Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pilot Wings: Blue Thunder (1984)

It's way too late to actually build off of this Pilot, but I don't care.  I have the DVD and hadn't watched any of it yet, so I figured this way I would 'force' myself to act.

Blue Thunder was a hit Movie in 1983 (the best Year ever) and was turned into a TV Show the next Year.

Let's see how that went...
The true Star of the Show is the titular Helicopter.  It was destroyed in the Film (35 year old SPOILERS).

In the Show, they call it Blue Thunder 2, but don't acknowledge the Film, so you decide what is canon.
It's Pilot is a Veteran and a bit of a loose-cannon.  If he doesn't like a rule, he'll bend it.
This is especially true when it comes to the Villain- PVC (the late-great Richard Lynch).  He's killing Police Helicopter Pilots to draw out our Hero.

He also loves to sing Irish Bar Songs, since, Character, I guess.
Assisting our Hero is the Ground Team, two ex-Football Players (Dick Butkus and Bubba Smith) playing...ex-Football Players.

No, really.
Can the team work together and against protocol to stop PVC?  Will they meet a quick end?

Well, you know the latter isn't true, so no SPOILERS there.
What really stopped the team?  A different, more popular team.
More like blue something-else if you were expecting a second Season.  Yes, this Show only got 11 Episodes, which conveniently fit on 2 DVDs.  Its more famous cousin (above) obviously got a bit more than that.  There are many things to like about the Show.  It has a simple, cheesy feel to it.  Other than the dark subject matter of a guy killing Cops and dealing drugs, it is a fun Episode.  They give simple conflicts to each pairing on the Team.  The Pilot and his Tech Guy have to overcome their differences.  The Ground Team must learn to not antagonize each other.  The Pilot and the Boss must learn to respect each other's wishes.  It's not rocket surgery.  The use of Stock Footage is a bit apparent, but understandable.  I've seen far worse, even from this time period.  Is it better than Airwolf?  Probably not, I'd say.  That said, the two only share the idea of Helicopter-based teams- that's it.  It's ironically only in the last Episode that the Plot shifts away from protecting the City and moves into Airwolf territory dealing with foreign villains.  If nothing else, you get to see a young Dana Carvey trying out his craft before SNL made him a Star.  It's silly, it's cheap and it's kind of fun for those reasons.  If you don't think of it as a 'classic,' try re-watching it/watching it for the first time.  It even had Toys!
A fun, but very-dated bit of nostalgia.  Having little familiarity to the Film, it still worked as a Show.

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