For whatever reason Jeff Goldblum has become popular with internet culture, primarily for his role as Ian Malcolm in the Jurassic Park movie franchise and to a lesser extent in the Independence Day movies. It’s kind of strange because I don’t see anything that sets him apart beyond people liking to imitate Ian’s stuttering in a low voice. Really, he’s a good actor and he deserves fans for it but that’s what the meme addicts love about him. I don’t get it.
At any rate Goldblum has had a very long career in movies but his most recent appearance in the Law & Order franchise isn’t his first foray into television. Tenspeed & Brown Shoe follows the misadventures E.L. Turner (played by the great Ben Vereen), a hustler whose street name is “tenspeed” (which TV.Com claims is slang for a hustler), and Lionel Whitney, an accountant (aka “brown shoe” according to TV.com again), who end up forming a detective agency. Witney is a fan of noir detective Mark Savage, which is what inspired him to become a detective along with his karate skills, and Turner just needs a job to get through his parole period but can’t stop his hustle.
Usually we start with episode one, but the pilot is owned by CBS for whatever reason and they not only won’t let Mill Creek have it for home vide, apparently Shout Factory TV isn’t allowed to use it on their streaming service either despite the rest of the series being available. So we jump to “The Robin Tucker’s Roseland Roof And Ballroom Murder”, in which Whitney gets an usual call and a $1000 bill (which existed until the 1960s and if you find one is still considered legal tender according to a few seconds with an internet search) but the client doesn’t want to use his name. I see this not going well. And not just because the video gets an odd studder at one point.
I’m not really into crime shows that don’t involve superheroes on a regular basis. This was just an excuse to get the internet kids to watch something from before they were born. 🙂 However, episodes 3-14 are available on Shout Factory TV if you want to check it out. I don’t know where to legally find the pilot, if at all.
The show only lasted a half-season, but Vereen would reprise his role as E.L. “Tenspeed” Turner in another Stephen J. Cannel series, J.J. Starbuck (no connection to Battlestar Galactica and that’s all I know about it). I don’t know what happened to Lionel “Brown Shoe” Whitney but this was Goldblum’s only TV series until joining Law & Order: Criminal Intent outside of the occasional guest appearance or cameo. Both are still alive as of this writing, so who wants a reunion?