Book ’em, Danno–Episode 44

Book 'em Danno Podcast

We’re getting mobbed in this episode! In “A Matter of Mutual Concern” there’s a mob war a’ brewin’. And in “Nine, Ten, You’re Dead”, a man uses mob resources to avenge his injured fighter.

If you watch the episodes, either before or after you listen to me ramble on about them, then be advised of a couple of minor trigger warnings. “A Matter of Mutual Concern” features some racial slurs against Asians as one of the mob bosses is particularly bigoted against them. And there is a scene in “Nine, Ten, You’re Dead” which features cockfighting. It’s brief, but it’s still there and could be upsetting for some viewers. I know I didn’t like it.

Listen on Soundcloud, iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Here’s the message that was sent to Big Uncle in Miami. Think he gets it?

french mccoy staked

Book ’em, Danno–Episode 43

Book 'em Danno Podcast

Steve shows his disdain for a neat case in “Burning Ice” and then Five-O finds themselves on the receiving end of a psychological game in “Rest in Peace, Somebody”.

I don’t often tell people how to live their podcast audience lives, but I strongly recommend watching both of these episodes before listening to me prattle on about them. They’re still good watches even if you do listen before you watch, but the pristine viewing experience is really something.

So, after you watch, listen on Soundcloud, iTunes, Spotify, and/or Stitcher.

To properly appreciate my unhinged rant about the mess that’s made in “Rest in Peace, Somebody”, here’s Steve being not too thrilled about it either.

painted desk

Book ’em, Danno–Episode 42

We’ve got a clever theft ring in “Air Cargo -Dial For Murder” and Marion Ross is an integral part of it. I know. I was shocked, too. The episode kicks off with an OSHA violation murder…Wylie E. Coyote style. Yes, I’m a bad person for thinking that.

A wild robbery scheme in “For a Million…Why Not?” takes Five-O for a ride. With Steve on the Big Island for the Johnny Oporta trial, Danny is leading the charge in trying to fit all of the puzzle pieces together. Or printer’s type, as it were.

I will tell you right now that there are an excessive number of shipped corpses in this episode.

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Oh, by the way, here’s that frozen Ling I promised you.

Book ’em, Danno–Episode 41

Book 'em Danno Podcast

A charming panhandler and his girlfriend steal money from an embezzler in “Two Doves and Mr. Heron”; and a sniper opens fire on a busy road and a stand off with HPD and Five-O ensues in “…And I Want Some Candy and a Gun That Shoots”.

Mild trigger warnings ahoy!

“Two Doves and Mr. Heron” contains some mild, 1970s grade homophobia, which I discuss at length because you can’t stop me.

“…And I Want Some Candy and a Gun That Shoots” features a sniper scenario that has a bit of a mass shooting vibe as well as talk of mental illness. I will be discussing both of these as well.

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But on the bright side, we get an IT mini-series reunion of sorts with John Ritter in a top hat in one episode and a sweet Annette O’Toole in the other. Also, Vic Morrow schooling the young folks and Jeanne Cooper being her absolute ruthless best.

John Ritter is very excited about this.

john ritter in a top hat

Rerun Junkie Confession–Gimme That Found Family Vibe

I’ve written before about how Gilligan’s Island was the first rerun that really made an impression on me, something that I totally fell in love with even though I was so young. It is most likely responsible for my love of reruns today.

It’s also one of the earliest indications that shows with a found family vibe were going to be in my wheelhouse.

Maybe it’s my own strong desire to belong somewhere, but those shows that feature a group of people coming together to form a family get me on a soul level.

Look at Gilligan’s Island. Seven people thrown together in an unlikely and extreme situation, forced to survive. Okay, that’s a dramatic explanation for a sitcom, but it’s not wrong. They have to come together as a family to survive. Sure, they bicker and quarrel and many times want to drown Gilligan after one of his fuck ups, but ultimately, they care about each other. This never would have happened if they hadn’t gotten shipwrecked. They’d have completed their 3 hour tour (with an unnecessary amount of luggage) and then gone their separate ways. Fate (and Sherwood Schwartz) threw them together and gave them a bond that even being rescued couldn’t break.

But it’s not just that extreme found family vibe I’m looking for. Chosen family is a kind of found family and that works for me, too.

Take for example another early love of mine, The Monkees. It’s a show about a band trying to make it. Obviously, these four guys came together to form a band, so they must have at least known and liked each other before they moved into a beach house together. It’s less fate and more struggling dream that has them scraping together rent and playing gigs. But they’re no different than four brothers, squabbling on occasion, but always having each other’s back. Just look at the episode “Success Story”. Davy’s grandfather is going to take him back to England and the fellas do everything they can to keep him in America. After all, they may not be blood, but they love each other like they were.

It’s this found family/chosen family vibe that could account for my love (at least in part) of cop shows. Be it partners, a team, or a whole squad room, you end up with people who come for the job and stay for the family.

Barney Miller is a great example of this. There’s a squad room of detectives who are paid to be there, but the nature of the job means that they have to have each other’s backs. It’s inevitable that this would eventually extend into their personal lives to an extent. When the final episode sees the precinct closed and everyone split up, you still get the sense that even if they aren’t working together, and maybe if they never see each other again, they all hold a very special place in each other’s lives. The way blood bonds family, they’re bonded by experience.

CSI: Miami not only has a similar vibe, but even has Ryan saying that they’re his family in the final episode.

Starsky & Hutch are akin to blood brothers given how many times one has been near death and the other has bailed him out. Adam-12 has a similar feel even though most of the series focused on the mundane aspects of the job. When you’re riding in a car with a guy for 8-12 hours a day, there’s only a couple of ways your relationship is going to go.

Emergency!, The A-Team, The Golden Girls, Stargate: Atlantis, F-Troop, Magnum PI…the one thing they have in common is that they all have a found family/chosen family vibe.

And I simply cannot get enough of it.

Book ’em, Danno–Episode 40

Book 'em Danno Podcast

Season 4 is just getting started. In “Wednesdays, Ladies Free”, we’ve got a serial killer going after women in order to fulfill a very specific fantasy. This results in the women ending up dead and made up like dime store drag queens.

And then in “3,000 Crooked Miles to Honolulu”, a faculty club is really a cover for a half-a-million dollar scam involving travelers’ checks. Remember those? Karl Malden does (I am really showing my age with that joke).

It’s Monte Markham, Soon-Tek Oh, Buddy Ebsen, and David Canary in some all-star shenanigans.

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Did you ever think you’d see Barnaby Jones having a chat with Adam Chandler? Well, now you have.

the professor and george

Book ’em, Danno–Episode 39

Book 'em Danno Podcast

Welcome to Season 4 of Book ’em, Danno and Season 4 of Hawaii Five-O!

Steve and the gang kick things off by investigating a couple of skeletons and a beguiling portrait in “Highest Castle, Deepest Grave”. And then in “No Bottles…No Cans…No People”, Five-O looks to put a stop to an up and coming mobster who throws away his enemies…literally.

Come to watch Steve fall in love with a picture, stay for the garbage education.

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Full disclosure: I didn’t feel the full effects of the portrait in question. What about you? Feeling some sparks like Steve?

steve and portrait

Weaving the Fabric of Pop Culture

I’ll be honest with you: I heard the phrase “Book ’em, Danno” long before I started watching Hawaii Five-O in my early thirties. Considering the show went off the year a few months after I was born, that’s pretty impressive. This one little catchphrase (which wasn’t even designed to be a catchphrase; in fact, Steve McGarrett goes the entire third season without saying it) became a thread that had itself woven into the fabric of pop culture. So has the term “Five-O” as a way to refer to the police. That entered the lexicon before the show even went off the air.

Not bad for a police drama.

I talked a little bit about this phenomenon when I confessed that I’d never watched Seinfeld. Some shows just get into the collective consciousness. Seinfeld was one of those. Intensely popular, I may have never watched an episode, but everyone around me did. Immersed in that situation, I absorbed the show via diffusion. Because the show became so cemented into pop culture, I know all about Festivus, Elaine dancing, George’s fiancee dying, Jerry’s puffy shirt, Kramer’s…everything, yet never experienced any of these things in the context of their episodes.

Much like people recognizing and/or using the phrase “Book ’em, Danno” but have never actually seen Steve McGarrett say it in an episode.

Some shows just get absorbed into pop culture.

A sunglasses-quip combo. “I’m so excited!” A nose twitch. “Hello!” Turkey Drop. “To the moon, Alice!” A ponytail flip. “Dammit, Jim.” Tapping the sides of your fists together instead of flipping the bird. “Who loves ya, baby?” The Monkee Walk. “Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!” The Bart Dance. “Dyn-o-mite!”

There is an excellent chance you recognized more than one of these. And there’s also a chance that you might not have watched all of the shows these came from.

Who’s to say why some shows find themselves a place in pop culture and some don’t. Popularity plays into it, naturally, but not necessarily longevity. Star Trek only lasted 3 seasons, but it’s impact has lasted a lifetime. Obviously, the fans of the show play a big role, not only in making the show popular, but also identifying what bits and pieces will become meme’d and gif’d in some cases decades later.

There’s no telling what show might catch on, or what bit of it might embed itself into the conscious collective mind. Not every super popular show finds its staying power. You never know what little bit people will discover and latch onto and blow up. Or who will latch onto it.

Say “How rude” or “Did I do that?” to a Gen Xer or older Millennial who lived on TGIF and you’ll get a different response than maybe a member of Gen Z who hasn’t discovered that bit of nostalgia yet. Some of these bits of fabric are truly generational, while other bits span the scope.

If I were an educated person, I might better be able to analyze this sort of thing. Pick it a part and understand how it all comes together.

But I’m not.

Instead, I just marvel at all of the colorful bits and pieces woven into the pop culture fabric.

Holy tapestry, Batman!

Book ’em Danno Special–“Bored, She Hung Herself”

In this very special episode of Book ’em, Danno, I discuss the “lost” episode of Hawaii Five-O, “Bored, She Hung Herself” from the second season. I’m keeping things somewhat mum on where I watched the ep and how I found out about it simply because every copy of this episode is a bootleg and therefore, subject to be taken down. I don’t want that.

Also, because this is a bootleg of a 16mm print (I think), the quality isn’t that great. In fact, it’s been speeded up a little bit so everyone sounds a little strange. As such, there will be no sound clips in this episode. I’m sure you’re devastated at the prospect of hearing only my voice.

Listen anyway.

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Very mild trigger warning: there’s mention of sexual assault, but it’s not explicitly discussed.

Also Spoiler Alert! Spoilers are discussed from around 18:50 to 22:41.

Consider yourself warned.

Danno’s calling all of his friends to listen. You should, too.

TV Bosses I’d Work For

Have you ever watched a TV show and thought to yourself, “Man, I wish they were my boss”? Well, I have. So I put together a short list (in no particular order) of the TV bosses that I’d work for.

Barney Miller (Barney Miller)- I feel like this is probably an obvious choice for someone enamored with police shows. Not only did Barney have a more reasonable approach to lawbreakers, he also had an excessive amount of patience when it came to the people in his squad room. He’d finally get to his breaking point, but it took some persistent aggravation. Given that I can be aggravating, it’s good to know I’d probably never get to that point with him, thanks to Wojo and Levitt beating me to it.

Steve McGarrett (Hawaii Five-O)- A no-brainer if you know me, Steve McGarrett is in many ways the ideal. He’ll mentor you, correct you, joke with you, go to bat for you, but he won’t tolerate any bullshit. You gotta put in your effort. I love a boss who has your back, and Steve definitely has the backs of Five-O.

Horatio Caine (CSI:Miami)- Much like Steve McGarrett (as I’ve written about), I dare say that Horatio would go even further for you, particularly in the later seasons when he was decidedly less attached to the rules. He’d do everything possible to turn you into the best CSI he could, but he’d only help you if you were willing to accept it. Some lessons have to be learned the hard way. Right, Ryan? I have no doubt Horatio would kill for you, though, and I really appreciate that kind of dedication.

Miss Kitty (Gunsmoke)- Leaving aside the not-explicity-said-but-definitely-understood nature of the work some of the Long Branch employees were doing, I have no doubt that Miss Kitty looked after all of them. From bartenders to saloon girls, she wasn’t a successful businesswoman because she let the clientele walk all over her and abuse her staff. She’s the fuck around and find out boss.

The Middleman (The Middleman)- All of the patience of Barney Miller, the mentoring of Steve McGarrett and Horatio Caine, and the protective nature of Miss Kitty, with a healthy dose of optimism and clean language. He makes ridding the world of comic book foes less of a chore and more of a good day at the office.

Sgt. Getraer (CHiPs)- As far as bosses with a sense of humor go, Gertaer is up there. Think about it. He had to deal with Ponch’s bullshit all the time. If he didn’t learn to laugh, his blood pressure would have been through the roof. He also has the ability to roll with the punches, which is a pretty good quality to have. Probably the only boss on this list that would go country-western dancing, roller skating, and participate in some questionable athletic shenanigans for charity.

Dr. Elizabeth Weir (Stargate: Atlantis)- If I’m in another galaxy with the prospect of never returning to Earth and our best chance of survival is making new friends, I’m going with Elizabeth. She kept things under control, put people in their place (I’m looking at you Shepherd), and didn’t take any shit from anybody -Wraith, Genii, or Replicator. She had things under control even when they were out of control and honestly, I wish she would have been in charge every Black Friday.

Colonel Sam Carter (Stargate: Atlantis)- Everything you got with Elizabeth, but with the added bonus of a military background, a different science expertise, and some “I have seen some shit” experience. She was also perfectly cool with blowing shit up and I need that in a boss.

Richard Woolsey (Stargate: Atlantis)- If you’ve seen the show, I know what you’re thinking, but let’s be real. Once he got broken in, Woolsey made for a pretty good boss. As a bureaucrat, he brought an element of sneakiness to his dealings with with others in the Pegasus Galaxy and was a pretty crafty negotiator. He also quickly figured out it was best to leave the science to the scientists and the defense to the military. A boss who knows when to let the workers do their thing and when to rein them in is valuable.

Is it cheating to have three bosses from the same show? Maybe. Did I exclude some excellent bosses from this list? Probably.

But this is my list.

Go make your own.