Thrillville Welcome to Thrillville


Whether seaside or spaced-out, these classic television shows all take place in Thrillville, baby.
Search/demand them on your local cable network and petition the studios to release them all on DVD!

  1. BATMAN (1966-68)BATMAN (1966-68)
    - Adam West and Burt Ward are the Dynamic Duo around here. I dig Batman in all of his incarnations (especially the outstanding 90s animated series) but this campy classic is the ultimate interpretation of the legend as far as I'm concerned, which has a lot to do with my world view - the Dark Knight is okay, but for me, absurdity trumps tragedy. The sets, the villains, the scripts, the music, the colors, the camerawork, the gadgets, the Batmobile are all incomparable.

  2. 77 SUNSET STRIP (1958-64)77 SUNSET STRIP (1958-64)
    - Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Roger "Mr. Ann-Margret" Smith are impossibly suave detectives, and beat jive-talkin' hipster sidekick Edd "Kookie" Byrnes is my favorite all time TV character next to Mister Ed. I bought an original "Dino's" ashtray off him for twenty bucks. The theme song is the bomb. Incredible list of guest stars. Snappy scripts. The ultimate in Vintage Cool.

  3. HAWAIIAN EYE (1959-1963)HAWAIIAN EYE (1959-1963)
    - This is one of three "Sunset" knockoffs WB produced following the same basic format of swingin' bachelor dicks, dangerous dames, tough gangsters and catchy soundtrack music. Almost every episode features Connie Stevens singing standards in a tiki lounge. I also love SURFSIDE 6 (Miami version) and BOURBON STREET BEAT (New Orleans) but the Polynesian setting, plus Robert Conrad, make this one #2 behind "Sunset."

  4. PETER GUNN (1958-1963)PETER GUNN (1958-1963)
    - Henry Mancini's score and Blake Edward's hardboiled, stylish production set the standard for TV PI cool, featuring Craig Stevens as the Man and Lola Albright as his long suffering love interest. There was also a 1967 feature called "Gunn" which I'm still trying to track down, better call Pete in for the job...did you know the famous theme has lyrics, too? It's actually called "Bye Bye."(Two volumes, 32 episodes on DVD from A&E Home Video)

  5. THE WILD WILD WEST (1965-1969)THE WILD WILD WEST (1965-1969)
    - Robert Conrad returned from his stint with "Hawaiian Eye" in the greatest Western sci-fi spy series of all time, as secret service agent Jim West; forget the awful 90s big screen remake, that was a travesty. This show, and its stars, including sidekick Artie Gordan (Ross Martin) was effortlessly cool, with more than its share of gorgeous gals and nifty gadgets. - (Now Available from Fox DVD)

  6. THE OUTER LIMITS (1963-1965)THE OUTER LIMITS (1963-1965)
    - for my money, even cooler than the more sophisticated "Twilight Zone" because it has so many more bitchin' monsters. The updated series is okay but can't compare to the moody brilliance of the original. (Both seasons on DVD from MGM/UA).

    - I dig all of Irwin Allen's 60s sci-fi shows (especially "Lost in Space" and "Land of the Giants") but again, the sheer number of bitchin' monsters makes this one the standout. Mummies, werewolves, menfish, aliens, cyborgs, phantoms, robots, apemen, dinosaurs - you name it, Admiral Nelson (Richard Basehart) and Captain Crane (David Hedison) faced it. Plus the Seaview (along with its Flying Sub) is probably the niftiest TV prop of all time next to the Batmobile. - (Now Available from Fox DVD)

  8. STAR TREK (1966-1969)STAR TREK (1966-1969)
    - I don't think I qualify as a Trekkie since this is the ONLY 'Trek' I truly love, for all the reasons some fans denigrate it - the cheese, the rubber monsters, the miniskirts, the mascara. You just can't beat the magical ensemble of Kirk, Spock and McCoy, either. The subsequent series and movies are pale imitations as far as I'm concerned. I guess I'm more of a Shathead than a Trekkie, but whatever, the original is still the greatest. (All three seasons on Paramount DVD).

  9. THE GREEN HORNET (1966-1967)THE GREEN HORNET (1966-1967)
    - Few people remember Van Williams from "Surfside 6" and "Bourbon St. Beat" since this short-lived series became his signature role, and of course Bruce Lee as Kato is the main reason it became a lasting legend. But it was also just a great show - the music, fashions and 'Black Beauty' rule.

  10. THE MAN FROM UNCLE (1964-1969) THE MAN FROM UNCLE (1964-1969)
    - the best of all the 007 TV knockoffs, hands down, with awesome music and colorful, exotic backdrops; also a great primer for lounge living, if you can survive it... - (Coming Soon from WB DVD).

  11. JOHNNY STACCATO (1959-1960) JOHNNY STACCATO (1959-1960)
    - this beatnik noir classic only lasted one season but it made the most of it - great New York locations, awesome jazz soundtrack by Elmer Bernstein, and John Cassavettes was outstanding as the hardboiled piano playin' PI.

    - I hear they're planning to update this show about a modern day monster hunter, but Darren McGavin owns this role, sorry, and we don't need any fancy CGI guest creeps spoiling things either. Favorite episode: "The Zombie." One of the greatest shows of the decade, and again, cancelled way too soon. It lives here in Thrillville. - (Now Available from Universal DVD).

  13. HAWAII 5-0HAWAII 5-0 (1968-1980) Praise Jack Lord and pass the ammo. The circa '70s Hawaiian (mostly Oahu) locations would be enough to make this a Thrillville staple, but the often grim, exciting plots and incredible array of guest stars only add to overall allure of the seductive scenery and aloha ambience. Book 'em, Dano - (Now Available from Paramount DVD).