John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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Silk Stalkings Lament

No, folks, this has nothing to do with the stockings that you leave over the fireplace and hope that Santa fills with nice toys or silk teddies or.. ::slap on wrist!:: Stop that!

One of the vices that I had in the early 1990's was a series called Silk Stalkings . At the time, I was working a shift that ended about 9:30 in the evening, and so I would be home by 10:30 to 11:00 pm, and would unwind at night watching the series. There was only one thing that bugged me about the series, and this was brought back to me when I finished watching the Fifth Season on DVD the other yeah, this is something of a rant/beef post... :)

What can I tell you about the series?

Well, Silk Stalkings was a 1990s TV crime drama originally shown on CBS in 1991 as part of the network's late-night Crimetime After Primetime programming package, and rebroadcast on the USA Network. After CBS ended the Crimetime experiment in 1993, the series ran exclusively on USA. The show was created by the prolific crime-show producer Stephen J. Cannell, perhaps best known for The Rockford Files and The A-Team. On the DVD extras, Cannell pointed out that of the 40 or more TV shows he has created, this one had the longest run, eight seasons.

Portraying the daily lives of two detectives who solved sexually-based crimes of passion ("silk stalkings") among the ultra-rich people of West Palm Beach, Florida, the tightly-budgeted Silk Stalkings was not actually filmed in West Palm. Most episodes were shot in San Diego, California. Some shows were filmed in Scottsdale, Arizona.

From 1991 to 1995, the lead characters were played by Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture, who played detectives Christopher Lorenzo and Rita Lee Lance, respectively. The on-again, off-again flirtation between Chris and Rita, who nicknamed one another "Sam" (an homage to their favorite golfer, Sam Snead) reminded many viewers of the earlier series Moonlighting and helped grow the cult following that the show maintained during its first few seasons and which continues to this day.

One of the highlights of the series was the Pilot episode, which starts off with a sequence of filming across Palm Beach, and then focuses on a body on the beach itself. The voice-over to this whole bit is a the "Rules of Golf" speech by Rita Lee Lance (Mitzi Kapture), as follows:

The rules of golf vary in each of these magnificent clubhouses, but, in general, it is understood that each player must furnish his or her own equipment. This should include, at a minimum, one hole, a club, and balls. On the public course, in town, the object of the game is the use the club to get the ball into the hole, but on these courses, it is to get the equipment into the hole and keep the balls out. From that point on, the rules of the game seems to vary wildly from course to course. However, it is generally considered bad form to begin playing the first hole immediately upon arrival. And players are cautioned not to mention other courses they are playing or have played, as upset course owners have been known to fly into a rage and damage a player's equipment, sometimes so badly that it has to be buried somewhere off the premises. Death among the players is not uncommon.

Ah, you gotta love allegories about golf (Not!), don'tcha? :)

Now that's out of the way...

The relationship between Rita Lee Lance (Mitzi Kapture) and Chris Lorenzo (Rob Estes) was one that had the heat of sexuality, but the fact that they were partners and couldn't do anything about stuff because of the "code", made the story all that hotter.

So I was thrilled when the series came out on DVD finally several years ago. That is, until the fifth season. Now, I knew what had happened in the series, to be honest, but I was still pissed off about it...and the DVD just brought that feeling home to me even more.

Note there are spoilers below for the 5th Season, so if you don't wanna know the rest, don't read behind the cut...

I still can't figure out why, after four seasons and the tension of the (non)sexual relationship between Chris and Rita the producers and writers of the series decided that over the course of 4 (four!) episodes, Chris and Rita had to a) realize they were in love, b) consummate their love, c) get married, d) have a baby; and e) kill Chris off and then f) have Rita leave Palm Beach. Well, yes, I can...

After four years on the series, both Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture must have wanted out of the series, since they could see there was nowhere for the relationship between Chris and Rita to go... Rob Estes wanted out of the series, I believe to pursue something called Melrose Place at the time, and I suspect that Mitzi Kapture didn't want to go on without her "partner in silk crimes". If Mitzi was really pregnant at the time, then it seems like that was another factor in her departure from the series. The fans, of course, myself included, had wanted Rita and Chris to hook up for a long time, make a long story short, the producers and writers decided to kill two birds with one stone, figuratively. Hence the four episodes of frenetic love and Greek tragedy.

But I gotta say that I'm still miffed, now more than ever when I see and recognise good vs. bad plotting and tv machinations. It was a totally tacky, horrible, wrench-at-the-heartstrings, tacky, nasty way of getting rid of the two characters and allowing the actors to move on to other things, and Chris's death scene was was the funeral scene that later occurred. Four episodes!! That was all we got to say goodbye to Chris (Rob) and Rita (Mitzi)...and dammit, it wasn't enough!! It should have played out over the 1/2 or 2/3 of the season and given us closure on these two characters!! And it didn't, dammit!

Okay, okay, I'm calm again... Herbal tea does wonders, you know. :)

With the departure of Rob and Mitzi and their characters, the final 10 or 11 of the episodes focused on Holly Rawlins (Tyler Layton) and Michael Price (Nick Kokotakis), both of whom didn't hold the same interest for the fans, and never made it to a full season of their own. A shame really, 'cause I actually liked 'em both in the roles and found them different enough from the originals to be interesting.

What I can say is that I'm gonna find it very difficult watching those four episodes again in future...but Stef says that's okay, because she'll watch them with me. Besides, she likes Nick, so... :)
Tags: rant, tv hut

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