn up dead. When she stayed home in Cabot Cove someone would invariably die there as well. She brought intelligence and warmth to the role. FYI: The role was offered to Jean Stapleton initially, but she did not want to return t
o network television so soon after leaving “All In The Family”.

6. Get Christie Love – “You’re under arrest sugah!” were the words uttered by policewoman Christie Love when she caught an offender. Christie was hip and tough as she swung her enormous pocketbooks at the bad guys - and watch out for her karate moves and confrontational dialogue like "I got news for you lieutenant Christy Love isn't a quitter, Sugah. She intends to fight!" Historically, this was the first series with an African-American woman in a dramatic lead. She ended up leaving the series when she began to seriously pursue her religious beliefs. She died in a house fire many years later.

7. Hart to Hart - Jonathan Hart was a self-made millionaire--the CEO of Hart Industries and his wife Jennifer was a freelance journalist. They were both amateur sleuths, and in every episode found themselves up to their eyeballs in murder, smuggling, theft and international espionage. They also managed to find time to snuggle together, as they loved each other very much. Max was their loyal, gravelly-voiced butler, cook & chauffeur, and Freeway their pet canine.

8. Homicide: A Life on the Streets
- A one-hour drama inspired by David Simon's acclaimed non-fiction book "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets." It is at once a mundane yet compelling look in and around a Homicide unit of the Baltimore Police Department, a group of determined individuals who are committed to their grim job at hand. Sometimes the storylines on this show would intertwine with those of “Law & Order”. It was fun to see the exchanges between the New York and Baltimore detectives.

Honey West – I watched this one when I was in elementary school. I even had the doll (or should I say ACTION FIGURE). I remember the doll being dressed in black and packin heat. Anne Francis portrayed Honey West, a judo/karate master that tooled around town in a cool little white sports car like a super-sixties Barbie doll, complete with scarves, sunglasses and leopard-print coats (costumes by Nolan Miller, later of 'Dynasty' fame). She even had her own mobile spy unit disguised as a TV repair truck and high-tech mini-cameras and microphones (thirty years early!).

10. Law and Order – A perennial favorite of mine for years and through all of the cast changes it has maintained its quality and integrity. I am a big S. Epatha Merkerson fan, now the longest starring cast member. The show follows a crime, usually adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points. The first half of the show concentrates on the investigation of the crime by the police; the second half follows the prosecution of the crime in court.

11. McMillan and Wife - San Francisco attorney Stewart MacMillan is named commisioner of the San Francisco police department. With his pretty, but somewhat cooky, wife Sally, his hard drinking housekeeper Mildred and his assistant, the somewhat dimwitted, Sargent Charlie Enright, Mac manages to solve some of San Francisco's most baffling crimes.

12. The Mod Squad - Young people in trouble with the law (wealthy Pete stole a car; Linc arrested during Watts riots; Julie ran away from her San Francisco prostitute mother) can avoid jail by infiltrating the counter culture and exposing bad guys who prey on other kids. This was a really cool show for me as a young girl entering adolescence. I had a huge crush on big afro wearing Linc.

Police Woman
- The pilot for this show aired on an episode of "Police Story" (1973) entitled "The Gamble". However Angie Dickinson's character's name in that episode was Lisa Beaumont with Bert Convy playing the role of her commanding officer. Convy was later replaced by Earl Holliman. Pepper was a sensual, brassy, compassionate, sincere, and beautiful divorcee. She resided at 102 Crestview Drive. Stories, which were adult and open-minded about sex and marriage, realistically depicted the life of a police woman.

Who are some of your favorite crime fighters?

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!