Monday, February 24, 2014

Underappreciated Gems: Fastlane

Underappreciated Gems: Fastlane by freshfromthe.com
Guns in our waistbands like what.
You may find this latest addition to my underappreciated gems posts surprising. As in, you may be surprised that I watched it. And liked it so much. That show is Fastlane. The show, starring Peter Facinelli, Tiffani Thiessen and Bill Bellamy, lasted only one season back in the early 2000s, which is a damn shame.

The premise wasn't anything too mind-blowing. Two mismatched cops are forced to team up together under the direction of a lieutenant who has her own secret undercover operation based out of the Candy Store. Anything they seize in the line of duty, they then keep and are able to use in the future - anything from cars to guns to whatever else they can use to blend in to the criminal world.

I know, you read that and you think, no wonder this show didn't last. But I'm telling you, it was actually good. There was something addictive about it that just worked. Honestly, a lot of it had to do with Peter Facinelli. Though Bill Bellamy probably seemed funnier on paper, Facinelli really sold it as Van. The three of them had good chemistry in general, which is not always that easy to find on TV.

The show was a blend of action, comedy and, well, scantily clad ladies, including Tiffani Thiessen, she of former Saved by the Bell squeaky clean-ness. Yes, there was an episode that featured her character Billie stripping down and macking on another hot lady. There was always an abundance of hot ladies, okay? And normally that would be something that I would roll my eyes at, but couple that with flashy direction and really fitting music, and it didn't matter. It just made the show more whole, honestly.

Underappreciated Gems: Fastlane by freshfromthe.com
Whenever Van's dad was around, it was a hoot.
What's really upsetting is that things were just starting to get interesting for the main characters when the show got canceled. It's just sad when you get no real closure to a thing, because there was a bit of a cliffhanger left there dangling on the edge. But we've all been there before. That would be bad enough. But do you know what is the most upsetting thing about the show being canceled? Unless you were one to, ahem, procure said show back before regular DVD releases were a thing, there's no way to get an accurate copy of the show now. Yes, there's a DVD version available on Amazon, but from what I've read, it doesn't have the original music (a large part of the show), and, what's worse, even though the show was shot and shown in widescreen, the DVD is pared down to the square size of what TV shows used to be. That would be okay if that's how it was shot and originally shown, but it wasn't, so it truly makes no sense. They were going for something more cinematic, and were a bit ahead of their time in that respect, so it's really crappy the show is treated so dismally on DVD.

I just got a little heated there, didn't I? So, yes, I'm telling you about a show you should watch, but there's no legal way to watch it the way it was intended. You can buy the DVD set or even watch it on Amazon Instant, but it's not quite the same. Nonetheless, you can give those a try, or if you can get your hands on some of the originals, I would recommend those. Some of my favorite episodes are below, though I think I pretty much liked every single one.

Favorite Episodes
Ray Ray (1x06)
Defense (1x13)
Offense (1x14)
Dosed (1x21)
Iced (1x22)

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