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100 TV Shows-#37-Reasonable Doubts

Reasonable Doubts

I was going to use this as an example of one of those shows that had an interesting premise and talented people, but never quite found it's audience, or the chemistry didn't work, or kept doing cast/format changes AND it may have been all those things. I was even going to discuss whether, much as we all love Marlee Matlin, it's feasible for her to be a lead character over a long haul.

I KNOW I remember watching it, and liking it, but definitely feeling that the show didn't trust itself or its characters and not being terribly surprised when it was canceled, although I was frustrated because it looked like the lead characters would actually get together and I must have wanted them too. What's weird is what I mis-remembered about the premise and the casting and who turned out to be in it that I HAD NO IDEA who he was at the time.

In honor of vanillafluffy and all the other Jim Beaver fans on my flist: Jim Beaver as Detective Earl Gaddis! No memory of this character AT ALL.

What's even weirder is that before I checked IMDB, I was convinced that Marlee Matlin's character had a father who owned a bar and was played by Ken Howard. Savvy readers are now realizing that I somehow mixed up Tess Kaufman with Jordan Cavanaugh.

In my mind, this was also Mark Harmon in a "wilderness" period, post-St. Elsewhere, (and his film career sort of petering out when The Presidio wasn't a big hit) but I had completely forgotten him as Sam on Moonlighting...which I also watched. Talk about FRUSTRATING.

I do remember that Kay Lenz was on it, that I didn't like her and that at the time I always associated her with David Cassidy, because they were married for a few years. I guess my Partridge Family-era David Cassidy crush was stronger than I would have liked to admit.

Hell, IMDB even says there was a dog in this show. "Jonathan the Dog-as himself" and I, the great dog-lover of all time have no memory of this either.

This is all kind of scary, because I was honestly sure I remembered a lot about the show, watching, liking, frustration, cancellation...and yet my "memory" has characters who didn't exist and has forgotten ones who did, INCLUDING A DOG!

As I always say, I used to have a memory, now I have IMDB.


( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 25th, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
Jim Beaver even wrote the summary for the show for IMDB. :)

I watched (and loved) this, although now I'm confused because I clearly remember watching it at home but it aired when I was in college. Memory does funny things, I guess.

I was always interested in ASL and that probably related to why I watched, and I remember the first time Gibbs signing on NCIS thinking- 'Hey Mark Harmon remembers signing from his days on Reasonable Doubts!'

What do you know, someone uploaded the episodes (with Portuguese subtitles though) to youtube, maybe I'll rewatch someday
Jul. 25th, 2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to remember if I watched with Hubby or if it was something I watched alone while he was either working nights or going to school.

Also interesting that both Marlee and Mark went on to do recurring characters or short stints on West Wing although their characters never met.

I doubt there's much clamor, but it would be nice to get this on DVD, especially with some kind of featurette or commentary about what really happened behind the scenes.
Jul. 25th, 2012 07:10 pm (UTC)
I remember watching some interviews at the time, probably Entertainment Tonight, or some similar show, about how they originally had an interpreter on set for Marlee, but the actor who played her interpreter on the show wound up doing a lot of it for convenience sake (he was there, in her line of sight, etc) that he wound up doing it- he actually WAS an interpreter or something and often worked as one on TV (on and behind the camera) anyway.
Jul. 25th, 2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
I liked that show a lot..
I think it could have gone on for longer, but not if they kept putting her in danger and having her escape and blah blah.
Marlee might be good on a straight drama like "Brothers and Sisters"
I looked forward to seeing Joey Lucas on West Wing, but she was kind of a Supercrip(Of course, every Sorkin character is a bit too perfect...when your big flaw is being *too much* of an intellectual, or caring TOO MUCH about the needs of the American people...well, she kind of fit right in, at that.)
Jul. 25th, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC)
Re: I liked that show a lot..
Joey was a fun character even if she was a typical Sorkin type. I remember some great scenes with her and Josh. And I loved the expression on her translator's face a few times and the way Josh said, "I got that one."
Jul. 26th, 2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
Re: I liked that show a lot..
Yeah that was cute.
Jul. 25th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
Young and hawt Mark Harmon FTW!

I have ZERO memory of this show, either....I don't think I even watched it.
Jul. 25th, 2012 09:01 pm (UTC)
Just a few years later than his "sexiest man alive" cover and before he morphed into the Silver Fox we know today. (You can definitely see the Barrowman resemblance in that picture as well.)
Jul. 25th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
LOL @ the Silver Fox! Too true.

I seem to recall Kibbs was the first ship I followed when first joining LJ. Til they killed Kate off and broke my shippy heart. *sighs*
Jul. 25th, 2012 10:54 pm (UTC)
I remember watching the first season at the very least for Marlee Matlan - she really was beautiful. I remember liking it and then not going back to it - maybe it was on opposite somehting else I watched for it's second season - I don't quite remember.

Surprised this hasn't hit DVD because of the Harmon/NCIS tie-in. I would definitely think of getting it if it ever does.
Jul. 25th, 2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
It really seems to have fallen through the cracks of memory. No one ever talks about it as a "lost treasure" or "massive failure." It was just a show that never quite worked with a whole bunch of talented people who went on to other things. But I think it would be interesting to have on DVD and watch younger Mark in action and see Marlee as the lead of her own show.
Jul. 25th, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
I do remember it, because I'd liked Mark in Moonlighting (not the arc but he was so gorgeous and actually there were a couple of very hot scenes with Cybill, who I've always liked, except in Moonlighting it really was all about David/Maddie but for me too). I remember liking Marlee a lot and I'm sure I shipped it. But I do remember the show.

Interestingly, I've (literally!) just found out that I was confusing it with another show or maybe combining memories. The other show is Civil Wars, which starred Mariel Hemingway, Peter Onorati, David Marciano, Alan Rosenberg and Debi Mazar (the latter two moved to LA Law after Civil Wars ended). I had the idea Mark was in it and neither of the guys who weren't Alan (I remembered him also for his marriage to Marg Helgenberger) exactly resemble him but maybe it was the prominent lead actress thing and both being shows about lawyers confusing me.

Oh and may I put in a request for Knots Landing soon? :) I'm having an 80s soap nostalgia week now Dallas is coming on here (not this week or anything but I just found out it was) and another friend's checking out Dynasty. I'm really hoping that at least the Ewing characters from KL might be brought into Dallas, given that a new spinoff might be too much to ask for at this point.
Jul. 25th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
I'm glad it's not just me who manages to do that. Seriously...I could SEE her talking to Ken Howard, although maybe that should have told me I was fatootst.

Yup! I'll do Dynasty and KL in the next few days. I need to pick up the pace on this project a bit.

Mark was gorgeous in Moonlighting, but being any kind of an obstacle to Dave/Maddie was NOT a good place to be on that show, and of course the last year was such a disaster for so many reasons.
Jul. 26th, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
I honestly didn't think I did but apparently so. Oh yes. Wasn't Ken in Dynasty for a bit as well, or am I thinking of someone else?

That would be great! :)

He really was. That was the first thing I saw him in, too, as we never got St Elsewhere in first run. No, it wasn't and the last year... I'm glad I watched it, but.

I recently rewatched Chances Are with Cybill and RDJ (and Ryan O'Neal and Mary Stuart Masterson) and god did she and RDJ sizzle.
Jul. 26th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
Ken was in Dynasty, where I believe he had a romance with the (still) lovely Diahann Carroll. (Billy Dee Williams was in there too, I think.)

Jul. 27th, 2012 11:45 am (UTC)
I had the impression he was with Alexis but then I think she flirted with everyone and it's a long time since the 80s as well. Billy Dee Williams was there - it was the first thing I saw him in that wasn't Star Wars. I got so excited about him being on White Collar because of this :)
Jul. 26th, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
I remember liking this show so much :D But I was pretty young when it was on the air I was still living with my parents and was one of the first shows that was an adult show I liked :)

Recently one of my friends who are 21 didn't believe me that marlee matlin and mark harmon were on a show together as the leads way back when :D LOL and I had to find clips on youtube to show her :)
Jul. 26th, 2012 01:01 am (UTC)
How awesome would it be if Marlee could come do a guest role on NCIS? I'd love to see her and Mark share scenes again. I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers this show fondly, even if my memories are somewhat confused.
Jul. 26th, 2012 01:31 am (UTC)
I loved this show. A deaf actress (not someone just pretending)? Score!!!

But I never understood why they didn't ship those two. It seemed wrong that they insisted on putting them with others.
Jul. 26th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
I think they were finally going in that direction by getting Mark's other love interest out of the way just before the show got
cancelled. I will say the promo picture really does NOT reflect the canon relationship on the show as my swiss-cheese brain remembers it.
Jul. 26th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
I remember reading somewhere that after the pilot, TPTB didn't see any romantic chemistry (I think they needed glasses). But by the time the show ended it would have been very hard for them to be together IMO because the actors were, sadly, barely speaking to each other at that point. Read MM's autobiography for more on that.
Jul. 26th, 2012 08:52 pm (UTC)
OUCH! I didn't know things had gotten to that point. It's a pity, but I think in the end everybody involved ended up moving on to more satisfying work.
Jul. 26th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
I like MM a lot but I wish there were other deaf actors who were well known.
Jul. 26th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC)
Phyllis Frelich hasn't exactly gotten tons of other roles either. I don't know if the squeamishness is the audience or the network executives perception of what the audience will accept. Clearly Marlee has gone on to have supporting/recurring roles in major tv shows, but never another lead role of her own.
Jul. 26th, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
see, you're proving my point. I don't even have any idea who Phyllis Frelich is despite my being a film geek and a disabled rights activist.
Jul. 26th, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
She was the actress who originally played the lead in Children of a Lesser God on Broadway and won the Tony Award for it. The play was actually written for her and was based in part on her relationship with her husband.
Jul. 26th, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
I haven't been in New York in years.
Jul. 28th, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
This is the first I've ever heard of this show, but I'd watch it for Jim.

Kay Lenz...didn't remember the David Cassidy connection til you mentioned it, but I vaguely recall her as co-starring with Jan-Michel Vincent in the early 70s. White Line Fever, I think....

Jul. 28th, 2012 06:09 pm (UTC)
This project (the 100 TV Shows) is turning into the oddest game of OMG, I remember.... and OMG, I had no idea...
Jul. 28th, 2012 11:59 pm (UTC)
I've been tempted to do a version of 100 Things. I even went so far as to tap a list into my iPhone of books/series/authors. Largely escapist fiction and/or juvenalia.

Jul. 29th, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
GO FOR IT! (Although I gotta tell you...it's a biggie!)
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )



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