TV Shows »Silk Stalkings

silk stalkingsPerhaps you remember a little late night (crime time after prime time to be specfic) guilty pleasure called Silk Stalkings? My mom and I used to watch it all the time and I thought a revisit to the 1991 tight shirts and shoulder pads series might be in order for this week's blog. When the intro sequence began with it's stock photography images of romance novel meets Florida violence, Jim and I settled into some prime early nineties nostalgia.

The show stars, a woman named Mitzi Kapture (seriously) as street tough cop Rita Lee Lance aka “Sam” and the man with the best agent in Hollywood (next to the king of infinite chances, Steven Weber) Rob Estes as Chris Lorenzo aka “Sam” as well. Estes will spend a career familiar with guilty pleasures. he was on Melrose Place before he entertained Jim and I in the wee hours of underemployment in Suddenly Susan and recently starred in Jim's dearly department Women's Murder Club before picking up a role in the new 90210. Kapture's career, though has been less visible.

Looking like a Fashion Bug hooker with a Fredrick's of Hollywood face, Kapture captures the shows essence of surreal neo noir with her nonsensical narration, consisting almost entirely of golf metaphors that make one feel uncomfortable – as if you're left alone nodding and grinning to a crazy woman stuck inside her head trying to talk to you about country club golf versus?other kinds of golf as a metaphor for murder.?/p>

Always rocking mini skirts, double breasted jackets in long dead colors and scrunchies, her character is tough and willing to push the boundaries of police work. If I wrote a script I'd have her say “Ok, I got the bra top on, what do you need me to do with it”. The answer to that question more often than not is to trick a suspect (one with the stunning TV name “Gator Ramsey”) into a potentially dangerous sexual situation with an overplayed Southern accent.

Estes plays her best friend and partner, a more vulnerable guy who always there for a woman and need, particularly if they need a man decked out in Z Cavaricci's most flamboyant threads to stare at them with eyes of a vapid Ken doll. There policing might need work – they often gather evidence without gloves and break and enter constantly, but I have to admit, they have a charming chemistry that helps keep the show fun despite weird attempts at gravitas (she has an inoperable aneurysm that could kill her at any moment and major daddy issues).

While the cast is special, the other special component to the shows success is it's audacious stylized sets. Whether imagining a piano lounge, a Dominatrix's apartment, a police department, they manage to build a world straight out of a Duran Duran video and beyond. The art direction is so wild, the police chief even rails against it in one of the first scenes. Pillars and neon lights have become common enough (CSI might have taken their cues of darkened police offices from here) and even head scratching sets like a basement sex dungeon and the hot pink psychedelia of a swingers club called Nightmare Cafe can be accepted, but some choices are so mind blowing that I am left in awe.

Like the one time shot of two police dispatchers who apparently work in a submarine, or the police station mural, that at first in previously scenes looks like a painting of a screen saver but is actually of a jazz man holding the hand of a child's ghost. Do I need to repeat that – it's a painting of a jazz man holding the hand of a child's ghost. Why would you add the effect of painting the Palm Beach sky hot pink? Or add some maroon organza bows to the coroner's office? The art directors here ask why not? And it's that attitude that created a hit show that lasted, can you believe it, eight seasons for everyone that wants brainless, sexed up guilty pleasure fun.

FYI, mom the early seasons are on DVD and available through netflix.

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Posted on March 30, 2009

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