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In which there is no singing whatsoever

There is a new game in The Hardy Boys. As often as possible they try to have either Frank or Joe insist that Joe is wild and reckless, and Frank is really sensible. I can only presume that this is a nod to the books, where Frank is, indeed, the sensible one, and Joe... isn't. So far as the TV series is concerned, though, if the writers really think that Frank is the sensible one, then they're clearly not reading what they're writing. If they were, they might have noticed one minor discrepancy.

There is a lovely moment in one episode where they seem to notice, though. Frank has done his usual trick of hurling himself in a wild, flying tackle at the invariably armed Bad Guy Of The Week (only to be rescued at the last minute by the unexpected arrival of some adults). Joe picks him up, dusts him off, and says "You really have got to cure yourself of that habit. You could end up getting hurt." I like Comedy!Joe. I know I give the boy some stick for the singing, and the not being as good as Frank, but he has a lovely deadpan delivery. Except when he's unfathomably claiming that Frank is the sensible one.

To the latest crop of episodes, then, in which there is still a marked lack of Nancy, and this continues to be a Good Thing. Having flown to Nassau to do some job for their father (lucky blighters. My father has never suggested that I fly to Nassau for him), Frank and Joe are ready to fly home again. A friend who works for a local airline has managed to sneak them aboard a special flight, so it won't cost them anything, and as they arrive at the airport to meet their flight, the boys discover that it's a special training flight for a new crop of air hostesses.



Naturally they are heartbroken. I am a little curious as to what Joe's planning to do with that hand, though.

Filled with enthusiasm for this latest venture, the boys are quite sure that it's going to be a great flight. Two boys, alone on a flight with forty air hostesses. It's a tough job being a teenaged detective. They may be a little premature in their optimism, though, for look who one of the flight team is.



Yep, he might be hiding beneath an ill-judged moustache, but that is clearly Don Marshall. Last time he flew anything, it crash landed in the Land of the Giants, and that's not often an experience that you want to repeat. Be wary, Frank and Joe. Be very wary. And indeed they are (or at least, Joe is), as they discover when they get onboard that they're to be flying over the Bermuda Triangle. Frank calmly explains to anybody within earshot that there's nothing mysterious about the Bermuda Triangle, which is asking for trouble. However before everything goes completely mental, we do get this nice shot:



which is a favourite of mine, as it was in the annual. Next to a list of vital statistics, if I remember correctly (I can't check. It's in the attic). Things like age, height, hair colour, eye colour, and all that sort of thing. Fascinating information which is no doubt vitally important, in case you should ever find yourself caught out in a situation from which there is no escape unless you happen to know that Parker Stevenson has light brown wavy hair and blue eyes. Although technically speaking you could have seen that from the photograph, so there's no need to write it alongside really. But such is life. Look-In magazine used to specialise in that sort of nonsense detail. Ever been desperate to know the height, weight, DOB and starsign of your favourite actor?! Ever needed to know their favourite food, drink and colour?! Look-In would tell you every week. And no I absolutely do not still have Parker Stevenson's. Or Pierce Brosnan's, or Timothy Dalton's.

And I seem to have strayed somewhat from the point.

Ah yes. There's trouble afoot, because some dastardly diamond smugglers have switched some real diamonds for some fake ones, and for various plot related reasons have decided that the plane with the fake diamonds on must crash. Because that's easier than just taking them back. Or something. Anyway, they've drugged the flight crew, which makes everything go all dramatic aboard the plane.



You can tell that there's something wrong, because it's all suddenly gone diagonal. Frank and an air hostess rush about being diagonal, whilst Joe, for some reason not being diagonal, perhaps because he's not dramatic enough, tries to calm down two hundred hysterical proto-air hostesses. Be interesting to know how many of them quit the job before they got it. The flight crew is unconscious! This leads to even more diagonalness, so things really must be serious.



See, I told you it was a mistake to fly Air Don Marshall, but did you listen? No. You even went a step further, and tempted fate by insisting that there wouldn't be any trouble on the flight. You people never pay attention. Anyway, there's only one thing for it, folks - Frank must fly the plane. Have no fear, however.



For the Incredible Hulk is on hand to assist. Briefly.



The weather's a tad uncooperative, so the Hulk soon loses them on the radar, and Frank is on his own.



Well, actually he's got Joe and several thousand trainee air hostesses, but they're all too busy wrestling with each other in the back of the plane, whilst getting buffeted about by the weather, and therefore proving bloody difficult to screencap effectively.

Anyway, the inevitable happens, and the plane crashes. Really slowly and gently, and right by a very convenient island. The air hostesses have another hissy fit, but Frank tells them to remember their training - and then proceeds to tell them what their training is. When did Frank have the time to qualify as an air hostess? He gamely gets them all to leap off the plane into lifeboats, failing to be aided much by a strangely invisible Joe, all whilst being attacked by a man with a hosepipe.



Interestingly, as they all jump off the plane, they turn into a piece of stock footage. This is particularly noticeable because, aside from the unconscious flight crew, Frank and Joe are the only males onboard. Suddenly, during the evacuation, there's loads of men, all standing on the wings, and helping the women into the boats. Possibly it's a safety feature of the aircraft? Men who spontaneously grow out of the wings shortly after impact? Anyway, they all flee to the conveniently nearby island, to a highly convenient cave, with a nice, flat floor, and neat little rectangular windows.



Clever, huh. Who knew that caves were so well-organised. There's still trouble afoot, though, because of the diamonds-that-are-not-diamonds, and the evil diamond smugglers who want to make sure that they've been lost at sea. Chasing after the plane, and seeing that it's crashed, our smugglers pretend to be shipwreck victims, and are immediately taken in by the sweet and caring air hostesses. Sweet, caring, and incredibly stupid air hostesses. Frank and Joe immediately realise that something is wrong.



Or at least Frank does. Joe is clearly wondering if he's left the gas on. As Frank and Joe race to the assistance of a poor air hostess who has been duped into carrying the diamonds-that-are-not-diamonds, the evil diamond smugglers converge upon them.



Truly the diamond smugglers are evil. They're also giant hams - and giant hams with a big metal stick at that.



Quickly they converge upon the Hardys - who are alarmed at the sudden danger - and the air hostess, who clearly isn't. Either she's confused as to where exactly the danger is coming from, or she's also wondering whether she's left the gas on.



Meanwhile, our diamond smugglers ramp the ham up to eleven.



Such wild overacting is of great concern to our two young detectives, who are suitably worried, either by the flagrant disregard for subtlety, or by the possibility of getting their heads stoven in by the big metal stick. Needless to say, Frank considers this a fine opportunity for one of his flying tackles. They so rarely work, as he invariably tries them on people who are twice his size, but you can't fault his enthusiasm.



Fortunately, Joe is handy in a crisis, and brandishes the big metal stick at the evil diamond smugglers.



Thus saving Frank's honour, and possibly chastity. At which point Fenton, the coast guard, and the fathers of dozens of air hostesses, all turn up at just the right moment to save everybody. Hooray! All is well again. Except Frank's hair.



I think it's suffering some sort of trauma.

Happily it recovers in time for the next episode, though, in which Frank and Joe play fingerprints together with their microscope.



I used to do that. Who needs to go out partying during your teens when you've got a microscope? Don't answer that. Anyway, Joe has found an exciting way to transfer fingerprints from one thing to another using nothing more than a piece of sticky tape. Both boys seem impressed by this new found ability to screw with police evidence, and are only slightly distracted when Fenton calls them from Acapulco.



Poor Fenton is not looking well, and asks the boys to bring him some of his equipment, to help in his deadly battles with a man named Mallik. Sadly this means another hotel room.



Here Frank models the latest in appalling décor from the Land of Seventies Hotels. I'm not sure which wins the prize for worst crime against eyeballs. Is it the horrific matching curtains and bedspreads? The green stripy wallpaper? The sparkly camouflage lampshade in the foreground? Or the swirly lamp in the background? Joe is so horrified by the place that he rushes straight out to throw himself off a cliff.



I'm rather impressed by his sparkly helmet. It isn't just for the hell of it, though - there's contacts to be made, and all that sort of thing. Except that somebody has made some very unsporting holes in Joe's handglider.



Joe is not happy about this, which is rather a shame. Nearly crashing is one of the most dramatic things that he's done so far in two seasons' worth of episodes. Anyway, the boys go back to their hotel to have dinner, which is exactly the sort of thing one does when one's father is missing in a foreign country.



Boys, please. You're seventeen and eighteen years old. Dress like it. Interestingly, these are exactly the same clothes that they were just wearing in the previous episode, when they crashed. So either their suits are fabulously indestructible, or they have several identical ones. Either option is terrifying.



The boys take the time to have a romantic moonlight stroll on the beach. Aw. Right before coming up with the world's most rubbish plan to rescue their father.



Having chosen the most likely Fenton-napping culprit, they take a fingerprint off Fenton's passport, and carefully apply it to Joe's briefcase. Then they dash around to the suspect's house, and tell him that Fenton has been in their hotel room. Look! Look! He left his fingerprint on Joe's briefcase! Golly, yes, he did, says the suspect, having been given a magnifying glass for comparative purposes. And at no point does he smack them both round the head for being idiots, and point out that of course Fenton's fingerprints are on Joe's briefcase, given that Fenton is Joe's father and they live together in the same house. No, instead he immediately jumps into his car, and dashes off to where he's stashed Fenton, just to make sure that he's still there. The boys follow, going into Stealth Mode.





Before taking the crook down with yet another wild flying tackle, this time involving twin flying Hardys. Operation: Free Fenton is a success, no matter how unlikely. Which is good, as I like Fenton. He never really does anything except turn up at the end of each adventure to save the boys in the nick of time, but he's nice. Has some weird ideas about childcare, but he's nice.

Comments

( 5 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
eandh99
Jan. 5th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
I think Frank is the sensible one because he's more likely to wear a tie? and isn't the object of fangirl lust to the same degree that Joe is? Man, this all takes me back.
swordznsorcery
Jan. 5th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
Fangirls are weird. Joe's main purpose is to sing lame songs, and worry about how dangerous things are getting. If you want anything exciting doing, you turn to Frank.

Exciting beats singing!
eandh99
Jan. 5th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
I speak from what I know - I WAS one of those fangirls, every Sunday night. I had shaun cassidy's album, the one where he sings da doo run run. fun fact - billy mumy was on it too.
swordznsorcery
Jan. 5th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, my sister was the same. She didn't have the album, though. I don't remember him being in the charts over here. I still think Frank's action man act is more fun, though. :p

I'm now trying to decide if the presence of Billy Mumy gives the album more or less cool points. ;)
ladygretchen
Jan. 14th, 2010 05:55 am (UTC)
Oooh! I thought I commented on this one! Laughed all the way through, especially with the peasoup hotel room caps and Frank's hair having a trauma! If only solving crime was so easy, with scotch tape!
( 5 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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