Friday, March 25, 2011

What The Libyan Rebels Need is Airwolf

I didn't realize it, but I am apparently some kind of psychic foreign policy rainmaker. Just a couple of weeks ago I decided to start watching Airwolf on Netflix, and of course, the first two episodes, Shadow of the Hawk Parts One and Two, deal with Airwolf's evil genius creator taking the super-copter to Libya so he can use it as a bargaining chip to do all sorts of sadistic things to women. Hey, I guess even aeronautical engineering madmen need love too - it just involves dead hookers.

C'mon, do you want to try and pick up chicks in a back-talking blabbermouth sports car,
or a silent, bulletproof, supersonic assault helicopter that resides in a secret desert lair?

When I was a kid, I loved Airwolf. Of course, I also loved The A-Team, and Magnum P.I., and Knight Rider, and MacGyver, and pretty much any other 80's television series that involved kicking ass and taking names. This was the era in which America's post-Vietnam angst provided television with a smorgasbord of ideas; television shows about Vietnam veterans, or episode plots that revolved around vets, or simply grooved off of the post-modern pulp fiction era's themes of harsh vigilante justice, taking the fight to the enemy and "winning the unwinnable war", and many others.

Airwolf was, in many ways, a top contender for the king of the post-modern pulp television series. Although A-Team might beat it out in some regards, Airwolf had the secret government agency, the Vietnam angle, the high-tech gizmos, the Cold War adventures, and most telling, it had a body count. I understand the plot reasoning as to why the A-Team didn't kill people, but just as I got tired of Xena: Warrior Princess punching bad guys with her fist instead of stabbing them through the head with her sword, I got a little tired of the A-Team not lighting up the scumbags they always dealt with.
Okay K.I.T.T., let's see you do THAT. Oh can't. Because you're unarmed. Like a little bitch.

Airwolf, on the other hand, kicked ass for reals, yo. Rocket launchers, cannons, machine guns; Airwolf had it all. Stringfellow also packed a .45 and knew how to use it. But most of all, what two key aces did Airwolf have up its supersonic sleeves?

An Agency honcho with one eye and a spotless white suit, and Ernest Borgnine wearing a bad tie.

If you haven't had a chance to see this show in a while (like...20 years or so...), give it a shot. It's the 80's, the plots are about as tightly woven as a fishing net, but it's still a lot of fun.


Anonymous said...

I always wondered the same thing about come she always got into sword fights and just hit the bad guy in the head with the hilt of her sword? It's like using a rifle as a club, or a screw driver as a hammer, I mean c'mon!

Jack Badelaire said...


I mean, Hercules was superhumanly strong and didn't bother with a weapon, Gabrielle was some kind of art-hippie and use her staff, and Joxer was incompetent. Xena should have been like a human Ginsu knife - shing-snick-slash-stab, problem solved.

Damn TV execs and their worries over imaginary body counts...

Anonymous said...

I forgot all about Joxer, the incompetent male side kick. I think I was more interested in seeing Xena and Gabrielle lez it out...I was like thirteen when the show came on the air after all.

Karlos said...

I need to see Airwolf again RIGHT NOW.

Apart from that awful 4th season were the first thing they did was get rid of Stringfellow and kill off Dominic. Bad moves!

Machine Trooper said...

If you haven't already, you might wanna check out "Blue Thunder," too. Roy Scheider flick that I suspect probably inspired the TV execs to come up with Airwolf.

Jack Badelaire said...

I saw Blue Thunder in the theater, so yeah, I know what you mean. I'd like to see it again just because I think the last time I saw it, that must have been a decade ago.