My Favourite Television Show You’ve Never Heard Of: Remington Steele

Oh my goodness, you guys, this has been, like, such a tough couple of days for me! Between dinner dates with two good friends and a virtual girl’s night with a third, I’m amazed that I even found the time to get free cookies from the green-eyed boy at my neighborhood espresso bar, let alone rediscover some of my old favourite tv shows.

I mean, seriously.


Am I blessed, or what?

Truly, there have been some things going on that led to a hectic few days, but the love and support and sense of connection that I’ve gotten from people very dear to me has made it all feel manageable. At the moment, this post is coming to you nestled from within the perfect arrangement of pillows and blankets on the pocket-sized couch, and I’m feeling very warm and fuzzy indeed.

Today’s Retro-licious edition of My Favourite Television Show You’ve Never Heard Of evokes similar feelings of comfort. Remember when television shows had entire musical themes? With smooth jazz saxophone solos?

“Remington Steele” was technically before my time, but you could say I inherited it. My mom is a Pierce Brosnan fan, and we all know my mom is a very wise woman, so naturally, I followed her lead on this one and watched episodes on the “Deja View” television station whenever I could growing up. And why wouldn’t I? This show had it all! Mystery! Adventure!! Witty banter between characters with simmering sexual tension!!! All of my favourite things wrapped in fabulous 1980s fashion – now if that’s not a recipe for comfort food television, then I don’t know what is.

Remington Steele promoFor those of you who may have missed this mid-eighties classic, “Remington Steele” is a comedy-drama-mystery-romance mashup about Laura Holt, who opens a detective agency under her own name but finds that potential clients refuse to hire a woman, however sharp and clever she may be. Laura takes care of this little inconvenience by coming up with a very manly, and very fake, boss who she calls, yes, Remington Steele. In the series pilot, a young and dashing ex-thief and con man, played by a young and dashing Pierce Brosnan, assumes the identity of Remington Steele.

Throughout the series, his real name is never revealed, Laura remains firmly in charge, and the tension between them ratchets up. They almost kiss. Very dramatically. A lot.

Remington Steele

Is it any wonder why I love this show?!?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find myself a snazzy fedora and an even snazzier fake boss. And I can’t believe we’re saying this already, but I’ll see you back here tomorrow for the final day of Retro-licious!

love amb

53 thoughts on “My Favourite Television Show You’ve Never Heard Of: Remington Steele

  1. Cool! The theme is by Henry Mancini! You’re right! Wicked sax kicking in there at 0:44. I think it’s someone famous, but I have no idea who and can’t find it anywhere. Maybe Tom Scott?

    I liked this show the few times I saw it, but with all due respect (don’t hate me!), I see it as kind of a pale imitation of The Avengers and Moonlighting.

    Maddie and David for screen chemistry and sexual tension!

    • Hey, I was totally wrong. Remington Steele predates Moonlighting by a few years. So it was Moonlighting that was the imitation (pale or otherwise) of Remington Steele! For some reason I misremembered Remington Steele as 90s.

      • Sorry to dwell obsessively on this, but check out the bass playing in amb’s Remington Steele theme from 0:58 to about 1:48. I could swear that’s Jaco Pastorius. Those are trademark Jaco licks.

      • Hey, no worries. You can dwell as much as you’d like – I’m caught in the Henry Mancini recursive loop, now.

      • Okay I will go out on a limb. The saxophonist is Charles Lloyd and the bass player is Jaco Pastorius. Charles Lloyd does exactly the same kind of “ornate breathlessness thing,” and Jaco did exactly the same kind of “getting all around the beat” ornamentation.

    • Confession time: I’ve never seen Moonlighting. I know, I know! I read up on it while I was putting this post together, and I’m thinking I should check it out sooner rather than later. I knew the show was known for Bruce and Maddie (and the “Moonlighting Curse” which entertainment writers still talk about today) but I had no idea they did all kinds of surrealist humour and broke the fourth wall with the audience. It sounds like “Community”!! swoon.

      “The Avengers” is awesome. And Diana Rigg is having a bit of a moment – she was on “Doctor Who” and “Game of Thrones” this year. Just, you know, two very small television shows with very small fan bases πŸ™‚

  2. I remember the commercials for Remington Steele. I also maybe watched one or two episodes…yeah, it’s my generation. I didn’t watch enough of it to form an opinion. I did like Stephanie Zimbalist at the time. Well, I had a crush on her, to be honest. But it wasn’t too big of an infatuation to have me watch the program! LOL It did well in the ratings…I know that! Gosh, what else? If you like this show you’d probably like these two shows: Hart to Hart and Moonlighting. There was a fad back then of lovely detective couples with a bit of conflict in there to boot. Moonlighting was great cuz I use to watch that a lot. Anyway, good show.

    • I totally get it – I had a girl crush on Stephanie Zimbalist too. She was so smart! And independent! And looked so good in hats!!

      Hart to Hart and Moonlighting are being mentioned in the comments a lot today, and I haven’t seen either of them, which is great! I’m always looking for new things to watch (and then blog about afterward, of course!) And you know how much I love your taste in movies and television Jack, so now I’m looking forward to seeing them even more πŸ™‚

  3. Thanks for following “Tails from Paris” : We’re now following your blog too.

    If you want to sharpen your international sense of humor, we do also have a French version called “Sous nos Couettes” :

    Thanks for sharing if you enjoy it too …

    Best from Paris, France πŸ˜‰

    Alix, Roxane & their bald, bold & funny (at least he pretends to …) Dad

    PS : even though he’s French, our father knows about Remington Steel… we do not, indeed … generational treasure he says πŸ˜‰

    • Bienvenue Alix et Roxane!! (and Dad πŸ™‚ ) I’m so happy to see you here! Comment ca va?

      (That about covers all the French I know, sadly. Perhaps we can start a blog-language exchange program?!)

      Your blog is one of the most original I’ve come across and I was happy to follow it – thanks very much for following me here too!

      I’m just tickled that your Dad knows about Remington Steel. Tell him I say he’s a very wise man πŸ˜‰

      • Dear Amber,

        Beside the fact he’s lived over 5 years in the US, Remington Steel was a must on French TV when he was younger …

        And, no … this man is not wise, believe us … never did, never will …

        As for your French, it is excellent … so far … Keep going : it’s worht it, we’re not as mean as the rest of the world pretends πŸ˜‰

        Alix & Roxane

      • I had no idea the show was popular on French tv! One of the things I love about blogging – I’m always learning from other people πŸ™‚


        Merci beacoup! And may I say, your English is excellent πŸ™‚

      • πŸ˜‰ our father tought us everything we know … and we write …

        You’d be amazed how many US TV shows have crossed (and keep on crossing) the Atlantic.

        You’re very good at that (among others …)

      • Teehee! With how much time I spend talking, it had better be! πŸ˜€

        But thank you. I’m so excited to have connected with you from all the way in Paris! That’s one of my favourite things about blogging, you meet people from all over the world!

  4. Looks like you’ve struck a chord here, amb (especially with wdydfae–those jazz notes πŸ™‚ ). Finally a “you’ve never heard of” TV show that I’ve heard of! And of course it would be retro πŸ˜‰ My BFF in high school loved this show and I could never see the appeal. I bet I would love it now, though. Enjoyed Moonlighting more as it seemed an envelope pusher. Speaking of guy-girl cop/spy shows with building sexual tension, did you ever watch Scarecrow and Mrs. King? Oh, but I had a thing for Bruce Boxleitner.

    Snacks again and have brought Diet Cokes and ice cream topped with spoonfuls of peanut butter and grape nut cereal as that’s what my BFF and I used to eat while watching TV in her basement. The pb-ice cream-grape nut combination is really pretty good! Again, lots of napkins, too.

    Have yourself a great day. Thanks for another fun post. Love all the clips in the comment, too.

      • My response to amb is for you, too, Bon. Met BB, autograph, hug. And he wasn’t all that. Have more dish if you’re interested.

    • Ha! “Chord” “Jazz notes” oh Liz, you have been on a roll this week, it has been such a pleasure having you here in the comments section , my friend.

      I haven’t heard of Scarecrow and Mrs King, but will be off to google it after I post this response. Sounds like you’ve struck a chord here today too – I see that Bonnie’s also a fan of the show! And Bruce Boxleitner?!? What a fabulous and BoFN-worthy name!! I’m telling you, Liz, you’ve been spoiling me this week.

      Speaking of which – more snacks! How lucky am I?! And they sound fab – you know you had me at “peanut butter” πŸ™‚

      My day was a bit nuts (as you probably guessed, since I didn’t have time to give you a proper response earlier) but I’m home now so it’s time to relax! I hope you had a great day as well πŸ™‚

      • I have them ALL. Was majorly obsessed during my first pregnancy. Met my British friend, Di, in a SMK chat room. Have binder of annotated notes of each episode. Di came over to LA to meet me for SMK for 20th (?) reunion. We met all cast members except Billy (dead) and Kate Jackson (too famous). That was my one spell of pure geekiness. Am over it now though πŸ˜‰ Good call on funny name! He was married to Melissa Gilbert, but they divorced fairly recently. Having met him, was unimpressed. My enthusiasm for the show fell after the “convention” as the fandom seemed kind of silly. Still a fun show, though. I have notes for you if you start watching! Might even still be some fanfic out there.

      • I saw links to fanfic when I was googling, but didn’t explore any of them. But I love that you have the entire DVD set!! And the binder!! I think that’s fantastic. You know how much I love it when people find things that speak to them and geek out over them πŸ™‚

        I know what you mean about the convention, though. Am hoping I’ll get to go to the comic expo with Deb sometime, but I wonder if it will take away from the “magic” a bit?

    • Hi JC! Thanks for coming by, I haven’t seen your face around here in a while πŸ™‚

      I love it too. It’s dated, sure, but in a fun, charming way!

      • Pleasure! Dated, yes – Pierce Brosnan’s quiff is legendary: imagine the amount of hairspray that went into that! :))

  5. Yes, I remember it! I forgot that Pierce Brosnan was actually Remington (he’s still a hunk of a man!) A bit like Bruce Willis starting out in Moonlighting, they’ve both come a long way πŸ˜‰

  6. Oh dear, not good to swoon at work, but it can’t be stopped, when you post a photo like that last one…

    I am so glad you found the time to get your cookies from green-eyed boy…it would be a shame if your g-friends, real AND/OR virtual πŸ˜‰ were to somehow interrupt that!! So relieved here!

    The hair, yes the hair. I watched RS, and Mooonlighting and as Liz reminded me, Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Oh, and Hart to Hart, tho that one was quite hokey, if I remember correctly.

    Fun jog of old tv memories…


    • I know. I kept getting stuck on it, too, even while I was writing the post! I believe that’s what they call a “classic clinch”. You can just feel the romance!

      The cookie thing was a lovely surprise. They were nuetella cookies, and they were fresh out of the oven, and they were AMAZING! I’m going to try and get the recipe next time I’m there.

      You and Liz have me intrigued with this scarecrow business … must be off to google! Hope you’re having a lovely afternoon, my friend, and that work will be wrapping up for you shortly!

  7. Pingback: WoW Fridays: Michael J Fox | words become superfluous

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