Picks and Pans Review: Stingray

updated 07/22/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/22/1985 01:00AM

NBC (Already aired)

But last Sunday's Stingray followed the 11th Commandment to the letter. Stingray was going to be one of NBC's midseason replacement series. Now, thanks be to the gods of video, it's not. Stephen J. Cannell, the fallen angel who brought you The Rockford Files and The Greatest American Hero, but also The A-Team, Hunter and Riptide, named his latest show and hero after a car. Nick Mancuso is a motorized Lone Ranger, a free-lance fairy godfather who helps people today so he can extract favors from them tomorrow. In the pilot he stops a bad guy drug dealer from electrically zapping the memories of good guys. The bad guy uses fancy electronic gear to reduce his adversaries to mumbling morons, when all he really needed to do was show them Stingray. The show numbs your brain, it's so boring. Stingray tries to look and sound like Miami Vice. The music is good. But the look is static; turquoise neon is as daring as this video gets. Stingray is slightly less violent than Cannell's other shows, but it still repeats his sins of late: portraying bad guys in one dimension so that violence is easy to resort to. The only pleasing scene in this show is the last one when, with a hearty "Hi-ho, Stingray," the hero rides off into the sunset. Forever.

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