Resin Heroes

Direct Beam Comms #100



My familiarity with the S.W.A.T. franchise is relatively limited. I saw, and remember liking the 2003 feature film that starred Colin Farrell, Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Renner about a Los Angeles S.W.A.T. team who has to transport a drug kingpin across the city where every bad guy in town wants to set him free. But I’ve never seen the 1970s TV series that movie was based on nor the follow-up S.W.A.T. movies either.

Still, I went into the new CBS S.W.A.T. series with an open mind as I try to do with everything I watch.

Starring a scowling/frowning Shemar Moore – TV’s Vin Diesel – as Daniel ‘Hondo’ Harrelson, this new S.W.A.T. takes place in a very modern LA where police offers are often judged by decisions they have to make in an instant. Which, because of the sensitivity of the issues being tackled in S.W.A.T like police shooting unarmed civilians needs to be handled with a delicate touch. Of which S.W.A.T. approaches with the delicate touch of a sledge hammer.

The Los Angeles of S.W.A.T. is a crazy, hyperkinetic city where the criminals battle it out with police using machine guns and RPGs while the S.W.A.T. Officers, who sometimes seem like the only police in the city, must deal with said RPGs one day and police involved shooting protestors the next. Things are about to boil over to riots when Hondo decides to treat the people “like family” and everything’s okay which allows them to go after the real machine-gun toting bad guys.

S.W.A.T. is a sort of cross between the police TV procedural and The Fast and the Furious movies where when the S.W.A.T. team aren’t involved in firefights, climbing on roofs or riding to work on motorcycles going 100 miles per hour they’re making out with their girlfriends who look like gorgeous models.

What I liked about S.W.A.T. didn’t involve the story. Some of the photography in the series was gorgeous, especially the stuff that was shot at night. It didn’t look like the typical stuff shot at night that turns up on TV. This was different. It was less about setting up lights to shoot everything than it was about using the cameras to capture the weird qualities of what it’s really like to be outside in a city at night. Where some things are in the shadows and some are not with the sky casting a weird glow.

Side-note — S.W.A.T. has to be the show with the most amount of people climbing on roofs I’ve ever seen. I don’t mean people already on roofs, I mean people climbing from the ground over things to get onto roofs. At least twice in the show cops and bad guys start off on the ground, climb up fences and onto roofs to run across roofs to jump down to the other side. I don’t know why I noticed this? Maybe the first time they did it was neat, but the second time I kind’a wondered if they were running out of ideas.

Things TV lovers don’t have to worry about today that fans of the past did

I was thinking the other week about all the rigmarole fans of TV, myself included, used to have to go through to watch their favorite shows. Even just a few years ago before the advent of streaming services and a decade or so back before the ubiquitousness of the DVR it could be a pain to watch your favorite series if it aired at an odd time or alongside something else you wanted to watch even more. So I decided to put together a list of things I used to have to worry/think about when I wanted to watch my favorites shows.

  • You generally needed to make an appointment to watch TV. If what you wanted to see was on at 8 on Monday, you needed to be in front of the TV at 8 on Monday to watch it.
  • And you usually turned over early to watch your show. So if you wanted to see, say, Space Rangers on CBS you might turn over a little early and catch the tail-end of Major Dad every week whether you were a fan of Gerald McRaney or not.
  • Sometimes you had to stay up late or, like I did to watch the series Robotech, get up early to catch a show.
  • I never did this myself, but I’ve heard of people setting alarms in the middle of the night in order to get up to watch a certain movie they’d always wanted to see or hadn’t seen in years.
  • You sometimes had to tape over some program you’ve already watched but maybe wanted to keep for future viewings in order to record something new if you didn’t have, or couldn’t afford, a new tape.
  • Having to budget money for tapes when a pack of them cost $20.
  • If you missed an episode of a particular program you seriously didn’t know if you’d ever see it again.
  • You sometimes had to pick one show over another if they happened to air opposite one and other. You’d pray that the show you didn’t watch survived long enough for repeats of it to air over the summer when TV networks re-ran all their series. Otherwise you might never see that series again.
  • Waiting for your favorite show to start Sunday nights when football was running long and seeing and hearing the dreaded, “We join your program already in progress,” message and just having to accept that you’ve missed the first however many minutes football ate into your favorite show and spending the episode trying to play catchup with what’s going on.


Starship Troopers

Over the years I’ve written a lot about the movie Starship Troopers. Probably too much for a movie that upon its release was denounced by most and quickly forgotten. Over the years there has been a bit of appreciation for Starship Troopers develop, but not as much as I’d thought there would’ve been when I saw it 20 years ago.

Still, I can’t deny how much I adore Starship Troopers or how much I love watching it even today. So here are a few links to articles I’ve written over the years about Starship Troopers.

The Reading & Watch List

This week in pop-culture history

  • 1932: Roy Scheider of JAWS and SeaQuest DSV is born
  • 1949: Armin Shimerman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Quark of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is born
  • 1964: Robert Duncan McNeill, Tom Paris of Star Trek: Voyager is born
  • 1969: Marooned premiers
  • 1970: Ethan Hawke of Explorers and Gattaca is born
  • 1973: Radha Mitchell, Fry of Pitch Black is born
  • 1975: The TV series The New Adventures of Wonder Woman debuts
  • 1993: RoboCop 3 opens in theaters
  • 1994: The TV series Earth 2 premiers
  • 1997: Starship Troopers premiers