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More or less a tribute to the gorgeousness of young Robert Wagner and a nostalgia trip to the 60's and 70's when a character could be a swinging, love-em-and-leave-em, swaggering anti-hero, in a completely un-ironic way, with no need for a tragic back-story, redemption or "true love".

I'm sorry Neal Caffrey, you are NO Alexander Mundy.

It Takes a Thief




You Want Me To Steal?-An Alexander Mundy Fan Mix

Bonus points for the awesomeness of having Fred Astaire as a con-man/thief father. Double bonus points for lack of father/son angst.

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It's not QUITE the same dynamic, but Wagner and Eddie Albert as the "con" and the "cop" also had a lot of similarities to Neal/Peter with the supposed "straight arrow" getting drawn more and more into to the thrill of the con. Again, without quite so much angst or obviously fanserviced subtext.

These were both shows I watched with Mommy, so she must have been the big Robert Wagner fan, I'm sure I developed my love for a certain kind of character directly from her.

So much love for Charlie Callas, ALWAYS!

I realize I'm coming off the like the 60's/70's equivalent of a PSF (Pissy Sherlock Fan) bitching about Elementary or possibly an apoloogist for male chauvinism or worse and I know there are just so many plots and they always get recycled, but I really do miss the glory of the young Wagner and the absolutely unrepentant sexuality of his characters.

I could be wrong, but I think any character who approaches that quality, now tends to be played only for laughs in sit-coms, or has to be undermined, angsted, tamed, made serious etc.

By the time Hart to Hart came around, I wasn't watching as much TV and the idea of a married Robert Wagner character just didn't do it for me.

Side note-aside from some very early Star Trek books, It Takes a Thief is one of the first shows I remember reading a novelization for. About the only bit I remember is a detailed description of Alexander Mundy having to get himself out of hand-cuffs that were locked behind his back, while he was being given Chinese Water Torture.

IF they were going to try and do this kind of a show again, in that spirit, instead of the current PC one, perhaps Mr. Barrowman would be the man for the job?

Which reminds me...I'm really just procrastinating before I get to Doctor Who/Torchwood and all the shows they led me to. Part of me just doesn't want to face it, but it's impossible to tell my TV/Fannish story without it.

Stay tuned.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
hansolo5
Oct. 11th, 2012 07:00 pm (UTC)
Gosh I missed this post!! How could I?
I remember watching it when I was about 12 (you know, in the 80's the italian tv was alwyas airing 70's if not 60's U.s. television shows... you consider that even nowadays House aired a couple of years after )
I had a crush on Robert and, I already said that , it lasted at least 10 years :-) The charachter was so smart, the guy so handsome, I really was hooked and I didn't want to go out for dinner with my family when the show was on tv :-)
And Alistair was so great too!
I agree with all you said, and I am happy to know you were watching it as well!
karaokegal
Oct. 13th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
It's a really fascinating dynamic to see how much those kind of characters have to either be mocked or under-cut now. Also, it's slightly hard to watch with 21st Century Eyes. I had Banacek on our Netflix queue and then took it off because I was afraid he would come off as too smarmy and I couldn't face the cringe-factor with hubby watching.
hansolo5
Oct. 15th, 2012 07:59 am (UTC)
Yes, and it's hard to watch them now . I think I still love ITTAT non "per se" but for the feelings it reminds me...I know too well the cringe-factor and for some old shows I used to love I need be alone to watch :-)
Maybe an exception is Starsky & Hutch, because though it seems slow now and the side characters are always kind of caricatural, the banter and the playing of the two main leads are still working and valuable to me, and hubby is ok for the car races :-)
...Never heard about Banacek... I googled it and it's with George Peppard ! another old crush of mine :-)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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