The Knights of Prosperity
Wednesdays @ 8:30 on ABC (always check listings - it moves a lot)
In a Nutshell: Welcome Back Kotter
Here are 10 good reasons why this show is amusing:
1. The theme song kicks ass. It's a story-song in the manner of Shaft
2. It's produced by David Letterman's company Worldwide Pants, but does not star David Letterman.
3. Famous people - most notably Dustin "Screech" Diamond and Mick Jagger - show up occasionally, playing caricatures of themselves.
4. It stars a big fat black guy with a Barry White voice who constantly chomps a cigar.
5. Two of the characters are an Italian from the Bronx and an Indian taxi driver who continuously throw racial jabs at each other.
6. One of the characters is a fey nerdy guy.
7. The entire premise of the show is how these people plan to rob Mick Jagger. That is it.
8. The gang's headquarters is a Jewish decorations warehouse - thus, lots of over-sized menorahs and dreidels.
9. The gang has made their own shirts. Red t-shirts with iron-on letters right out of the 80's. They often sport these shirts over their button-down collared shirts or, in the case of the sexy Latina character, in a very lovely way.
10. The end of each episode features the cast doing a "slow-mo" walk through an alley wearing their t-shirts to the recap version of the theme song.
I'm pretty much watching every week just to see how this show could possibly pan out over more than 13 episodes. So what happens when they eventually do end up robbing Mick Jagger? Will they go on to rob someone else - such as Jeff Goldblum or Howard Stern, who both passed on the show?
If nothing else, it's an excellent new twist on a 30-minute primetime comedy. And on network TV, no less! It has its funny moments, mostly relating to the characters and situations mentioned above. And they have what seems to be an expensive arsenal of background music, consisting of a lot of hit music from the past 40 years. Listening to The Simpsons
DVD commentaries gives one a good picture of how much each note of a song - especially popular songs - costs. My theory is that somewhere-down-the-line-producer Paul Shaffer had a hand in getting some sort of discount for being one of the guys who probably wrote or played on every song since 1972.
They definitely came up with a good "hook" for this show, which indeed has me hooked. I am actually hoping it does a very short run so they don't end up having *ahem* lost
the premise before it comes to a big payoff at the end.
ABC did a lot of hemming and hawing over this show before it went to air (there were several different names for the series as well as several different celebrities to focus on), and since it's gotten to the air it continues to move around the schedule. Catch it if you can - or check it out in reruns next summer. At least by then you'll know if they actually DO rob Mick Jagger.