Review: Starsky and Hutch
“A seventies Classic”
Boyz on the Hoods [That was a clever pun, for my American readers!]
Boyz on the Hoods [That was a clever pun, for my American readers!]

Seeing as it’s a proven scientific fact that all popular culture created after the mid 1990s is complete shite, I’ve resorted to downloading complete TV series of classic television from ‘the good old days’ off the internet, to give me something to gawp at while shovelling my dinner into my gob, of an evening.

At the moment, I’m working my way through all four seasons of the 1970s cop show, Starsky & Hutch and I thought I’d share the delights of this old classic with those of you, amongst my vast readership, who are unaware of this televisual delight.

[I believe that, in accordance with the current trend for rehashing the past, rather than creating anything new, a Starsky & Hutch movie was made not long ago, but this review is about the ‘real’ thing, not some crappy modern rip-off]

David Starsky and Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson are a couple of West Coast American coppers. They drive around [mostly] in Starsky’s souped-up red & white Ford Torino [disparagingly referred to as ‘The Tomato’ by Hutch,] crashing down cardboard box-filled alleyways, across truck-filled junctions and through red traffic lights, shooting and beating up baddies, and trying to kop off with a never-ending conveyor belt of women sporting hideous 1970s hairstyles –all in the name of the law.

Drive it like you nicked it!
Drive it like you nicked it!

In this ongoing quest to make the mean streets a safer place, they are aided and abetted by their pet ‘grass’ Huggy Bear and harangued by their permanently furious boss, Captain Dobey.

Starsky and Hutch is great low-brow fun for all the family [except your uncle Arthur, who would fucking hate it!] and, even though the last couple of series are not as good as the first two, it’s still well worth seeking out, if you happen to frequent certain Swedish buccaneering themed websites.

Paul Michael Glaser [L] as Starsky, David Soul [R] as Hutch
Paul Michael Glaser [L] as Starsky, David Soul [R] as Hutch

Here is my quick run-down on all you need to know about the characters involved:

Dave Starsky –is the smaller, dark-haired one. He’s played a bit more for laughs than Hutch. Starsky’s pride and joy is his aforementioned Ford Torino motor. Running jokes in the series include the fact that older women the duo come across always seem to fancy Starsky, leading to much merriment as he tries to extricate himself from their amorous advances.

In earlier series, Starsky is the chilli-guzzling, burger munching foil to Hutch’s yoghurt-swigging, alfalfa-chomping health fanatic, but these roles seem to become a bit blurred partway through.

Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson –is the taller, blonde one. He’s a bit more of a straight man than Starsky and tends to be more successful at ‘pulling the birds’. Hutch’s car is a battered old wreck which tends to break down or have bits fall off it at the crucial moment, whenever the duo use it ‘on duty’ –which makes you wonder why they ever do.

Hutch’s way with women leads him to fall madly in love on a regular basis; an infatuation which usually ends badly for the lassie involved, as she inevitably ends up dead, blinded, crippled, raped or imprisoned, by the end of the episode. Thankfully Hutch’s grief coping mechanism is highly developed and, by the following week, the dear departed is forgotten, as Hutch begins sniffing round his next amour

Captain Dobey –is the pair’s boss. He spends most of the first series stuffing his fat face and yelling furiously at Starsky and Hutch. Sometimes he seems to yell at them to “get out on the streets and catch…” whoever they’re looking for, just so he can help himself to the lunch they were about to tuck into. It may be apocryphal but, in our house, a shouted “Starsky! –leave the pizza!” has become a popular Dobey-esque catchphrase.

Starsky! --Leave the pizza!
Starsky! --Leave the pizza!

Huggy Bear –is a pimp-tastic groover, sporting the flariest flares and the widest lapels in all of christendom. Occasional bar owner and general street hustler, he manages to combine an encyclopaedic knowledge of what’s ‘going down’ amongst the underworld, with an ongoing willingness to spill the beans on these shenanigans to his pals Starsky & Hutch –somehow without ending up minus kneecaps, or cemented into the foundations of a flyover somewhere, for his troubles.

Huggy Bear in one of his more subdued numbers
Huggy Bear in one of his more subdued numbers

Every episode will begin with a violent crime, inevitably perpetrated by, perpetrated upon or witnessed by, a ‘glamorous’ [1970s style] female and, after justice has been well and truly meted out, will equally predictably end with a humorous throw-away scene wherein one of the characters will end up the butt of some excruciatingly bad joke, initiated by one of the others.

In between, Starsky & Hutch will narrowly avoid mowing down pedestrians and decimating the civilian population as, with gay abandon, they hurl their car through oncoming traffic and fire their guns across crowded streets, after their fleeing quarry –whilst simultaneously vying for the affections of every young female they encounter.

It’s not all burning rubber, gunfights and kicking ‘baddy’ ass, though. In more thoughtful moments, the pair maintain a relationship that sometimes seems to veer towards the homo-erotic side of ‘best buddy’-dom. This subtext is reinforced when watching from this distance in time where, with the advent of same-sex marriage, the pair’s frequent emotionally expressed concern for “my partner” seems invested with an extra significance.

Bestest buddies
Bestest buddies

Starsky and Hutch is classic 1970s fare; violent, sexist, pontificating and wearing some atrocious ‘threads’. But, in spite of the ceaseless diet of crime and violence, it’s also oddly comforting and, for me at least, drenched in nostalgia, as I remember being glued to the telly watching it, way back when it was originally broadcast.

Download it now, you shits!


Off-Topic Rantlet

Originally, the images in this post were hosted on a site called Droplr, which offered “free image hosting for life” for the first tranche of people who signed up for their service. After they’d suckered in enough punters in this way [including yours truly], they announced that they were abandoning their “free image hosting for life” accounts and anyone who was hosting images with them on one of these accounts had 30 days to sign up for a new paid account.

Since I don’t like being held to ransom by a bunch of lying scumbags, I didn’t sign up for a paid account and so, for a long time this post was bereft of anything but placeholder images, as Droplr removed all images belonging to any existing users who refused to be blackmailed into signing up for one of the new paid accounts [something else they promised not to do].

Anyway, as someone recently took the trouble to comment on this post [even without proper images], I thought it high time I got round to recreating the images again and so I have done. But I’ll just leave this one last placeholder image here. Just to remind myself what a bunch of lying turds Droplr are:

</end rantlet>


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