Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

    Hello Shadow fans, if indeed I have any left. I took time off from this blog to take a much needed break. The stresses of life and family had become to much for even my creative juices to bring about release. I had taken that much needed breather and was getting ready to return in the summer of 2015 when my world was rocked to the very core. On July 9th I rushed my first born son to the hospital. He was in great distress and I broke all traffic laws getting him there. The first hospital we took him to diagnosed him with type 1 diabetes. They gave him fluids and insulin and he appeared to look better. After about an hour he was stable enough to transport him to a hospital that was better equipped for his illness. My wife rode in the ambulance with our son while I followed close behind as we rushed him up to the children's ICU ward. What happens next I will never forget as long as I live. The ICU doctor comes in and says to us, "I don't know if your son is dead or alive. He is the sickest little boy I have ever seen." Well my world spiraled from that point on. He languished in a coma for four days until he finally went home to heaven on July 12th. He was only 4 and a half years old. From that day forward my life has been bouts of sudden starts and stops. It's been like time is going by fast in slow motion. I would like to continue this blog again, but I am still trying to just sort out life. It is amazing how in situations like this the things that seemed important just don't anymore. When I do come back I am sure some of the format will change, but no worries that colorful wit of mine did come out the other side intact. So hopefully I will see you all sooner than later. Just remember life is short and we should never lose focus on the things that matter most because one day you may wake and they will be gone.

Love and peace...
The Shadow
Rest In heaven David Michael Brown II
Any one who wishes to help us with expenses may donate here

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Circumstances have caused me to take a hiatus from the blog for a time. I have the start of one Halloween episode saved and will most likely post it in the next week or so. From then hopefully I will be back sooner rather than later. Thanks Shadow fans for your support and fandom. I hope I will be back soon.
The Shadow

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tripping the Rift is pretty rift trippy

     Hello one and all and welcome back to another installment of the Shadow knows. This month seems to be one of those months of yuck for your old pal the Shadow true believers. It is my hope once I have another vehicle that things will get back to normal and I will be able to start posting again on Thursday with more regularity. So then what does the Shadow know today kiddies? Well this little nugget comes straight off the warning labels of car window sunscreens everywhere. Apparently when you put your sunscreen up you are not suppose to drive your vehicle. I mean really, why not? It would after all block out all that horrible sun and help keep your car cool. I mean do we really need to see where we are going? Isn't that a noble trade-off for such a great device. The world may never know and when the small minded discover the answer they may well be lucky to get away with that info with their necks intact. I am afraid though they will not learn from it. Alas poor Yoric, I knew him well Horatio... So any who onto the How I Geek show on kiddies. This last Sunday we finally talked TV, well transformers TV. Do you talk TV? I sure do, don't touch that dial and now the news. By gum he sure do and we will fix up your smashed up friend like new with 90 day warranty. So anyway why don't you come check it out. It is I believe more then meets the eyes.

     So now to the topic and last game system of the month and what is that you ask? Why that grand old outdated Palladium system of course. Founded in Detroit, Michigan in April of 1981, by Kevin Siembieda Palladium started out as a fantasy setting. Kevin created this system while playing D&D in the late 70's, but this was not to be the first actual book to be published using his unique gaming system. That honor falls to the Mechanoid Invasion. The story around this games was that the Mechanoids, a malevolent race of aliens come to invade the planet Gideon E colonized by humans. It was originally released as 3 comic book sized source books. I can't really give you many facts about it other then it exists. I am afraid that out of all of the games run on this system this is one I have had the littlest experience with. After his success with this release Siembieda finally released Palladium Fantasy Role Playing Game. This game is like most fantasy setting RPGs with the same types of races and beasties to fight. Next up Kevin came up with his own super hero universe game called Heroes Unlimited. With all the big comic companies out there holding the licenses tightly for their individual characters Kevin had to come up with ideas of his own. This must have come naturally to him since his dream was to be a comic book artist. This game and story arc is very unique to itself and I had had quite a bit of fun fighting super villains before there were any games of this type really (Marvel and DC each put out their own RPGs with limited success). There were other worlds crafted and created each with their own uniqueness and flair like the TMNT setting and Robotech which I will touch base on a little later. The world series that I loved the most through Palladium though was Rifts. Rifts is a post apocalyptic setting in which magic tears a hole in the fabric of space, time, and reality. This of course destroys the old world and from the ashes a new world is formed. It kinda has a Thundarr the Barbarian feel to it, with all kinds of other elements thrown in together from all across reality. I always had fun playing games in this setting and would love to get another game in sometime in the future.

     So yeah I know I mentioned Robotech not that long ago and here we go with that. In 1986 Palladium books made a deal with Harmony Gold to license an RPG based on the Palladium system. This was quite a feat considering the reputation that Harmony Gold has had when it comes to the licensing of their products. The game was a success and spread far and wide much to the delight of fans everywhere. In it's time it was fun to play and kicking the butts of everything from the Zentradi to the Invid was a blast. So when I discovered that Palladium was going to release a miniatures game based on the RPG with Ninja Division I jumped right onto the band wagon. That my friends was waaaaaay back in March of 2013 with a release date of December of 2013. Here it is September of 2014 and no product have I received in my grubby little hands. They are finally receiving containers and are suppose to be shipping to backers by the end of this week beginning of next. I know, I know plenty of Kickstarters never reach their intended release dates due to underestimating the size a kickstarter can explode into. My issue here is the fact that information to the backers has never been what you would call very forth right or forth coming. When updates would finally come with any sense of regularity they would be filled with inconsistencies and felt untruthful. We would get told one thing and then the next post something completely different. I for one am still jazzed about the game and I can't wait for it to hit the shelves. I just hope that with the way this thing has gone Kevin has not cut his own throat with this game. I guess we will see and only time will tell.

     So now let us talk a little bit about the rule set. This system of course is way different from that of D&D or really any other RPG out there then or today. The one good thing about the system is it is straight forward once a character has been generated (for the most part). Alas that is the trick isn't it? To really get a game going right away you need to make your characters up in advance. This is of course something every gamer does right... wrong. This can really dig into your game time and quite frankly sucks. Why you may ask? Because to generate a character using the Palladium system is quite time consuming and is rather involved. The process takes up lots of valuable gaming time and character generation can be very confusing to those who are just starting out with the game. I believe that this game is really in need of a massive overhaul to streamline a lot of unnecessary things and make character generation much faster and efficient. Then there is the fact that once you start to gain experience and level up you really don't get anything for your trouble and characters can become really stale to play. On the other hand once you get used to playing it does become easier, but in this world where nobody wants complicated games anymore I believe Palladium is stubbornly hanging onto outdated concepts that will cause them to lose their share of the market. Listen to me sounding all smart and stuff.

     Well folks that is all I really have to say on the matter of Palladium at this time. So what do you Shadow fans think? Has Palladium Books gone past it's prime and need to retire to an old retired gamers community? If you play their system do you have a favorite world you prefer? Has anyone played the Mechanoid Invasion and if so how was it? Is it possible for Kevin Siembieda to stop pissing off his fans? Does anybody know what she does after she comes around the mountain and why does she choose come around the mountain? Why not go over or under? These are those big hard hitting questions I hit you all with each week true believers. Well that is it and I am outta here, peace out, and I will see you from the shadows.

 Update: well today I got wave one, well will wonders never cease. I am going through the booty and I have to say I don't care for the over complexity of the models. I will continue to go through the game and see what is what. To be honest I am more excited about the Shadows of Brimstone I am getting tomorrow... FIN 11/11/2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Generals Gathered in Their Masses...

     Welcome one and all to another lovely Thursday with your old pal the Shadow. Are you excited? I know I am, can't you tell by the look upon my face. Well take a look, look closer, closer, closer... BOO! Well darn that only really works if A you're gullible and B you are actually in the room... oh well I tried. So what Shadow fans does the Shadow know on this fine day? Well in truth lots of things, but today in this very moment what I know is this. After laying out some more ant traps to help rid myself of such vile vermin I happen to notice this little nugget of wisdom. Apparently ant traps contain peanuts and should not be ingested in case of allergy... WTF! Again I find this world we live in bursting at the seams with the rocket scientists of the world. Hmm, I dunno if I would be concerned so much with the peanut allergy after ingesting a nice lethal dose of cyanide! Hey what the heck do I know. I am just a little guy with a blog. I am not one those smart peoples of the world. So any who be leery when you suck on your ant traps if you are allergic to peanuts. You could go in to anaphylaxis and die. May the force be with you. So now onto How I Geek, on with Greg and the gang. This week we will be discussing for your ear lobe funtertainment Transformer's in honor of their 30th anniversary. I hate inviting the Decepticons over to the house. They get energon all over the house and I don't think, Ravage, Lazerbeak, or Buzzsaw are house broken. So come on by and we'll fix your leaking lubricants. It will be a blast I tell you a blast, (well it will if Michael Bay stops by... oh yes, it will be). So we will catch you then.

     So here it is game number two for a month of gaming and that little nugget of joy is Games Workshop's Warhammer 40K. I think number two is very appropriate because Games Workshop often takes a dump on it's fans, but alas I digress. Created by Rick Priestley in 1987 40k takes place in the 41st millennium of mankind's history. It is a thousand years after a great war with the evil chaos Gods and their twisted minions for control of the universe. In that time the great emperor of humanity has created the perfect gene seed and seeded 20 great generals (his progeny as it were) to lead his massive Space Marine armies. These soldiers have all been turned into the ultimate super soldiers and they are tasked to defend the great Imperium of man. To consolidate his new Imperium the emperor rallies his troops to unite the far flung colonies of man under one banner. It is during this time that the chaos gods begin to warp the mind of the emperor's greatest champion Horus. It is though Horus' arrogance that he is forever warped and changed into a being of pure evil and brings with him several legions and generals with him. The Horus Heresy as it will be called dragged mankind into a massive civil war with the emperor himself felling the final blow and ending it, but only at a great cost to himself. The minions of chaos scurried back into the warp. This all occurs in the 31st millennium. We fast forward 1000 years and that is were they game begins.

     One would think that after all that work there would be peace in the universe. Alas you would be wrong as the victory is a short lived one. The minions of chaos continue to fight the heroes of the Imperium through what seems to be a never ending struggle. To top this off many great technologies and the knowledge to build them were lost during the the great war. Also many enemies of man have surfaced (some ancient and others new) to attempt to take their place in the universe. First are the ancient Eldar. They are the ancient elves of old. In their own arrogance they released a chaos god and caused the slow demise of their race. They travel the universe  on world ships hoping to stave off their eventual extinction. Next is the Orks. In some editions they were said to be made of plants. In any case they were created by the Eldar to battle the chaos forces they unleashed only to discover their creations thirst for blood and battle was to insatiable to control. The Ork only knows war. It is all he thinks about, dreams about, or even talks about. They are quite a bit slow and dimwitted, but have a way of somehow stealing other races tech and converting it for their own uses. Next come the Tyranid. These beings are intelligent in their own right. They are comparable to the James Cameron movie Aliens, aliens. They scurry across the universe spreading their seed to devour entire worlds. They have no interest in conquest, but only rather to exist and grow as a species. Perhaps that is what makes them the most terrifying to those of the Imperium. They can't be bargained with or reasoned with. They simply wish to devour, consume, and continue. This brings us to the next race the Necrons. They are a race of mechanical beings who have had all their humanity as it were removed to become soulless machines. Soulless is really not true as they have a soul. It is just trapped in a emotionless body that is bent upon conquest. With each new soldier they kill upon the battlefield becomes a new soldier amongst their ranks. They are similar in appearance to James Cameron's terminators from the movie of the same title and they to cannot be reasoned with. They simply exist to conquer and reshape the universe (also not to unlike the borg). Next up are the evil counter parts to the Eldar, the Dark Eldar. These dark elves in space are more like pirates and live more to feed their own needs rather then conquest. They broke away from the Eldar long ago and basically pillage and plunder across the universe... yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. Next up is the newest of races and the greatest shooters in the game the Tau Empire. The Tau are considered the bringers of light and justice. They are a highly advanced culture that is doing it's best to protect its lands from the encroaching races across the galaxy. They have allied themselves with the more primitive Kroot as the Tau are rather squishy on the battlefield in hand to hand combat. Finally we have the Daemons of chaos. they are those foul things that go bump in the night and the horrors that live within your nightmares. These entities come through the warp gates and bring terror and death to those they touch and cannot convert for their chaos masters. They ride along with the often mutated fallen chaos space marines side by side. These are the enemies of the Imperium. This is just really an over simplified synapses of what is out there. There are many different sects and subgroups within the Imperium itself, but I will not get into them here. As you can see the world of 40K is filled with a lot of diversity and complexity, but what of the game itself.

     Interesting fluff and story telling aside Games Workshop will be the first to tell you they are a model making company first and a gaming company last. They do indeed make many wonderful models and once painted up look really great on the battlefield, but unfortunately the rules made from edition to edition do not match these wonderful models. Since 87 there have been 7 editions of 40K with 4th and 5th being my least two favorite editions and also a new codex released for every army under the flag of each edition. One of the first big issues I have here is that with every time they do reset they nerf (or blunt) something that was big and bad in the previous edition and thus making it a walking waste of your money. The second thing that bothers me with these edition changes is that they restructure (reinvent the wheel) on most armies forcing you to be constantly buying new minis. This would not be so bad if it wasn't for the fact that they keep hiking the prices with each new edition as well. When I first started playing I could get a Space Marine land raider tank for just under 40 bucks (back in 2005 for those wishing to know). Now you would be lucky to find one for under 80. Codex's that are required for your armies are up to 50 bucks apiece and the core rulebook almost 100 bucks. With other miniature gaming companies pumping out better quality models with superior rules sets it is only a matter of time before Games Workshop has painted itself in a corner.Don't get me wrong I love playing this game and I love seeing big armies crush each other on the battlefield. I just think that for what you get with your money (as far as rules) this game just isn't worth the price you are paying. Perhaps you feel different and I say to you that is OK, but me I have a family and not the kind of disposable income I had when I was younger. I feel more and more priced out of this game every year and as with my role playing I have gotten fewer and fewer games in. I dunno perhaps it is time for me to sell at rock bottom prices. As my Aunt is always fond of saying it is what it is, So alas I digress. Warhammer 40K is a pretty sweet game and I have had a lot of fun playing it over the years in spite of Games Workshop. I encourage anyone to give it a try and see for yourselves. I just hope you don't have a stroke when you see the price if you buy all new.

     Well folk that is it again for another installment of the Shadow Knows. What did you think this of this weeks installment? Do you play 40K? What is your favorite army? Do you play any miniature war games? Did you know that witches have black masses? I am just saying that when generals gather in their masses it is just like witches and their black masses. I know this cuz Ozzy told me so. He bites heads off bats, so he must know everything.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!


     Hello one and all Shadow fans and welcome back to another installment of the Shadow Knows. This week has been crazy for me and my family. Between first week of school and getting paperwork together for insurance on my wife's accident the week has been crazy. So now here I am posting another late blog post. Late heck, here we are one week later. Well that is just the way it is sometimes with life. One day you're eating steak and potatoes and the next thing you know the steak and potatoes are eating you. I tell you what that is just dog eat dog. Or is it potatoes eat cows? Well not really, I don't want P.E.T.A. on my butt here. Now that would be all I need... So that is really just what the Shadow knows today. That when you are not watching life can come up and bite you in the butt like a great big snake man. Let me tell you when a snake bites you in the butt you really know it... ouch! So now onto How I Geek with Greg and the gang. This week is our top 5 fav action movies. There will only be 3 of us this week and so it shouldn't take us long to burn through that. But hey, you never know with us. So come check us out for some car chases, boulder rolling, shoot-out, fight scene. excitement. Yep that is what we did last week alright. So this week, we are doing 80's TV shows. You know another top 5 as it were. We are also having our How I Geek cook out Saturday. Greg says he doesn't think we can record open mic that day. I think my friends we can and it would be glorious. WE shall see what happens. So now like Aquaman returning home let us dive right into the action of this weeks crazy, mixed-up, blog-crafting excitement... shall we?

     So as promised we are diving right in with a month of role-playing/gaming. I have been a bit removed from that which is role-playing awesomeness and wish I had another group to play with, but alas I digress. Up for your ocular pleasure is Dungeons and Dragons. This game, originally known as Chainmail started as a small boxed set containing a series of three pamphlets. The game was the brain child of partners and friends Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and published in 1974 under the flag of Tactical Studies Rules inc. (TSR). This is really the game that started it all. Up until this time most games were either regular old board games or table top miniatures strategy games. From this single game an entire genre was born. As this game took off it grew and expanded in many different ways. One of the first was dividing it into two sections. First was basic D&D and it was played with a very basic set of rules. Second was Advanced D&D or AD&D and this was of course played with a more advanced rules set. With this twist in the rule set D&D grew and grew with greater popularity until 1989 when AD&D became AD&D 2nd edition. This is the point where I jumped onto the band wagon and my life was forever changed. At the time I had no idea that 2nd edition had just come out. Nor was I aware of how the other editions played. At first I was not even aware that the game was in two parts with basic and advanced forms of play. What I do know now is what D&D gave me in the friendships that I still carry to this day. One of the big draws for me was how inexpensive it was to get into the game. The rules were a bit complicated, but once learned and mastered were easy to maintain. The one flaw of course being the Thac0 system, or To Hit Armor Class Zero. Since zero itself was counted as a number (of course it should be it is after all) instead of starting with one it  would throw the calculation off by one. It made things a bit awkward to figure out and as such made for some serious fights at the game table. Nobody wanted to do awkward math. All they wanted to do was play a game. With that one single flaw aside and perhaps some minor ones in between this was a really good system. It was fun to play and the way the system ran it allowed for plenty of imagination in game play. The Dungeon Master ran each game session as kind of a narrator of the tale unfolding before you. A crafty one could handle most situations on the fly without too much hassle. There was never really any reason to change the system, besides of course Thac0. Unfortunately though there would be those who would cause the rains to come.

     Now large thunder clouds came overhead in 1997 when a nearly bankrupt TSR was bought out by Wizards of the Coast. You know the guys who make Magic the Smothering... err I mean Gathering. Once they took over they decided to reinvent the wheel. First came 3rd edition and 3.5 which introduced the world to the D20 system. These editions were not bad, especially since Gygax and Arneson both had impute on these editions. These editions also folded the game back into one with no basic or advanced editions, but rather one edition. The introduction of feats and skills was neat as was making the game license open. This allowed for anybody to make their own world books based on this system. This of course caused a flooding of materials and options to be generated. I still say 2nd edition was more than adequate, but 3 & 3.5 were decent enough. What killed D&D for me was fourth edition. I mean by this point all this game was about for WotC was profit margins. Gone were the cheap rule books and in their place were 50 dollar books that did not give you everything you needed to play the game. Each book only contained like two classes each. It is bad enough to pay 100 bucks for the Monstrous Manual and the Dungeon Masters Guide, but to throw away coin just to get a complete class list for your players was insane. I mean you are talking 100's of bucks here on a role players salary. From what I have seen Of 5th edition it has taken them back to the fundamentals and more complete rulebooks for less money, but I don't think I could play anything beyond 3.5. This company has killed the game for me and I want back my old TSR. Alas with Gygax and Arneson both gone from this cruel world we may never see the return of the glory that was what D&D once was. I know there are those of you out there that disagree and say I am nuts and that is OK. Really though I am more insane then nuts, but alas I digress. If the later editions are your thing I say cool. I hope you get as much greatness and wonder out of the game as I did.

      Now speaking of greatness and wonder I cannot complete the story of D&D without mentioning the great convention that sprang from it's loins as it were. That convention is of course Gen Con, which is short for Geneva Conclave. This name comes from where the convention got its start in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, home of Gary Gygax and the former headquarters of the once great TSR. Started in 1967 (yes before D&D existed) Gary Gygax started this thing as a kind of gathering of gamers and it is through this convention that he would meet his partner in crime Dave Arneson and this coupling would later give birth to D&D. The convention grew every year from it's start until finally the venue had to be moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the MECCA Center. This is the place for all the new and great games coming out to be previewed for all the world of gamers to see. When it was in the hands of TSR it brought me great memories and I met many a great star from Mark Hamill to Ernie Hudson. The swag was bountiful and I believe the atmosphere was stellar. Now since it has passed though the hands of others I see it becoming more about the wallets of the attendees then the fun of the games it is to promote. This is another soapbox issue for me as well. I loved this convention and have attended since 1995, but it has been losing its luster and become quite tarnished for me. Gone is the infamous swag bag. in its place is a coupon book that finds its way into the trash every year. It is pretty much just useless paper better suited for the out houses of the days of yor. Gone too are the SciFi and Fantasy movie greats that would make appearances, promote their latest movies, and sign autographs. There are still great authors and artists to be found there and their work on display is most awesomely killer, but this does not make up for the other losses. Now I know the economy sucks right now and that gaming is more then just about the swag. The thing is this thing keeps growing, you pay 70 bucks to get in for those four days of gaming and what do you get for your money. The right to game at the convention and buy things in the hall. Well I can game and shop at my local gaming store for nothing more then the cost of what I buy. Sure I get to see the new and now, but when all they do is try to push for more of your money to preorder a game that you have no idea will be a success or not this becomes a huge turnoff. I mean my basement is full of by gone games that fizzled and died. Nobody plays them and that is just more money wasted that could have gone elsewhere. I dunno maybe you all see it differently. I hope that there are still those who are having fun in the wonderful worlds created by Gygax and Arenson, but as for me I fear my disillusion has caused me to continue to lose interest in that which I hold most dear. In the end I leave it up to you my loyal readers to decide.

     Well there you have it folks, better late then never I suppose. That is all the time I have left this week for the Shadow knows. I know, I know I said I might post a twofer, but I really don't have time for that today. Perhaps I will post a small segment on something to make up for the lost article. That is if life does not hit me with another right hook. So any who tell me what you think loyal Shadow fans. Is D&D still great for you? Do you like where it has gone? Do you have a favorite class or race? What of Gen Con? Is it still your happy place? I sometimes have to go to my happy place after that horrible mauling I got once from a gazebo. Hey those things can be quite painful and downright deadly. I almost lost an eye... or was it that I just got a splinter in my foot, or maybe that was me being trained by Master Splinter to defeat the foot clan and I was the 5th unofficial TMNT. Who can really say in this crazy, mad, mad, world. Well folks I will see you next time from the Shadows.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sorry folks life has once again gotten in the way of the blog. I will have the new one up today or tomorrow. BRB

Update: I feel like Robert Stack on Unsolved Mysteries. Well life just keeps getting in the way this past week. I will post something and it will be profoundly profound in the not so profound way. If I don't get anything up by Thursday maybe I will post a twofer... wooohooo. I can hear the excitement roaring from the audience now. Peace out... drop the microphone for dramatic effect and scene!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

And now the conclusion of a month of cop shows that rock that aren't Cop Rock.

     Well folks it is another Thursday and here we are together again. It truly fills me with that feeling of warm fuzziness and other such stuff to know you are here with me today. So what does the Shadow know this day good friends and true believers? Well what I know today is that something is happening to the young people on this blue ball of ours. While searching for unique and fascinating facts for you fans out there I came across this gem of intelligence. Apparently a teenage boy was questioned by police officers after being admitted to the hospital with head injuries. He had been struck by a train. When asked how he got his injuries the boy simply replied he wanted to see how close he could get his head to a passing train before it got struck... WTF! I mean seriously what has the youth of today come to? Sure we have all done our fair share of crazy things in our lives, but I can't ever remember a time I wanted to squish my head like a grape by way of a oncoming train. Has common sense just gone out the window... seriously?! So any who now onto the next I say. This week on How I geek with the Greg and the Scooby gang we will have a discussion on general geektatudiness and such and so forth. It will be a hot time in the old town tonight I tell you. So you should be there or be square.  

     So into the meat of things as they say in butcher shops everywhere. The start of the last of my four cop show reviews will the ever incredible Simon and Simon. This show of awesomeness ran on CBS from November 24, 1981 to January 21, 1989. The first season had brother protagonists Rick (Gerald McRaney) and A.J. (Jameson Parker) working for a detective agency and solving crimes. The show did not do well in it's first season and almost got canceled. The shows creator Philip DeGuere convinced CBS to give it another chance and they agreed. The show was moved to come on after Magnum with a second season cross-over of the two shows to increase the ratings. The brothers also moved on to go into business for themselves leaving behind the agency they worked for. These combined elements came together well with the fans and the ratings skyrocketed. One of the great things about this show was just how polar opposite the brothers were. Rick the older brother was a former marine and Vietnam war vet. He is the type of guy who would bend the rules as a private investigator to solve the cases. He would be more viewed as a sorta country boy with simpler interests in mind. A.J. on the other hand is college educated, smart with his money, and a lot less loose with the rules of law. The cases the two brothers worked on usually had them arguing over their individual ways of tackling a case and coming to terms with each other. There was tons and action with just a twist of this feudal comedy thrown in. To me this really made the show and with it on right after Magnum I was glued to the set for at least those 2 hours. After 8 seasons though this show came to a halt. This was due to the declining ratings because the network had moved the show to Saturday. This is what most networks do to kill shows the fans don't want to die. I say it is completely dirty pool and shame on them. The final season was only a 13 episode run, with only 11 episodes actually airing. In 95 a reunion made for TV movie was put together with A.J. being divorced and a lawyer and Rick doing odd jobs. The brothers pair up once again when a boat Rick is transporting is hijacked. I liked this movie and I wished they had done more. This is another one of those shows that I would love to see return to television. Of course the network has to do a reboot with the original cast most likely not returning. I just hope that if a reboot does happen the network does it justice. So now that we have hit Simon and Simon what do I have next up my sleeve?

     What do I have next you all ask? Well I know one of you had to of asked. It does seem like a logical thing to ask it does. So up next is that Glen A. Larson classic Knight Rider. You know that show that is about a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Knight Rider aired on NBC from September 26, 1982 to August 8, 1986. The protagonists of this show are Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff ) and K.I.T.T. (William Daniels) Micheal's artificially intelligent car. The series starts out with Micheal long a detective on a big case who is gunned down in the course of his investigation. He is saved by Wilton Knight (Richard Basehart of Voyage to the Bottom of the sea fame) creator of F.L.A.G. the foundation for law and government. Knight gives Long a new face and new identity as well as a job within his organization. The now Michael Knight continues his crusade for justice with his A.I. car partner K.I.T.T. aka Knight Industries Two Thousand. This team combination was awesome to watch week to week and it's first three seasons kicks butt. Larson, who created the show said he wanted to make the Lone Ranger in modern times. A sort of western sci-fi kinda show. His formula really set well with the public at large and is still a cult classic today. The trouble with this series started in the 4th season when everything changed. K.I.T.T. loses his special coating that protects him from all damage and some really bad script writing from there really killed this show. The new super pursuit mode was pretty cool, but really that was the only cool thing about that fourth season. In 91 a sequel movie to the series, Knight Rider 2000 was aired. This movie killed off Knights long time friend and FLAG boss Devon Miles (Edward Mulhare). Knight was no loner a member of FLAG and K.I.T.T. is in pieces. He is later reassembled in Knights 57 Chevy. At the end K.I.T.T. was put into the Pontiac Banshee concept car that was the final design for the Firebird before it was discontinued. The plot was weak and the movie was not as great as it could have been. In 97 another series based on the showed aired with 22 episodes called Team Knight Rider. This show was set in the not so distant future and had no Hasselhoff at all. The show was also a flop. Finally in 2008 NBC came out with a new show that was not a reboot, but rather a continuation of the previous show. K.I.T.T. was now a Ford Mustang since Pontiac refused to bring back the Firebird for the series. I think that was insane since they brought back the Camero for Transformers, but alas I digress, Val Kilmer was brought in for the voice of the new K.I.T.T. and Justin Bruening was brought in to play Knights estranged son. This show started out with a completely different formula in its first half. There was no FLAG and everything was CIA. It did not go over well with the fans and NBC tried fixing it in the second half of the season. The show was getting better now that it was back to its roots, but NBC decided it had, had enough and let it go. It is a real shame because this show could have gone somewhere. I hope another attempt is made to revive this show in the future. Alas only time will tell and we shall see. So let us travel on to the next.

     Now up for your reading pleasure we have the CBS show the Equalizer. This series of greatness aired from 85 to 89 and starred Edward Woodward as Robert McCall a former government operative trying to atone for his past sins by offering his services free of charge to those in need. You contact him through a paper advertisement that states, "Odds against you? Need help? Call the Equalizer. 212 555-4200." This show as a whole was pretty cool. I have not seen any episodes in years and I wish some network would pick it back up on syndication. McCain's former spy ties often came into play in this series. He is a estranged father to his son Scott (William Zabka of Karate Kid fame). At first his son is bitter towards his father and his life, but as the series progresses he warms up to his father and often becomes involved in his cases. Robert Lansing of 12 O'clock High and Kung Fu the Legend Continues fame made many appearances as McCall's former agency boss only known as Control. Towards the end of the series Woodward had a heart attack and had to reduce his work load. So Harley Gage (James Jordan) and Richard Dyson (Robert Mitchum) were brought in as friends and former agents that work with McCall to help solve his cases. This year Denzel Washington will be releasing a movie in which he plays the charismatic Robert McCall. I am hoping this movie will be worthwhile and not a steaming pile of flying monkey poo. I like Denzel and love most of his movies. As such I am willing to give it a try since I love this show so much. Once I have seen it I will post an update on my feelings about this. I guess this is all I really have for this one so on to the next. 

     The final show I want to discuss is a little known show aired from September 16, 1993 to May 13, 1994 the great Michael Dudikoff series... Cobra. Dudikoff plays Robert "Scandal"Jackson Jr. an AWOL Navy Seal who did so because he refused to blow up an enemy command center because it housed noncombatants. While hiding in Alaska some assassins find him and shoot him. Believing he is dead they leave him to his fate. But Jackson's fate was not to die but rather join a elite private investigation organization who fakes his death and gives him a new face and identity. Dudikoff, known for his American Ninja movies does an awesome job with this series. It only lasts a year, but I really think that it could have really taken off if it was given half the chance. I really don't have much more to say about this show other then watch it for yourself and you decide. 

     Well that is it this month for the crime dramas we all love so well. next month I think I will do a review of RPG's, but then again I may not. I will leave it as a surprise... boo! So what do you think of crime dramas? Are there any past favorites of yours I did not mention. Do you have a favorite decade of crime dramas? Did Han really shoot first? I say heck yeah. There is no way Han didn't shoot first. Greedo was just a punk. Any who that is all the time I have this week and I will see you all from the shadows,