Under the Radar DVD of the Week: "Tenspeed and Brown Shoe"
This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:
“Tenspeed and Brown Shoe: The Complete Series”
Long before he became a best-selling author of mega-hit crime novels, Stephen J. Cannell was a hard-working TV writer-producer of such action series as “The Rockford Files,” The A-Team” and “Hardcastle and McCormick.” Long before they broke out as stars in Hollywood and on Broadway, Jeff Goldblum and Ben Vereen were hard-working actors for whom a long-running TV series would have been a Godsend.
The trio came together in 1980 for a lively, clever but unfortunately short-lived detective series that ran only one season (14 episodes) but left behind lots of fans
It was “Tenspeed and Brown Shoe,” an hour-long show that teamed Goldblum’s terminally square stockbroker Lionel Whitney, nicknamed Brown Shoe, with Vereen’s hip, fast-talking hustler E.L. Turner, a.k.a. Tenspeed. With Brown Shoe pursuing his fantasy of becoming a hardboiled private eye, he’s taken in by Tenspeed, who hopes to string this square along for a big score.
It was the perfect oil-and-water, Red Bull and tepid tea match-up as the two became grudging friends, opened an L.A. detective agency and gave the prolific Cannell a chance to pay homage and to spoof lots of age-old conventions of the P.I. genre.
“Tenspeed and Brown Shoe: The Complete Series” will be released Tuesday by Mill Creek Entertainment and will retail for a suggested price of $14.98.
– Dennis King
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