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The (honestly awful looking) MacGyver reboot trailer got me thinking about the original MacGvyer series, which made me think of Magnum, PI, which made me thinking of The Rockford Files

The interesting thing (to me) about Magnum, PI and The Rockford Files is how utterly different they are, despite how similar they sound on paper (main character is a private investigator, hijinks or trouble often ensues, has a cool car).

Magnum, PI (1980 -1988) is fairly glamorous
The main character (Thomas Magnum) stays at the estate of a famous (never seen) writer in Hawaii, and often drags his army buddies( Rick and T.C.) into trouble by asking them to help him on cases

The Rockford Files (1974-1980) is decidedly non-glamorous
The main character (Jim Rockford) lives in a trailer off the Pacific Coast highway, and is generally the one dragged into trouble (by his father Rocky, his friend Angel, or his clients)


Basically, the internal rules of the two universes are very different….

It makes me think of how something that may work in (the tv series) The Man From U.N.C.L.E., wouldn’t necessarily work in Get Smart or I Spy (despite all three being 60s spy shows that stem from James Bond
(As Sarah Monette writes in a Storytellers Unplugged column from October 2010: “If The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is what you get when you refuse to take James Bond seriously, I Spy is what happens when you think James Bond through.”)

Some of it may be where the show fall in terms of being noir or clair 1



…I’m not sure I have a particular point here, I just find this interesting to think about

Also now that I think about it, Castle is essentially what Magnum, PI would be if Robin Masters was also an amateur detective...



1 : term coined by Ms. Monette referring to diametric opposite of noir - see here (i.e. Doctor Who is clair, Sapphire and Steel is noir; The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is clair, I Spy is noir)

[much of this was originally posted here]

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