The Greatest American Hero: Season One

DVD Reviews | Mar 24th, 2005

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Starring Robert Culp, William Katt, Faye Grant, Michael Pare, Connie Sellecca
Written By: Stephen J. Cannell
Directed By: Stephen J. Cannell
Studio: Anchor Bay
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Pac-Man, Clash of the Titans and Billy Idol: Some 1981 nostalgia may seem lame, but to the individual who experienced them when they were at their peak, they will always hold a place in their heart. This is the only rational explanation I can give for buying season one of, “The Greatest American Hero.” Don’t get me wrong; I jumped at the chance to review this. I remember being four years old running around the house with a bath towel tied around my neck. Am I alone in admitting that I used to sing the song, “Believe it or not, I’m walking on air…” crashing into my parents couches and coffee tables? I even went to a Halloween party last year in the costume. Did I go too far with that one?

“The Greatest American Hero” stars William Katt as Ralph Hinkley, a high school special-ed teacher with a heart of gold, Robert Culp as Bill Maxwell, a grizzled FBI agent with a hatred of “commies”, and Connie Sellecca, Ralph’s girlfriend who was also the attorney for his divorce (how risqu)

The pilot begins with Ralph taking his thirty-five year old looking, high school class out into the desert for a class trip. The short bus breaks down and Ralph decides to walk to find help. All the while, Bill is also broke down in the desert. Long story short, aliens give them a “special suit” and an instruction book on how to use it. Ralph loses the suit and the gimmick to the show is born… Ralph screaming and crashing into things.

The DVD contains all eight episodes from season one, plus the 1986 unaired pilot for, “The Greatest American Heroine.” This spin-off makes the original series seem like, “Roots,” it’s so bad. William Katt and Robert Culp have this, “What the hell am I doing here?” look trying to revive the franchise. There’s nothing I find sexier than a woman in a man’s superhero outfit, (i.e. Supergirl, Batgirl, etc,) but this just doesn’t do it for me, plus she only flies and crashes once. What’s the deal?

Another special feature is 75 minutes of interviews with the cast of, “The Greatest American Hero,” and Stephen J. Cannell. (You know that guy on the typewriter, flipping the pages into a “C” before every 80’s show?) My personal highlight is the interview with William Katt. He admits to the fact that he found the outfit horrible and he immediately felt he would never work again. Nice.

I can’t be overly critical of “The Greatest American Hero.” Does anyone remember “Wonder Woman”, “The Amazing Spiderman,” or “Captain America?” They were all pretty cheesy. The super-hero costumes looked like my mom made them, and the music sounded like cheap porn. If you remember “The Greatest American Hero” from your childhood, go out and pick this up. If nothing else it’s a great conversation piece to your collection. If you were under the age of 25, and never watched this as a child, I would lay off it.

– All 8 episodes from Season One including the 2 hour pilot
– The unaired pilot for THE GREATEST AMERICAN HEROINE spin-off series
– Brand new interviews with: Stephen J. Cannell, Robert Culp, Michael Pare, William Katt, Connie Selleca

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC

Standard 1.33:1 Color


Favorite Scenes: “Saturday night on Sunset Bloulevard” & “Reseda Rose”. Both jam-packed with Commie spies!!
Rating: NR
Running Time: 417 minutes
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