Saturday, November 23, 2013

Let's have a conversation about Dragnet.

Hi you guys.

Why is it that Dragnet appeals to you?

What is your relationship with the show like?

How did you find out about it?

Which character do you love best?

Is there one that you feel like you identify with - "good guy/gal" or "bad guy/gal"

Any favorite villains or moments that just make you laugh?

How does the phrase, "The Fuzz Industrial" make you feel?
     (Thanks, CVH!)

Anything, really. Talk about the show with us.

And we still have about a year to go.

Talk soon & thanks,
Suzy Dragnet

A note on my HOLD THE PHONE "joke:"

"For how timely it is, this phrase might as well be, "Get that carrier pigeon BACK HERE" or "Grab that semaphore guy's arms and hold on for dear life." As one of my chatters pointed out, "Don't tweet that!" would be a good equivalent, if only it were a thought that anyone ever had. But it, alas, isn't. "Turn off the Internet" might be a good modern equivalent."


  1. Were you wanting us to answer this question in the comments, or is this just something for us to ponder?

    1. Oh, open forum to satisfy my curiosity.

  2. Dragnet appeals to me because it's corny, hokey, and sometimes funny, even when they are chasing down a suspect who used a hammer to cave in someone's head. It's a simple show. Not sure what you are asking in your second question.

    1. The second question is more for how you found out about it, do you have happy Dragnet memories, is there a character that you identify with - that sort of thing.

      Thanks for sharing.
      Suzy Dragnet

  3. Lessee…I first watched Dragnet when it was rerun on USA in the early 80s. I was around 12-13 at the time.
    I like Jack Webb’s style, and he did have style—even in middle age and in Technicolor. I like the understated, yet oddly compelling stories. I was surprised at how many episodes I could remember when TV Land reran it in the late 90s. I’m still amazed at how many things I remember while rewatching the show on Netflix—the one with Blue Boy, Gary Crosby as a hippie, anything with Virginia Gregg, etc.

    I like the social aspects of the show in the 60s. Reading between the lines, it seems Jack Webb had a strong sense of sympathy for the down and out. There seems to be a touch of pathos for the lonely, or the loneliness people feel, that comes through in some of the walk on characters or even in some of the perps when they get caught. You expect to see that when they deal with the victims of the crime, but there’s still a deep feeling for humanity beneath the monotone.

    One thing I don’t think Jack Webb gets enough credit for is his part in advocating for the Civil Rights Movement. I even caught that way back when I was 13. He took a message of social equality and aimed it squarely at Middle America. I’m from Georgia and there are those who would have turned the channel before they would watch a civil rights advocacy speech; however they would listen to Jack Webb. And that was precisely the same audience that needed to hear that message.

    Going back and watching the 1950s version of the show, I’m surprised at the differences between it and the color version. The stories on the 1960s version are nowhere near as harsh as those on the b&w show. Maybe the man mellowed with age or maybe the censors let him get away with a lot more in the early days of television, I don’t know. What also surprised me is the artiness of the old show. The direction is stunning. I know that it was meant for viewers with tiny tv sets at the time, but it still looks phenomenal on big screen tvs today.

    In short, I guess I just like the man’s style. The Fuzz Industrial, someone called it. It epitomizes a lot of what I like about the 20th Century, from the film noir dames to the hippies in Beverly Hills dakashis and everything in between.

    Best...CVH :)

    1. "I’m from Georgia and there are those who would have turned the channel before they would watch a civil rights advocacy speech; however they would listen to Jack Webb."

      I imagine that here in N.C. some of the same bias would be present.

      Watching the black and white episodes can be startling. They can be a little tough to watch, no miranda rights, almost anything-goes policing. It's a window into another world; fortunately, it's closer to fiction as time goes by.

      The Fuzz Industrial - that's a good name!

      Thanks for pitching in. I loved reading your Dragnet story. Thank you for contributing.
      Suzy Dragnet

  4. Dragnet is nostalgic for me. Season 1 which began in January of 1967 I was in 8th grade. The following seasons took me through Junior year of high school. I loved TV back then: Invaders, The FBI, Mission Impossible, Time Tunnel. I loved all those. I particularly like Dragnet because its so short and I can see 2 or 3 at a time. It's also a nice trip back in time when kids like myself would possibly say groovy (never the grownups). The muted colors make the show almost look like home movies. And you can tell the producers were trying very hard for vibrant color with gold rugs, etc. 4 years ago I was home for two months after surgery and decided to watch the entire series start to finish in order... about 105 episodes. Helped fill the time. So that plus watching it regularly in high school confirms my relationship with the show. It is one of my favorites of all time. Kenny P

    1. Hi Kenny,

      Spring semester of eighth grade seems like the right time for Dragnet to be sort-of 'on-in the background' of your life. A show like that for me would be something like The Golden Girls; i.e. 'it's always on somewhere'.
      I am not familiar with the other shows - Invaders - never heard of it, The FBI - sounds really interesting - Mission Impossible - believe it or not, I've never seen any production of that franchise or read any of the books - (there were books, right?) - Lastly, Time Tunnel - That sounds cool enough, nay, groovy enough for a solid Googling. Is it British? Canadian?
      Time Tunnel. What a great name.

      Oh, I still say groovy!! And "right on". I think it is embarrassing to my friends, but, you know, right on! ;)

      Speaking of watching several Dragnet episodes at once - One nice Nick at Nite memory that I had was in the mid-1990's when they had "Sergeant Joe Fridays" for a summer or half a year or something. Friday night would be something like two hours or so of classic Dragnet to keep me company for a while.

      "4 years ago I was home for two months after surgery and decided to watch the entire series start to finish in order…"

      Kenny. WOW.

      I'd high five you, but it's the internet. Maybe at a Dragnet Convention in the future.

      Thank you, you are always welcome,
      Suzy Dragnet

  5. Suzy,

    My father was a police officer during the period dragnet aired, and I'm certain it influenced him pretty significantly. He recently died, and I've been following the series and your blog to be closer to him. The steelcase office furniture, dazor lamps, and institutional aesthetic of the time period really get to me. It also reminds me of a time when our government institutions functioned as public institutions, and not as what they are today. After reading through your blog for a month, I just saw your picture; I had imagined you to be an older lady and was quite surprised to see that you're my age. Please keep up the blog. I adore it.

    1. Bernie! You are too kind.
      I'm so happy to hear that you enjoy Everyone Nods. Cataloging the show has highs and lows. I feel like we get to use this format to put all of the episodes out of equal footing and begin a discussion about anything Dragnet-oriented.
      Once again, thank you. You are always welcome in the comments any time.
      I have a "spam" problem with one of my posts, so I had to do the stupid "comment approval" thing.

      Warmest regards,
      Suzy Dragnet

  6. The acting, if it isn't deadpan, is corny and stereotypical. The dialogue is almost always stilted. The plots are formulaic and the structure of the show is repetitive. The sets, as you point out, are often minimal and somewhat weird. And then there's the Joe Friday lectures and the heavy-handed moralizing.

    HOWEVER - put them all together and you have a strangely entertaining show!