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4.0 out of 5 stars Steele good, Feb. 24 2007
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Remington Steele:S1 (DVD)
The name is Steele. Remington Steele.

Before the advent of reality TV and gritty cop shows, detective shows were apparently the thing -- and the 1980s show "Remington Steele" was a standout. The mixture of humor, romantic tension and high-gloss detecting is constantly entertaining.

Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist) worked hard to become a private eye, only to discover that sexism was holding her back. So she invented a fake boss, Remington Steele, who was always conveniently absent when clients came to talk to his "assistant." The deceptive little system works perfectly... until Laura tries to protect a multimillion-dollar jewel collection, and runs into a man (Pierce Brosnan) who now claims to be Remington Steele.

The flesh-and-blood Remington Steele is dapper, intelligent, loves old movies, and is a master criminal. Laura can't expose him without exposing her own fraud, so she comes to a tenuous truce with him: She'll let him stay, and finance his apartment and living, if he behaves himself and doesn't mess around with her detecting. Her assistants Murphy and Bernice (James Read and Janet DeMay) don't like it, but they have to accept him.

But Steele doesn't want to stay in the shadows. He begins to take an interest in solving cases, and helps Laura find a missing video game genius, deal with a body in a winery, and encounter the Yakuza, murderous fellow P.I.s, B-movie queens, smut publishers, insomniacs, old lovers, divorce lawyers, and much more. All the while, Laura tries to figure out who Steele really is, as they try to figure out how they feel about each other.

Humorous detective stories are not an easy thing to do -- they can easily descend into slapstick or idiocy. "Remington Steele" straddled the line perfectly. The first two episodes are rather grim, but by episode three we have Brosnan's charming smirks and the slightly oddball cases that the show became known for. Okay, maybe Laura's on-the-run striptease was a bit much, but Steele's look of shock is worth it.

Surprisingly, not much has aged about this show. Sure, we have some ludicrous 80s hair and clothing, and computers were in their infancy. But the storylines are still hugely entertaining, the sort of stories that could be easily transferred (well, most of the time) to the 1920s, 2000s, or most places in between. And they're peppered with old movie references, courtesy of Steele's little obsession.

Pierce Brosnan, pre-Bond, gives Steele the right amounts of earnestness and smoothness, quoting old movies and enthusiastically needling Murphy. Zimbalist does an almost equal job; she gets a bit smug in some scenes, but overall carries it well as the Beatrice to Pierce's Benedick. The two stars have remarkably electric chemisty -- a shame they didn't like each other.

DeMay and Read aren't as good -- they were only in one season -- primarily because their characters seem rather one note. And the various guest stars are very good, whether old ladies or distinguished actors, such as Zimbalist's father Efram Jr. And keep an eye out for a young Sharon Stone in a very brief role.

A deeply entertaining and well-written series, "Remington Steele" managed to bridge the gulf between detective shows and dry comedy. Fun, tense and intelligent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Before he was Bond, he was Steele--Remington Steele., March 10 2006
Christopher Jackson (Halifax, Nova Scotia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Remington Steele:S1 (DVD)
Every once in a while a detective series comes around which produces a bona fide star. The star: Pierce Brosnan-- The series: Remington Steele.
The premise of the series is this: A female detective, Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist, daughter of Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) after studying and apprenticing in her chosen field, opens her own detective agency, only to find that no one takes a female detective seriously. So, she invents a fictional character for her agency--Remington Steele. Suddenly, she's getting more cases than she ever imagined. Then one day a mysterious stranger comes into her office looking for help on a case. Soon, he's introducing himself as Remington Steele to inquiring clients who come into the agency; and before long, he's taken the name as his own! So, throughout the first season, Remington and Laura along with her private investigator Murphy (James Read), take on cases of kidnappings, missing persons and murder. Janet DeMay plays the agency's secretary Bernice Foxe, who's always called "Wolf" by Remington.
After years of being on VHS, 20th Century Fox has finally released the entire first season of this show (22 episodes on 4 double-sided DVDs) and encased them in a boxed set of two very slim plastic cases. Well, it's about time! I loved this show when I saw it during it's original run and always through that Pierce Brosnan would make a great Bond (he would finally get the chance in 1995, in GoldenEye). The episodes in this set are extremely entertaining, full of humour, suspense and adventure! The picture and sound quality are excellent--no instances of grain are prevalent, the soundtrack is bold and vibrant and dialogue is easily heard. For the hearing impaired, it has subtitles in English and Spanish and is also closed captioned in English. While you're watching these episodes, look for appearances by some now well-known stars. People such as Paul Reiser, Sharon Stone, Keye Luke, Peter Scolari, B-movie actress Beverly Garland, Annie Potts, and Allyce Beasley. Cassandra Harris (Pierce's first wife) also makes an appearance in the first season.
It is interesting to note is that both Remington Steele(1982-1987) and The Saint (1962-1969) have something in common. What would that be, you ask? The answer is that both series had stars that were offered the role of James Bond during their series run. Roger Moore was offered it before Sean Connery, but couldn't accept as he was starring in The Saint. Pierce Brosnan lost the role to Timothy Dalton, when interest in Brosnan being Bond suddenly created interest in his cancelled series and it was unexpectedly renewed for 6 episodes in the form of two TV movies and a two-part episode, which aired in 1987.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Remington Steele Shines, Dec 3 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Remington Steele:S1 (DVD)
I thoroughly enjoyed the first season of Remington. The 2 DVDs are of stellar quality and the special features are both informative and interesting. (Now I understand why Murphy & Ms. Fox are not in the second season.) If you like Remington Steele, you will love this first season DVD!
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Remington Steele:S1
Remington Steele:S1 by Seymour Robbie (DVD - 2005)
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