Friday, February 19, 2010

Classic Television {Get Smart}

Get Smart was an American sitcom that ran from 1965-1970 and was created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. It's a wonderfully funny and fashionable spoof of the huge number of secret agent action dramas that graced the small screen in the '60's. Created for the show was the secret American government counter-espionage agency CONTROL (not an acronym) which is controlled by the Chief, who assigns work to a vast network of agents. The hero of the show is Maxwell Smart, Agent 86. Unlike other top agents, Max is seemingly inept at his job; he's a naive klutz who has lapses in attention and is not very good at investigating or keeping secrets or cover stories

However he is very resourceful, skilled in combat and most other spy stuff and incredibly lucky. Max's partner is Agent 99 is a highly skilled spy and undercover agent and she's smarter then Max most of the time. Max and 99 (we never learn her real name) work extremely well together and have excellent on-screen chemistry and 99 eventually gets Max to smarten up and marry her. 99 is also very fashionable and her ever-changing wardrobe reflects the different trends in American sixties fashion.
The stereotypical "international organization of evil" that battles with CONTROL is KAOS. They don't have any set nationalistic agenda, their agents are just evil for the sake of being evil.The KAOS agent that shows up in most episodes is Max's opposite number and nemesis, Siegfried, who is also the Vice President in charge of Public Relations and Terror at KAOS and he often has to deal with the incompetence of KOAS flunkies.
The best feature of the show is it's recurring catch phases (over a dozen) and gadgets. CONTROL has better gadgets then Bond has, though most of them don't work properly.

However, some of them do work better than expected, like the shoe phone and Hymie the Robot.

Get Smart is also good for seeing how middle America viewed the changing times of the '60's and it's popular culture, most of which was watered down so as to not offend the suburbs.

Because the show was so popular, a great number of celebrities made appearances, either as guest stars or as cameos, like Johnny Carson below.

Here is a clip show that someone made of the typical events that happened in most episodes.

Get Smart is available on DVD and some episodes can be seen on YouTube in four parts.This is not a show in which you would want to watch a marathon. I find that watching more then one or two episodes in a row does tend to ruin the humour of it, since it is rather predictable but still cute to watch.

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