Greatest American Hero, the complete series on DVD


Uneven, but often fun. Occasionally silly, occasionally serious. Bill Maxwell is a classic character. (Watch for the recurring appearance of dog biscuits.) I’ve had the boxed set for a while. It has a lot of bonus material, including the unaired pilot for the second series.

I find it hard to re-watch most of these early 80’s series now - A-team, Miami Vice, Knight Rider, GAH, etc… simply because of the cheesy acting and horrendously formulaic scripts. As a then 13 year old, they were the most awesomenest thing evar! Thirty years later…eh?

I will always have great fondness in my heart for the shows I grew up with but that doesn’t mean that most of these shows really were not all that good. But I’m also not saying things have improved much on prime-time network TV either.


did someone say[quote=“jlw, post:1, topic:33837”]
“What’s the scenario?”

I remember being fanatical about this show. It came out when I was six. I remember Culp always referred to the super-suit as “the jammies.” I don’t remember too much else and I suspect that “loved by six-year-olds” does not translate to “worth watching at forty,” as I have been burned on that line of thought many times in the digital age. but maybe I’m wrong. keep us posted, eh, @jlw?


Same here. Super hero wearing alien pj’s? Sold.

The thing that’s lasted about that show for me though is the theme song. Every four months or so I’ll be going about my business as usual and I’ll feel it creeping on. I have to get to a secure location immediately (the car is usually a safe place) and just belt the shit outta the the theme. Then it plays in my head incessantly for about a week, after which it quietly slinks back to the lair it shares in my subconscious with the Diff’rent Strokes theme until it is summoned again by unknown forces.


Like @randyrandy, this song pops up in my head every once in a while, but I’d actually forgotten where it came from. I remember loving this show, but I don’t think I actually saw all the episodes (we went through phases of TV/no TV when I was a kid).

By the way, it’s currently available on Hulu Plus:

Edit: except for the pilot, which is on YouTube:

I still think Vice is pretty damned cool. Relentlessly nihilistic (and people think TV today gets bleak), and surprisingly topical in comparison to other shows of the day. Re-watching the series four or five years ago, I was surprised to find Don Johnson was actually really good. And what an A-list of guest stars and cameos!

So many scenes of cars slowly driving through southern California. Oh, so very many.

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Until Spring of '81, then he was suddenly just “Mr. H.”

Good times.


connie selleca! mmmmmm

I enjoyed this series somewhat at the time of broadcast, not enough to get the collectors’ edition when it came out several years ago, but I have to admire the packaging: it was packaged as the missing manual, complete with blinking lights, as well as a cape and iron-on transfer.

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Family Guy’s take on it.

Coming from the UK, the Family Guy references are literally the only place I have ever heard of this show until now. Based on some of the earlier comments in this thread, imma stay away…

I have a similar “problem” with older shows. I have such fond memories of them and then find that in a lot of cases they haven’t held up well. For example, I was watching “The Rockford Files” the other day. Fond memories, top in the ratings, well reviewed. But by today’s standards, my god it was slow. 5+ minute montages of Rockford driving. Nobody edits like that anymore. The writing/acting is still good but it’s almost like they need to be re-edited down to 1/2 hour shows.


These day’s I’m more likely to have that version stuck in my head.

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I get what you’re talking about, but I disagree. modern fast editing sucks. If I’m watching tv, I’m relaxing. I’m trying to have a story told to me, I’m not actively trying to interpret an hour-long story crammed into 22 minutes–that’s work. you look away for two seconds and you don’t know wtf is going on.

I’ll watch Rockford Files as often as possible, ditto Northern Exposure. I’ll concede Columbo could sometimes stand to pick up the pace, some of those eps are feature-length, depending on the season, though I do love it so. but to me, slow tv is best tv. [you kids gtfo my lawn, etc]

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It’s not just editing that’s changed. The way shots are framed has changed too. I notice if I watch something older that they tend to go for extreme closeups a lot more. When the standard TV screen size was a lot smaller, they had to almost fill the screen with a face so you could see the acting. Now that the standard TV screen size has gone up, directors can pull back a bit more. If they don’t, you end up with heads that are bigger than life-sized.

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