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Nero Wolfe: The Complete First Season
|List Price:||CDN$ 79.99|
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Top Customer Reviews
Nero Wolfe (Maury Chaykin) has often been called the American Sherlock Holmes, though he actually takes after Sherlock's older brother, Mycroft. Wolfe is an enormous sedentary genius with a penchant for fine food, orchids, and books (in that order), and a distaste for work. He loves his routine, and never leaves his Manhattan townhouse on business if he can help it. To help with the food, he employs a Swiss gourmet chef, Fritz Brenner (Colin Fox). To help with the business, he employs Archie Goodwin (Timothy Hutton).
Archie, the narrator of both Stout's books and the series, is Wolfe's complement and factotum. A licensed private detective himself, he not only does all the legwork (often assisted by freelance operatives Saul Panzer (Conrad Dunn), Fred Durkin (Fulvio Cecere), and Orrie Cather (Trent McMullen)), but also badgers Wolfe into doing his "genius" part. Suave, cute, witty, charming, ebullient, confident, and very attractive, Archie takes more after Sherlock: He loves to work. (Though of course, he also knows how to play.)
This series is truly a delight. Each episode stands on its own as an entertaining, exquisite work of art. The attention to detail is remarkable. Each frame is a painting; each line is music to my ears (and many are quotable). The actual music (ranging from Jazz to Classical) always fits the setting, and is expertly recorded under the direction of Michael Small.
The actors above (and Bill Smitrovich as Inspector Cramer and R.D. Reid as Sgt. Purley Stebbins both of Manhattan Homicide) fit their characters the way Jeremy Brett fit Sherlock Holmes. It's a pleasure to spend time with them.Read more ›
I missed the series on A&E, not having cable, and felt that similar thrill when I saw the series DVDs on Amazon. I bought the 1st year. I set the stage: dim lights, popcorn (with buck-wheat honey & butter to taste), my feet up and my sweetheart in Tennessee. I pushed play, and was thrilled with what I saw. The casting was right on. Wolfe, of course, had to be right or the whole effect would have been lost. He was. Archie is a little thin, at least according to my imagination, but the whole experience of the first episode left me completely satisfied. Were some of the mannerisms not quite right? Not that I could see, nor would I care. It was great entertainment.
I'm buying year two.
Nero Wolfe is unique (to my experience, anyway) in that the big brained, Holmesian dectective isn't really the main character, certainly isn't the main voice, and neither wants, nor expects, to be liked. Instead, Archie Goodwin, the snappy dressing, wise cracking legman, is the true protaganist. As one author put it, "These aren't Nero Wolfe mysteries -- they're Archie Goodwin mysteries!"
And this truly rich chemistry, which makes the books so wonderful, really comes out in the series. You get to wander the 1940s (and 50s and 60s) streets with Archie, savoring the snappy fashions and even snappier patter as he gumshoes his way deep into the plot. Then you get to follow him home to the brownstone and be as annoyed by Nero's arrogance and petty habits as he is. But it always takes both of them, incredibly brilliant in their own unique way, to solve the insolvable.
One note about the actors performances, however: the performances are wonderful, especially those of the lead characters, but the actors performing secondary roles do show up in other episodes, usually playing someone new. After I got used to it, I thought it was brilliant -- it's like watching a small theatre group performing a new play each week. If I were an actor, I coudn't imagine a tv role that could possibly be more fun. But I freely admit trying to keep track of the characters really threw me for a loop at first.
On the whole -- wonderful. If you love cozies and locked room mysteries, you'll love this. If you love Sherlock Holmes and unsolvable puzzles, you'll love this.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Occasionally, but all-too rarely, one comes across a movie or television series that is cast absolutely perfectly: one thinks of Sean Connery as James Bond, David Suchet as Hercule... Read morePublished on Sept. 24 2010 by Edward S. Franchuk
If you like the books you will enjoy watching this series. Entertaining and faithful Rex Stout's unique writting style. I just wish A&E had continued adapting the books to filmPublished on July 16 2004 by S. Taylor
Unlike the other reviewers, before seeing any of these movies I had read all of the Rex Stout Nero Wolfe stories and books. Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by Richard A. Rodman
One of the smartest and wittiest shows on television. Based on the novels of the late Rex Stout, the Nero Wolfe mysteries that ran for two seasons on A&E are simply tremendous. Read morePublished on June 7 2004 by David A. Vosseller
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