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Street Hawk: The Complete Series


None July 20th, 2010

The driving success of "Knight Rider" unwittingly spawned a shows involving high-tech vehicles into the networks' prime-time lineup of the early '80s, including "Airwolf," "Blue Thunder," "Automan" and "Street Hawk." None packed quite the punch; "Street Hawk" lasted a mere 13 episodes before being sent to the scrap heap.

One can see why, now that the single-season series is available in a complete set: It's goofy, and not really in a good way. Action shows of that era admittedly come readymade with a chunk of cheese, but there's cheddar and then there's limburger. KITT had nothing to worry about.

Rex Smith is the de facto David Hasselhoff, as motorcycle cop Jesse Mach (get it, Mach?) spotted and recruited by computer genius Joe Regalbuto to be the test pilot "” er, driver "” for Street Hawk, an advanced, super-fast motorcycle designed to fight crime and overall urban blight.

Each of the dozen episodes following the overlong pilot presents Mach and Hawk with a problem easily and conveniently thwartable by a two-wheeler. (Okay, so it helps that Street Hawk goes 300 mph, presented each ep in "Flash"-vision.) This being 1985, the show is rife with porn-star mustaches, a comic-relief authority figure, cuties in bikinis and/or cuties in particularly fluffy blouses with even fluffier hair (including co-star Jeannie Wilson).

Think "Batman & Robin" was George Clooney's most embarrassing role? Hold your judgment until you've seen him and his mullet take part in a carnival-ride montage as a guest star in the second episode. But wait, there's more! "Street Hawk" wallows in near-self-parody, ending each hour with the kind of odd freeze-frames that "Police Squad!" used to mercilessly lampoon. Example: "I'll have a cheeseburger and fries, hold the onions."

You have to have had really loved "Street Hawk" in its original run to go for this four-disc set. I know you're out there, however, and you'll be pleased as punch with a rather lengthy documentary that interviews the three leads as they are today (read: old), plus the unaired pilot. "”Rod Lott


 
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