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July 30th, 2008

Get Smart

Lately, I've been having conversations about Get Smart, no doubt because of the remake.

I've not seen the remake, not because of any particular dislike for anyone in it or responsible for it, but simply because this new version doesn't appeal to me. I watched the original show a lot as a kid, and there's really no one else who can occupy the space of Maxwell Smart outside Don Adams, Barbara Feldon as 99, and Edward Platt the Chief (it appears that he killed himself, too). Most of the kids I've been talking to have never seen the original show, though a few of them are discovering it on DVD now, and watching it that way. Apparently they hold up pretty well, though I haven't seen any for a long time. Skipping through the net tonight, however, I found this on youtube:



The charm of the series is on display here: the elaborate gags, the voice Don Adams uses to pull off Smart, and the beauty and intelligence of Feldon acting as a foil to the former. The uniform she's wearing isn't hurting anything, either.

I remember that, when I was a kid, I had one of these big moments when I realised that Adams was also the voice of Inspector Gadget. It was like I had suddenly learned to join connections between pieces of work, and to identify the lines that ran behind things--or perhaps I just felt that I was particularly clever, and wanted to show off to my friends later when I told them. My memory is a funny thing, so I don't remember how that went: most likely they all knew before me, and I was arriving late to the scene, but that's how it is. I never saw the remake of that, either, I might add, though this might have been because I dislike Matthew Broderick. Still, I was happy enough with the cartoon that it didn't ultimately strike me as necessary to watch the flick.

You know, if those old Get Smart episodes are floating around cheap, I might pick them up. I could handle a few seasons of the Cone of Silence, gags about girl scouts, and Barbara Feldon.