Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I (Heart) Tom Selleck--Again

In the eighties, I was a big fan of Tom Selleck and his hit T.V. show, Magnum P.I.  What wasn't there to love? 

For the youngsters reading this, the show ran from 1980 to 1988 and was about Thomas Magnum, a private investigator in Oahu, Hawaii. He lived in the guest house of "Robin's Nest," a gorgeous beachfront estate, at the invitation of its owner--never-seen bestselling author Robin Masters. Magnum drove Masters' Ferrari, played with Masters' two Doberman Pinschers, wore Hawaiian shirts, cavorted with a couple of his Vietnam vet buddies, and traded barbs with the estate's majordomo, a supercilious Brit named Higgins. Need I mention that Magnum was witty and smooth and HOT and that women were always falling all over him? Oh, and he got the bad guys.

 Magnum P.I. was fun. It was cotton candy.

Wikipedia tells me that Selleck was born in 1945. When Magnum P.I. first went on the air he was thirty-five.

Fast forward twenty years or so. Selleck is now the producer and star of several movies about Jesse Stone, a character in a series of novels by Robert B. Parker.  Stone is a former detective in the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division who's let go because of a drinking problem and is hired as the police chief in the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts. 

There's much to love about these movies. Jesse Stone is a much darker character than Magnum. His delivery of Parker's sparse dialogue, so simple on the page, takes on a winsome yet world-weary quality. To lines of dialogue like: "I will" and "You can" and "Call me Jesse," Selleck gives a certain something that's plain yet right. Parker himself said that Selleck had "nailed" Jesse Stone.

Need I mention that Jesse Stone is HOT and that women are always falling all over him? Oh, and he gets the bad guys.

What I also love about these movies is that Selleck shows his age. He has lines on his face and he's a little thick around the middle.  And the other actors on the show--the supporting cast is terrific--look like real people. Also to admire (for gals of a certain age), the women Jesse cavorts with are age appropriate. There was a very young D.A. in one of the early movies, but she was quickly killed off. ;-)

The plots are engrossing. There are some ongoing story lines involving the tiny police department, the town, the city council, and the police and hoods of nearby Boston. It's fun to see Stone with his big city cop background collide with the small tourist town machine.  It's a mature series of movies. Refreshingly different from the flash-bang glittery Botox silcone stuff that's usually on.

I hadn't seen Selleck on T.V. for awhile. I don't watch much network TV.  I found the Jesse Stone movies via Netflix's recommended: "movies you might like."  And I do.  The Jesse Stone movies have made me (heart) Selleck all over again. My husband loves the movies too. If you to watch something great, rent these flicks.  Here they are in order:

Stone Cold (2005)
Jesse Stone: Night Passage (2006) a prequel to Stone Cold
Jesse Stone: Death In Paradise (2006)
Jesse Stone: Sea Change (2007)
Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (2009) 
Jesse Stone: No Remorse (2010)
Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (2010)


  1. I'll tell you what interests me about these--that the women are age-appropriate. I've gotten so tired of Hollywood's idea of a couple that I canceled my cable and rarely go to movies anymore. I think women over 35 are a large segment of the population but historically we're largely ignored by Hollywood. Good for Tom.

  2. I like the Jesse Stone movies, too. The characters are more intersting than the plots (which is fine by me) and the films could be edited down to 90 minutes to make them tighter, but watching veteran pros like Selleck and Kathy Baker is a pleasure.

  3. Petrea, I know what you mean! The Jesse Stone movies have featured former ingenues like Mimi Rogers and Sean Young, looking their age and fabulous.

    Matt, the actors are superb. Fun also to see William Devane and Viola Davis.

  4. In the eighties, I am now thinking about how old he is now?

    I woodn't be surprised if Petrea was probably in a couple of love scenes with him.

  5. I've always thought those movies looked good, but I haven't seen any yet. Although, I do love Selleck and just might have to look into watching them after your recommendation!

  6. Cafe, you're funny. But I guess it could have happened, huh, Petrea?

    Lexi,they are darker than Magnum PI, but very cool.

  7. I don't think so, Dianne. I've never done a love scene on camera, only a few on-stage kisses. Plus I'm too close to his age for Hollywood (only ten years younger). Maybe now that he's using age-appropriate co-stars...

  8. Maybe, Petrea. It could happen!