Episode 115: “The 90’s TV Babies Take On Remington Steele”

It’s the return of the 90’s TV Babies! Susan and Sharon welcome back Serita Fontanesi, Megan Rubble and Sergio Perez to get their 90s TV take on “Remington Steele”.
Read Transcript

The Conversation

  • Why are 80s TV shows SO SLOW?!  Or are they?
  • Who knew Pierce Brosnan was SO skinny? Did James Bond fans think he wasn’t  “man” enough to be 007?
  • What’s more compelling? An intricate plot – or the “feels” between Laura and Remington?
  • Was the villain in the pilot based on John DeLorean – or Elon Musk??
  • Everyone knows Pierce Brosnan – but Sergio shares the joy of discovering Stephanie Zimbalist for the first time!
  • Hey – why doesn’t Laura even know his real name? 
  • Where does the Venn diagram of beloved media overlap for Serita and Sergio?
  • And what would a Season Six with no Pierce Brosnan look like?

The 90’s TV Babies (with help from the 80’s TV Ladies) dig deep into the romantic comedy soul of “Remington Steele”, discussing intersectionality, feminism, issues of identity and voice – and why can’t the show be just a little more like “Grey’s Anatomy”?!

PLUS – Listener Questions! “Remington Steele” writer Robin Bernheim sends us answers to your questions about the casting of Tony Roselli, and whether Laura Holt would have evolved differently as a character if women had been running the show?

AND -- New segment:  “80’s TV Ladies Salute” where we recognize the ladies (and men) of 80’s TV who we recently lost. 

Our Audio-ography

Watch all 5 seasons of “Remington Steele.” Now available on Amazon Prime and AppleTV!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3QLcYAA

Apple TV: https://tv.apple.com/us/show/remington-steele/umc.cmc.6fm9czhcocxofzk7xbe90inn8


We salute the following 80s TV Ladies in Memoriam:

Kristie Alley 


Earl Boen


Irene Cara


Carole Cook


Sonya Eddy


Diane McBain 


Adam Rich


Helen Slayton-Hughes


Dorothy Tristan 


Barbara Walters 


Help us make more episodes and get ad-free episodes and exclusive content on PATREON.


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Robin Bernheim  00:00

Hi, this is Robin Bernheim. Try this for a deep dark secret. You're listening to 80s TV Ladies podcast.

80s TV Ladies Theme Song  00:09

80s TV Ladies, I’m so sexy and so pretty.  80s TV Ladies, I’m steppin out into the city. 80s TV Ladies, I been treated kind of sh#*ty. Working hard for the money in a man’s world. 80s TV Ladies!

Susan Lambert Hatem  00:26

Welcome back. I'm Susan Lambert Hatem.

Sharon Johnson  00:29

And I'm Sharon Johnson.

Susan Lambert Hatem  00:30

You know what makes me happy? Talking about Television in the 80s and cool ladies!

Sharon Johnson  00:34

Especially with the 90s TV Babies.

Susan Lambert Hatem  00:38

Today we have the 90s TV Babies. Serita, Megan and Sergio are gonna come on the show and give us their perspective on Remington Steele. Where being successful in your career if you were a woman in the 80s meant creating a fictitious male boss to take all the credit.

Sharon Johnson  00:51

I'm so excited to hear what our 90s TV Babies think because they kind of surprisingly loved Scarecrow and Mrs. King.

Susan Lambert Hatem  00:58

I know. I was really pleasantly surprised because I thought they were gonna trash the show that I secretly loved when I was child. (Laughs)

Sharon Johnson  01:06

I thought they would too.

Susan Lambert Hatem  01:08

But they were very excited. So I'm really excited to hear what they think as well. I want to welcome to the podcast our 90s TV Babies. We have Sergio Perez, Serita Fontanesi and Megan Ruble. Hello 90s TV Babies.

Serita Fontanesi  01:24


Megan Ruble  01:24


Sergio Perez  01:24


Susan Lambert Hatem  01:25

You guys are looking beautiful today on Zoom.

Serita Fontanesi  01:27

Thank you.

Megan Ruble  01:28

Look at my unmade bed. (Laughs)

Susan Lambert Hatem  01:32


Sharon Johnson  01:32


Serita Fontanesi  01:32

Someone thought I was a UT Austin College student this week. So.

Sergio Perez  01:37

Oh! (Laughs)

Sharon Johnson  01:37

Oh wow.

Susan Lambert Hatem  01:38

You're feeling good. All right.

Serita Fontanesi  01:40

... I am. I'm gonna ride this high for a while.

Sharon Johnson  01:42


Susan Lambert Hatem  01:44

All right, I am super excited. Because we were just talking, Sharon and I, about what we thought you were gona think of this show.

Sergio Perez  01:53


Susan Lambert Hatem  01:53

And now we don't really know. We just don't know.

Sharon Johnson  01:56

We're excited to hear your thoughts about Remington Steele.

Susan Lambert Hatem  01:59

We are. So we're just gonna hand it off to you guys. And I'd be very curious see it works. So, so here's what we do. We had you guys watch, two episodes? I can't even remember.

Sergio Perez  02:08

We watched three.

Susan Lambert Hatem  02:09

Three! Three episodes.

Serita Fontanesi  02:09

The Pilot and two episodes.

Susan Lambert Hatem  02:11

The pilot two episodes one in the first Season. One in the second Season.

Serita Fontanesi  02:15

One in the second...

Susan Lambert Hatem  02:16

Okay, so you could, you can meet Mildred Krebs. Okay. All right. So what'd you think?

Megan Ruble  02:21

Well, we were talking a little before we got on and I think we're kind of, we're divided actually. Whereas...

Serita Fontanesi  02:28

I feel like there's a spectrum.

Megan Ruble  02:30

Yeah Yeah, that's a better way to say it.

Sergio Perez  02:31

There's a spectrum.

Megan Ruble  02:33


Sharon Johnson  02:33

Do tell.

Serita Fontanesi  02:34

I'll start. (Laughs)

Susan Lambert Hatem  02:37

Go Serita.

Serita Fontanesi  02:38

Full transparency, I did not finish all three episodes because I got bored and...

Sergio Perez  02:45


Serita Fontanesi  02:45

... did not want to keep watching it. And that's my truth.

Sergio Perez  02:53

And live it! Live that truth. You deserve it.

Serita Fontanesi  02:55

Thank you!

Sharon Johnson  02:56

I will admit, that makes me a little sad. But that's okay.

Sergio Perez  02:59

Okay, well.

Serita Fontanesi  02:59

You know, it would, I really want, I really wanted to. Maybe I went in with too high of expectations. I don't know. Although, I did really enjoy Scarecrow. So I don't know. Here we are.

Susan Lambert Hatem  03:14

Here we are. So what bored you?

Serita Fontanesi  03:17

The plot.

90s TV Babies  03:18


Susan Lambert Hatem  03:18


Sharon Johnson  03:18

(Laughs) So you watched the, you watched the Pilot Episode. Correct?

Serita Fontanesi  03:25

I watched the Pilot. I watched Season One, Episode 21? Was that what it was?

Susan Lambert Hatem  03:32


Serita Fontanesi  03:32

Then started the Season Two Episode.

Sharon Johnson  03:35


Susan Lambert Hatem  03:36

And you were out.

Serita Fontanesi  03:37

And then I was out. The, okay. I think mostly what it was, is it's a very slow paced show for me, personally. (guffaw) And I just was like, if they don't spit the words out, I, I'm gonna lose it. Like everyone...

Susan Lambert Hatem  03:57


Serita Fontanesi  03:57

... is talking so slowly and we've been here for an hour and I still couldn't tell you who I was supposed to care about.

Sharon Johnson  04:07


Susan Lambert Hatem  04:08

All right! I, Okay!

Sergio Perez  04:10

There you go.

Serita Fontanesi  04:11

So I'll come in, I'll come in hot.

Sharon Johnson  04:12


Susan Lambert Hatem  04:12

Yes. That is awesome. In some ways, even though again, I am also in somewhat in my heart a little disappointed for. (Laughs)

Sergio Perez  04:23

Yeah Serita, you came in hot!

Serita Fontanesi  04:25


Sergio Perez  04:26

You came in 90 degrees, 50% Humidity. (Guffaw)

Megan Ruble  04:31


Sharon Johnson  04:32


Serita Fontanesi  04:32

Yes a right angle. Absolutely.      

Megan Ruble  04:34


Susan Lambert Hatem  04:34

Well, and so you guys like let, like for Scarecrow you guys, two of you got to get... the ones that are in LA... got together. Did you guys do the same thing this time?

Sergio Perez  04:42


Susan Lambert Hatem  04:42

No, because you couldn't. Because everybody's so busy now. Right? So um, and then everybody watched it separately. Okay, so did you watch it alone on your computer? Serita?

Serita Fontanesi  04:51

I watched it on my TV!

Susan Lambert Hatem  04:53

You watched it on your TV? Like a,  like a real girl. (Guffaw)

Sharon Johnson  04:57


Serita Fontanesi  04:57

I, I turned on the Google. (Chuckles)

Sergio Perez  05:00

(Guffaw) The Amazon Fire Stick.

Serita Fontanesi  05:04

Like on Amazon Prime.

Susan Lambert Hatem  05:07

All right. Megan?

Megan Ruble  05:09

Okay, so I'm the, I'm the in-between. So I'll, I'll  come in with my dislikes and then transition in, into my likes. My, so I actually, I liked it more as I went on. Um, I wish I had, I will probably go back and watch more of Season Two. I don't really have a desire to watch more of Season One necessarily. Um, I struck just from like the angle of what we're talking about here. I struggled with the fact that we had this like empowered female lead, but I cared way more about him. I was way more interested in what was going on with him. And I mean part of that just might be like Pierce Brosnan is a really charming guy and a really fantastic actor. I kept thinking the whole time I was like, I don't remember Pierce Brosnan being this skinny and the like half Armenian in me like fully took over and was like he needs food. (Guffaw) He needs to eat something.

Sergio Perez  06:07


Susan Lambert Hatem  06:07

Someone give him a sandwich.

Megan Ruble  06:09

(Laughing) It would help him.

Sergio Perez  06:10

Give this man a protein shake.

Megan Ruble  06:13

Yeah. He needs more than that. Um (Guffaw), but yeah, I struggled with that a little bit where I was like, man I wanna like and care about the female. But, errrr, I also struggled... and less so in the episode that I watched of Season Two. But I struggled with the fact that like, she was supposed to be this incredible detective who just needed him as a front. And then in many ways he's equal to her. They balance each other really well, which is also a Pro. Like I enjoyed watching their relationship develop because of that. But it was sort of like, she does need him. The episode with her mom, I was like, Oh, she does not know what to do. (Laughs)

Sergio Perez  06:56


Megan Ruble  06:56

She has no clue what's going on. How did she become this good? I don't believe it because of what I'm watching. Way less so in what I've watched of Season Two. She seemed, it they seem to have either corrected their error or the actress got more comfortable. I whatever it was, like she seemed a lot more adept at her job, which (Guffaw) made me feel better. Yeah, I agree with Serita a little bit. It's a little slow moving. And a little bit like, Wait! Did, was I just not paying attention enough? Did I miss that detail? Or are we just throwing details (Laughing) in that I wasn't ever going to pick up on. Um. I really like, the thing I really like about Episodics... like even growing up and like watching like Law and Order and things like that... is even if you don't solve the mystery that is presented to you at the beginning of the episode, if you go back on a good episode like that, the details are all there. And I didn't really find that that was the case, each time. I was sort of like, Oh. if I went back, I think I'd still be a little confused as to how this

Susan Lambert Hatem  08:00

What happened! (Guffaw)

Megan Ruble  08:01

Yeah. (Laughs). I'm glad she figured it out. I'm glad he figured it out. But I still have not figured this out. Um, positives though. I really enjoyed their relationship. Listen, that Season Two episode when she looks at him and is like basically like if you ask I'll have sex with you. And he goes, I'm not gonna ask. I was like Yes! (Laughs) Yes! We love a man who's really into you and is like, this is not the appropriate time. I'm going to set this boundary and take care of you and put you to bed. Love you. Goodbye. Um. Love that. Um, also like, for all of the writing issues I had with how like the plot came together, a lot of the banter is really great. I sorry, I watched the Season Two one more recently, so it's more fresh in my mind. But like loved the references to It Happened One Night and Casablanca and the way they like cinematically worked those in. That was super fun. Um, I just truly loved that Beverly Garland is everyone's mother.  Um. (Laughs) I want Beverly Garland to also be my mother. But yeah, so I struggled a little bit with it. But I think, had I not been looking at it from the lens of like, 'this show'. Where I'm trying to look at like, is this a feminist show? I might have enjoyed it a little more. But I, because I would have been more invested in him, though. If I'm being totally honest. And his story and his growth.

Susan Lambert Hatem  09:26

All right. And Sergio?

Sergio Perez  09:27

All right. The Pilot Episode gets an eight...

Susan Lambert Hatem  09:30


Sergio Perez  09:31

... from me. Uh, it's a generous eight. I know.

Susan Lambert Hatem  09:33


Sergio Perez  09:33

It's, it's more on the side of like an...

Susan Lambert Hatem  09:35

By the way, for those who are,  (Laughing) who are'nt checking-in on our Zoom, Serita gave a little side-eye to that.

Sharon Johnson  09:43


Sergio Perez  09:43


Susan Lambert Hatem  09:43

Or a lot of side-eye

Sergio Perez  09:45


Serita Fontanesi  09:46

I can't think of really, there are very few shows I can think of where I would give the Pilot, anything above like a six and a half.

Sergio Perez  09:54

Okay. Okay. Noted.

Megan Ruble  09:56

The pilot of Mrs Maisel is actually better than everything else that came after. I like Mrs. Maisel. That's not to diss it, but.

Sergio Perez  10:04

Episode 21, I'd say it gets like a six for me. That's where it dipped a little bit. I was like, ah, you know, I'm like, okay with this, like, they filmed on location at the Bonaventure, which was cool. I've been in that elevator. My parents got married, there, like, hello. So I felt a little kinship with that one. Episode Two is the one that I have also watched the most recently, but also enjoyed the most of because I think that it was less about like, Oh, this is the thing that's happening right now. Like, these are the bad guys, the people you need to know. It was really just about like, what kind of people Laura Holt and Pierce Brosnan's unnamed character as of now. Like what their relationship is, and like how she is just like a woman with nothing to lose at this point now that her house is blown up. And yeah, I mean, like, I enjoyed it. This is also coming from somebody who consumes Marvel movies like the popcorn that I walk into them with. So take that however you will.

Susan Lambert Hatem  11:12

Don't, don't shame your liking--

Sergio Perez  11:15

Yeah. Pierce Brosnan--

Serita Fontanesi  11:16

That is interesting, though, because I'm not a Marvel movie fan, either. So I do think it's interesting that Sergio and I are like the two ends of the spectrum. And it seems that like our like, preferences are, I don't know that they're fairly different. But in this particular case, like Marvel, no Marvel, no eights.

Sergio Perez  11:41

So Season two, Episode two gets another eight from me. Yeah, I liked it. It was a good time. They were in the X-mansion at the very end, just walking through those hallways that like were so futuristic for an aircraft company. That was cool. I also liked that in the pilot Episode, the villain was literally Elon Musk. Because he was this guy was trying to peddle a car that no one wants, and is also waiting on a shipment of gems that belong to the South African government.

Sharon Johnson  12:17


Sergio Perez  12:17

I don't know. Maybe a time traveler wrote that Episode. But I'll tell him the notes.

Susan Lambert Hatem  12:24

A guy named John DeLorean. who that character in the pilot was modeled after.

Sergio Perez  12:30

There we are.

Susan Lambert Hatem  12:31

Our 80s Elon Musk, if you will.

Sharon Johnson  12:34

There you go. Yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  12:35

Who did-- Like was he convicted of-- He did some, some you know, shady, shady business, right? Like, yeah.

Serita Fontanesi  12:42

Yeah, he was charged and convicted with I think it was like, wire fraud ultimately, was what he was charged with. But he got himself caught up in a whole FBI sting operation situation.

Sergio Perez  12:57

Oh, wow.

Sharon Johnson  12:58

I'm very impressed that you know that.

Susan Lambert Hatem  13:00

Let that be a lesson.

Susan Lambert Hatem  13:02

There's a podcast that I like called you're wrong about and they did an Episode.

Sharon Johnson  13:05

Ah! There you go!

Sergio Perez  13:09

Shout out to that podcast.

Susan Lambert Hatem  13:10

Shout out to you make, making that connection. Sergio, that's a pretty good connection, though. Because he was kind of the Elon Musk of our time. Not the only one by the way. Which is one of our problems now. Okay, so,so-- Oh, my God. All right. Well, this is this is just throwing things into a tizzy, Sharon.

Sharon Johnson  13:30

(Laughs) I will, I will admit of the two shows, this one was by far my favorite. I far preferred Remington Steele and watched Remington Steele as it aired. I did not watch Scarecrow and Mrs. King. I was aware of it because it was easy to be aware of everything that was on television back then. But for whatever reason, scheduling conflicts or whatever, I did not watch it. But this show I watched every Episode. I made, I'm sure I made a point to be available to watch, because I love the two of them together. I love Laura Holt as a single woman who's unapologetically feminist and, you know, knows what she wants out of life. And frankly, I'm still trying to figure that out, but still was nice to see on television and was taking charge of their relationship. She's the one that was saying, "These are conditions under which things are gonna go forward with us and unless and until that happens, we're not, you know, this is, this is as far as we go." And they also had a number of very frank, very adult, very calm conversations about that very thing, which I also really appreciated. And I don't think I've actually seen on television since.

Susan Lambert Hatem  14:50

Other than the blow up the house Episode, Season Two, I'm trying to remember what Episode was, which was an exceptional Episode. They had some of that conversation, but they did only get a small slice of the show, but you got the show. You-- Those episodes do represent the show I think very well.

Megan Ruble  15:06

Yeah, I was gonna say, their relationship to me, I was surprised, actually. Because the pilot obviously like sets up the intrigue more than it does like what their relationship will become. But like I was surprised by how it wasn't just like a romantic or even a will they, won't they. Like I was shocked to get into Season Two and say that they already were to some extent. And I was like, wow, that's bold. Okay, cool. Um, but yeah, to see kind of like a relationship with give and take and having them suss things out and not in a soap opera way. And they're like, huh, we're gonna go get my cat. You're cute. But let's go get my cat way. You know, that was still fun and playful and still kept-- But also was, like, healthy. I'm-- I hesitate to say only because I've only watched a couple episodes. So I don't want to call something healthy that could have had some very toxic elements to it.

Serita Fontanesi  16:05

I mean, maybe that's my toxic trait is I was just like, I again, need to know if I need to care about these people. And you're not getting-- I'm not getting like, ooh, like, yeah. I'm not getting the will-they-won't-they, the back and forth, the tension. There's no, like, Grey's Anatomy like McDreamy like--

Susan Lambert Hatem  16:27

You wanted more soap opera.

Serita Fontanesi  16:29

Yeah, you know.

Sharon Johnson  16:31


Megan Ruble  16:32

And I think that's it.

Sharon Johnson  16:33

That's fine.

Megan Ruble  16:34

That's the struggle with that, right, is that-- And we're kind of having that struggle now. It's like, how do we have drama, but not portray problematic relationships on television too?

Serita Fontanesi  16:48

We think because we didn't get the like, mellow, dramatic love affair, I was, I was ready to be like, Okay, fine. This isn't a show about two characters falling in love in the midst of a thin plot, right? Like, we all know, that type of show. So then I was like, Okay, so like, we're gonna really get into like the PI detective stuff. And like, this is going to be more like a procedural, and I-- And that doesn't happen either. So then I just sort of felt like, I don't know what kind of show you're trying to give me. So I am like, and--

Sergio Perez  16:48


Susan Lambert Hatem  17:26

You felt confused and lost. (Laughs)

Serita Fontanesi  17:28

Yes. And like, a fun way, like,

Susan Lambert Hatem  17:31

Not a fun way.  

Serita Fontanesi  17:32

Yeah, just in like, Oh, God, like either I need this to swing even just a little bit in one way or the other so then I could feel more grounded in what I was watching. And I think that was then made even bigger by the slower pace. And I think. Megan, you are the one who said like, there were times where it was like, did I just miss the deat--? The moment that would explain this moment? Or did they just not give me a backstory and I'm supposed to just ride with it. I was asking too many questions per usual, I think.

Susan Lambert Hatem  18:06


Sharon Johnson  18:07

And for me, when, when that sort of thing happens to me when I'm watching something, it's, it's an indication of how unengaged I am. Because if I'm thinking too much about those things, I'm not going on the ride, whatever the ride is. So clearly, that's what was happening, I think with you with regarding when you were watching the show, which is what it is. It's, you know, it's perfectly fine. Another question that came to mind though based on something that Megan said, I would imagine you're all familiar with Pierce Brosnan before you watched the show. But how many of you had heard of or knew of Stephanie Zimbalist before you watched the show?

Sergio Perez  18:47

Hmm, you know, I actually watched this. I watched it with my dad and my sister. And so we're watching it. And as we're going like, obviously, everyone knows who Pierce Brosnan is. He was James Bond. He was in Mamma Mia. Like, everyone's like having a great time. They're like, Oh my God, this is Pierce Brosnan, charming. My sister's going through it and she's like, you know, the most messed up thing about this is that she is also acting her ass off and I have never heard of Stephanie Zimbalist until today when I watched this with you. And I said, Yes. And we went into her history. She went to Julliard, she went to an all-girls high school and an all- girls middle school. Like, she is a woman with like, she has the chops. Like she has an extraordinarily talented and I like she was a real joy to watch. And I was like, Yeah, I havd no idea who she was before this, but like, obviously Susan, like, I like know her now because we've just been talking about her for months on months on months. And I'm like, ah! But yeah.

Serita Fontanesi  19:48

I was watching the show in the living room, like I said, on the television. And my husband came in and he's a huge James Bond fan. Like has read the books, you know, the movies, has lots of thoughts and opinions about it. And he comes in and of course he launches into how Pierce Bros-- I'm gonna, I--

Susan Lambert Hatem  20:10

It's okay.

Serita Fontanesi  20:11

Thank you. Thank you. How people didn't like him as James Bond at first because they didn't think that he had the like, edginess that Sean Connery brought to the role, like he was going to be too soft, and to just like pretty.

Susan Lambert Hatem  20:28


Serita Fontanesi  20:30

And I see that and also, obviously he did perfectly fine as James Bond. But in the show, I definitely, if I had seen him in the show, and then was like, oh, and that person is going to become James Bond. I fully understand that concern, because he definitely is like, just like a charming pretty, charming pretty guy,ho can also do spy stuff in, in Reming-- Wow. Words are very hard today.

Susan Lambert Hatem  21:01

Welcome to the party, Serita.

Serita Fontanesi  21:06

Thank you for understanding my brain has melted in this Texas heat. But yeah, like there wasn't-- I, I can say like a thing that I did appreciate about him in the show is that he wasn't this just like, tough, know-it-all. I don't need a woman because I'm a big strong man. Like he, there was a teamwork between or at least an understanding of we need each other to pull off the things that we want. And so yeah, thinking about that character, and then James Bond, I fully see how people would be suspicious, especially coming off of Sean Connery. I mean, not like Sean Connery is this like, super rugged, like lumberjack. (Laughs) But, you know, comparing them, I see why people would be hesitant.

Sharon Johnson  21:56

And my brother actually, who is one of the biggest James Bond fans that walks the earth, had exactly the same reaction when it was announced that Pierce Brosnan might be James Bond. He was not having it. For that very reason. He-- Once Pierce Brosnan became James Bond, he was perfectly fine with it, he said. But he just wasn't ready then. He was too skinny, was one of the things he mentioned. So I totally get it. But until we started having this conversation, it didn't occur to me that-- So when I, I watched the show as it aired originally, I knew of Stephanie Zimbalist, and like almost everybody else, had no idea who Pierce Brosnan was. So I didn't have that, for lack of a better word, baggage coming in when I'm watching it. And maybe that that allowed me to see them both on the same level without, because he was a blank slate to me. He was this gorgeous, extraordinarily talented, extraordinarily funny, extraordinarily, you know, he could do it all kind of actor. Especially had that great accent too. What's not to like about that? But if you're coming in with all the other things he's done since in your head, and you have no idea who Stephanie Zimbalist is, that's not going to help in terms of, I think getting you into Remington Steele. So that's so interesting.

Susan Lambert Hatem  23:17

It's so interesting. She was number one on the call sheet. It was her show. She got to decide whether Pierce-- She fought for Pierce Brosnan, like she, they were listening to her because she was known. She was the star of that show.

Serita Fontanesi  23:30

This tracks to women.

Susan Lambert Hatem  23:33

She was known.

Serita Fontanesi  23:34

Constantly advocating out here for others, and then never getting

Susan Lambert Hatem  23:38

Not getting the return on investment. Well, and what's interesting is so, so we have interviewed Stephanie Zimbalist, and one of the writers from the show. And Stephanie talked, and she talked at the time as well, about difficulties between them, right? There's this like, weird, like, did they get along? Did they not get along? There's a little bit of that out in, that was during the show and post show. And basically, they're like, Yeah, we get along. We were both in our 20s. We were both on a TV show that was shooting 16 hours. And we both had very strong ideas about what our art was. So we also didn't always get along. But that was because we were fighting for what we believed in, not because we hated each other. We liked working together, and we respected each other, but it didn't mean that we were always on this, you know, oh yeah, this has been done with and I think in particular, after Season One, Stephanie Zimbalist was like, "Hey, by the way, this supposed to be my show. This is supposed to be about Laura Holt being a great detective. Maybe we can get back to the premise of the show." And was really pretty insistent, and I think you see when they start listening in Season Two, and I think Season Two and Season Three benefit from that. Female writers start coming on to the show. From what everybody says Michael Gleason adorable adorable adorable. One of the first female writers on the show, Robin Bernheim, actually talked about how, how supportive he was, but still was like, "Oh yeah, he was supportive because when I was being shut out by the other guys in the room, he would take me aside and go, 'Alright, listen, cookie, you don't listen to them. You're a great writer.'" And she's like, "It was great. I felt great because he was supporting me off to the side. But he was still calling me cookie." (Laughs) And so she's like, it didn't like at the time, I was just happy to be in the room. Right. But then you're also realizing, Oh, they're all going off to lunch. And I'm not invited. Again, the voices in the room, right, not having a lot of room to advocate for the voices on screen. And again, this show was really groundbreaking for me like because of Laura Holt character. Because of that opening Saga Sell at the beginning of Season One, which they which goes away, they don't do it again. It gets weirder and weirder, the opening of the, of the of the show, the title sequence. But, but that opening with her like, you know, try this, we've heard a beautiful voice and that long, like, Oh, it's a mystery. And, and it's great. You're like she's explaining the show. And she's she's in charge. And then the very last line of it, which I still don't know why they do it. She goes, "I don't even know his real name." And you're like-- It's always bugged me. Because you're like, "You're a detective, lady. You just spent like the last 10 lines telling us what a great detective you are. Maybe detect something. Why don't you figure it out, what his real name is?" It's always bugged me.

Serita Fontanesi  26:41

I don't think I fully realized how much that irritated me until right now. And I think that is what set me up for failure with a show. 'Cause I was like, "In what world are you a detective and you don't know this man's name?" Do you know the amount of sleuthing I have done to find out more than a man's name? Like I just

Susan Lambert Hatem  27:03

To her credit, this is pre[Google, pre-Internet. So you had--

Susan Lambert Hatem  27:06

Sure, sure, sure.

Sergio Perez  27:07

She could have gone to the library, okay?

Serita Fontanesi  27:09

You're supposed to be a PI and your job is detecting? Like, you know, I'm a little stressed that you can't find this man's name.

Megan Ruble  27:22

I 1,000% agree, but I also-- That Season Two opener is strange. And I missed the like, film lady, film noir. Like it was like the reverse of a film noir. Right? Where she is the detective and she's like "He walked into my life." And then he's. he walks in and is the mysterious femme fatale. And I'm like, I'm into this. I like this opening. I agree with you about the line. That's a little silly, because then also at the very last moment, it makes it about him in a way where it's like we get it. You ask him his name, like every Episode. Why am I-- I don't need this here, too. But yeah, that Season Two opening credits thing. I was like, Why? Why are we at a movie theater? What's going on?

Susan Lambert Hatem  28:07

Where they're watching clips-- Yeah, we've talked about that, because it's, it-- I also adore it in some way, even though it's absurd and ridiculous and doesn't make absolutely any sense. Like somebody put some clips together of you guys fighting crime because they were filming you. And then you went into a movie theater, with some popcorn. And just the two of you watch these?

Serita Fontanesi  28:30

And also, you're not very good detectives, if people were able to get footage of you being a detective.

Sharon Johnson  28:38

It's 80s TV insanity. I mean-- Yeah.

Serita Fontanesi  28:43

I'm a big fan of the show Psych. Obviously not an 80s show. So like I am willing to suspend a lot of disbelief and like, (Laughs) typical structure for something that I enjoy. But yeah, I was just like, I, it doesn't feel like you're good at this. It doesn't feel like you even like each other that much. But maybe a lot. I just--

Susan Lambert Hatem  29:09

Serita needs to know where she stands.

Serita Fontanesi  29:12

Tell me where to stand.

Sergio Perez  29:13

See, the thing for me about the pilot is that they were like-- She was jumping through hoops to be like, "Yeah, Mr., Mr. Steele's out, and he's not going to be here. We just have to make his presence feel known." And then Pierce Brosnan, whose character at this point is still unnamed. And I don't know and I don't know if I'll ever find out. Just walks on to set one day and is like, "Yeah, this is my joint now." And then like, just, there was never a moment of like, yeah, see, she can pull off just as Laura Holt with Remington Steele somewhere else, and no one's going to ask her any questions about it. Right from the jump, it was okay, now Pierce Brosnan is here. Now she has to deal with him. And now you see like her cracking under the pressure of like, oh, Remington Steele is now here. Like I would like to have seen a little bit more of her running her own business with Remington Steele still a mystery.

Susan Lambert Hatem  30:07

The original concept for the show by Robert Butler was just the female detective who created a fake boss so she could be a female detective. Everybody's like, oh, it's not ready. And it was like the 50s or 60s. He's like, Wouldn't this be great? And he was a huge director. He directed like a ridiculous everything, right? And so they're like, oh, yeah, that's great little director. You had an idea. Good for you. Not yet, right, lady, lady running things. We only do that once. Mary Tyler Moore comes on. He brings it back to MTM. And they're like, hmm, alright, we're gonna team you with Michael Gleason who's a writer. And again, Michael Gleason is not wrong, that they needed something else. It's not a-- It's a really great idea that then oh, and then trouble walks in the door, right? And then this guy walks in and is basically going to be the face. Like it adds a lovely, clever thing. It adds a whole other layer to a show gives you a lot more to work with, these two people instead of one person. But it's not the same show. And it's not at all a better feminist show.

Serita Fontanesi  31:16

Yes, it's like, again, I actually think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if the whole-- If there had been no Remington Steele, and it was just half farce her trying to cover--

Susan Lambert Hatem  31:30

Keep it going, yeah.

Serita Fontanesi  31:31

Yeah, it's like, I mean, that's the fun of Psych. Like, he is not really a psychic detective. And I guess the tension is his, the fact that his dad is a retired cop, and could have any moment-- So I assume that that is the purpose of her of bringing the guy in to be-- Well, then now there's going to be a real person who plays a fake person. And we also have to-- It was, We have to unravel his story, and keep her like charade going. And then add in this element of like, love, romantic possibility, but wanting to keep it very professional, like, whatever. And so I feel like I never really, and again, I've watched like two and a half episodes--

90s TV Babies  32:25


Susan Lambert Hatem  32:26

You're talking about the show, like you've watched more than two and a half episod

Sharon Johnson  32:29


Serita Fontanesi  32:31

The power of confidence. (Laughs) I, if you had shown me a show, that was just her trying to fake it, like that would have been a lot of fun. And I think we could have found some really great women's empowerment when she inevitably gets caught by someone somewhere along the way. And then you can be like, you know, some big speech of like, but I've been doing it all by myself the whole time,

Susan Lambert Hatem  33:00

Pay attention to the woman behind the curtain.

Serita Fontanesi  33:02

Right, right. Or if it had always been billed as-- I guess it kind of was because this comes out in the pilot. But if it had always been this, like, male, female buddy cop type of detective situation, that could have been a fun show. And we could have had some really great like women's empowerment of like, how she checks him and how she does get to be a really great detective, regardless of if he is involved or not. And having to force him to reckon with you are here because people will listen to you solely because you're a man, not necessarily because of your talent or skill. Like that's like okay, yeah, let's dig into that. But then like, they just did it all. And they lost me.

Susan Lambert Hatem  33:48

They lost her.

Sharon Johnson  33:50

Well, they do, they do--

Susan Lambert Hatem  33:51

They do, again--

Sharon Johnson  33:52


Susan Lambert Hatem  33:53

What you're asking for is in other episodes of the show, and they do speak to like-- Mildred Krebs spends, what, two seasons, thinking that the guy playing Remington Steele is the boss and she keeps going, you're not the boss. And she's like, just you have to listen to me. (Laughs) Until finally she gives up the ghost. And then-- And then basically Mildred is like on her side, then from then on out.

Serita Fontanesi  34:21

That sounds very fun!

Sharon Johnson  34:23

You know, in general, in general, the purpose of the pilot to me is pilots rarely are perfect. But there should be something there that makes you say, I want to see more of this. That's what you're looking for. Do I want to spend more time with these characters in this situation? And to me, that's what the purpose of the pilot is, and it either works for you that way or it doesn't. Having said that, there have been many pilots that I've seen that I went, No, I don't think so. And then it turns out to be a great show. Blackish is one of them. I was not sold on the pilot, but I love the show subsequently There have also been many shows that have had great pilots, but then the show turned out not to be so good. Another one that comes to mind is was one that was on ABC called Mr. Mayor. fFantastic pilot, but they didn't quite know what to do after the pilot, and it just barely made it through one season. But at the end of the day, again, the whole purpose of the pilot is to get you to say, I want more of this. And it either does that for you, or it doesn't. Whether it be the setting, whether it be the characters, whether it be the actors. I mean, I've watched a lot of shows that aren't that great, but because of an actor or two, I'm here for this because I love that person, that actor, love to watch them perform. So yeah, as I've said, this is this is one of my favorite 80s shows, and everything is not for everybody. So--

Susan Lambert Hatem  35:51

And mine too. And it's funny, because we don't all like like, we're not always in agreement. But there was not a character like Laura Holt on 80s television at the time. There just was not. There was not a woman that was independent, unmarried and career focused in a way that looked fun. And like, oh, that's what she's she's getting exactly what she wants. And she's crafting a path for herself to achieve her goals. And even when people show up to distract her from that, she still always comes back to that. And so that was very powerful for a lot of women, business women, a lot of women that were trying to find a way through that, really, we're not interested in getting married, and we're not interested in and there weren't a lot of shows. There were divorced people, there were, you know, like Scarecrow & Mrs. King, where it's like, Oh, I thought I was gonna do this. And now I'm gonna fall my way into a career. You know, I love Scarecrow, obviously, Mrs. King, but it's a different kind of character. And so here's what-- That brings us to our question. Is it really feminist? And is it progressive? Meghan, go.

Megan Ruble  37:04

The most uncomfortable-looking person.

Sharon Johnson  37:04


80sTVLadies   37:06


Susan Lambert Hatem  37:06

I did! The power of Zoom.

Megan Ruble  37:11

To follow up on our Scarecrow & Mrs. King point, I'm going to take care of the easy one and ease myself into the harder one. It is certainly not intersectional. Unfortunately, to be expected, but unfortunately, it's true. I, I don't-- Okay, So had you not just said what you said, I think I would have been more on the fence. But yeah, I think it is feminist in the same way that I think Buffy is feminine, like coming from the 90s-- In the same way that I think Buffy is feminist in that like, if this is what-- If I'm putting this on the lens of this is the time period I have to work with this is revolutionary. This is something that does not exist. This is an example of a woman I'm seeing that I don't get to see anywhere else. Now? Not so much. I can pick a lot of different types of women that that are like independent and give up love or give up other things in order to pursue a career and decide to be focused on that. So not-- I wouldn't say progressive, but like if I'm transporting myself back to the 80s I'm like Hell yeah, I want to be this woman when I grow up like this is feminist to this, that period. That feels like kind of a cheating answer.

Sharon Johnson  38:26

No, it's fine. Yeah. Because there is really no right or wrong answer to this question.

Susan Lambert Hatem  38:32

Yes, we did not agree...

Sharon Johnson  38:34


Susan Lambert Hatem  38:34

...on this question. And neither did Melissa.

Sharon Johnson  38:36

We each had-- We're on the spectrum.

Susan Lambert Hatem  38:39

We're on the spectrum too. All right. Serita.

Serita Fontanesi  38:44

I would disagree with Buffy. I do think she holds up in today. But that's another podcast.

Susan Lambert Hatem  38:54

A sequel?

Sharon Johnson  38:54


Serita Fontanesi  38:56

You know, I think but to that point, though, I do think that in terms of the time and place and space of this show, yes, it-- There's a woman lead who is as confused as I might have been. Her main priority is not to get a man and especially for the time revolutionary. And knowing more about the behind the scenes of the show, I am much more intrigued in her in her arc and her journey. Yeah, obviously it's not intersectional, everyone's white. Everyone's like British, so like the whitest of white.

Megan Ruble  39:47

You know, like, everyone is so white, that and like so the same look that I got confused a couple of times (Laughs).

Sharon Johnson  39:47


Serita Fontanesi  39:56

Part of who am I supposed to care about? I just was getting confused. Um, so you know, like would I say it's progressive, like no under early, it's not under a modern lens. But still, regardless of whether it's a show that I would have tuned into every night, I do think it is a show that was was serving an important purpose in it's time of-- Yeah, just giving women a space to be the center and to be the like, main focus. Another great non-answer.

Susan Lambert Hatem  40:35

That's all right. Sergio.

Sergio Perez  40:37

For the time, yeah. I mean, the lines were written very explicitly. There were a lot of points of just like, "Oh, see, I don't-- I'm not here to talk to a secretary." And she's like, "Actually, I'm not the sec--" Like, they were very explicit about what her relationship to work was, and the people and how they perceive her as a woman in this, like-- Is there a detective industry? In this industry? Where it was like--

Susan Lambert Hatem  41:07

At the time, there was.

Sergio Perez  41:08


Susan Lambert Hatem  41:09

It was all detective shows.

Sergio Perez  41:10

Yeah, that's what I've gathered. Like a lot of the things about like, oh, did you ever think that you--? Have you ever wanted your talents recognized or your your efforts to be applauded the same way? And she was like-- She didn't. I don't I don't remember what her answer was. But I will say it was feminist for the 80s. Is it progressive? I'm sure that it inspired many people. I'm sure that a lot of people tuned in, and were like, Yeah, this is great. Maybe I do need to recognize a woman. Maybe I do need to buy my wife flowers and be like, Hey, sorry. But like-- Yeah, I mean, I'm flatlining here.

80sTVLadies   41:50


Sergio Perez  41:50

I'm flatlining here.

Susan Lambert Hatem  41:54

Okay, we're gonna-- So, Sharon. Do you remember what our answer was when we did this?

Sharon Johnson  41:58

Oh, yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  41:59


Sharon Johnson  42:00

I said, definitely. Melissa said no.

Susan Lambert Hatem  42:03

Melissa jumped up to say no. (Laughs)

Sharon Johnson  42:06

And Susan was smack dab in the middle.

Susan Lambert Hatem  42:09

Because the character is feminist. The show is not.

90s TV Babies  42:13


Megan Ruble  42:14

That it is perfect.

Susan Lambert Hatem  42:17

Like, that's where it challenges itself. And you can't get through it. The director and the creator, Robert Butler, and Michael Gleason, who, again, from everything I've read, are just absolutely, like, beautiful, wonderful people. Were, they're both passed away. But they're doing the DVD commentary. And there's a line and in my head where Gleason is like, Yeah, it's weird. It's like, it's like the show is about identity. And it's like he just realized it. Oh, yeah. Like he comes in and kind of takes over her identity. And they just figured it out while they were watching the show for the DVD commentaries put out in 2012, or whatever it was.

Serita Fontanesi  43:07

I yearn to be that head empty every moment of my life.

Susan Lambert Hatem  43:12

And yet they were so smart. They were so smart about everything else. It just never occurred to them that it was about her.

Serita Fontanesi  43:18

Because why would it? Their agency has never been challenged.

Susan Lambert Hatem  43:21

'Cause it was more about being being clever and being funny and being smart and being, oh, interesting. Because wouldn't it be interesting to put a woman in this situation? And then have her go, hey, guess what? I'm running the show. But you can't tell. Wouldn't that be interesting? It's-- It was, it was so telling.

Serita Fontanesi  43:39

And Susan, like I, and Sharon, also, I'm sure this is something that you all can really speak to. But this is where it becomes like, wildly aggressively obvious, like, we have to have different people in the room. And this is nothing about them other than 20 years later, they were having a revelation that probably all of us on this call have had to have much sooner of like, oh, identity is important. And it matters and it's meaningful and is impacted by the environment around me. And it and it shapes the way that people see me and how I can show up in spaces. And so it's like, yeah, guys. (Chuckles) She's not just quirky. Like this, this was like a radical idea that a woman could, both in television and then within the world of the show, be the center of the universe. And it has nothing to do with who she's going to sleep with.

Sharon Johnson  44:40

The other thing I'm thinking about, from what Susan has said, though, is is the intention more important or the outcome? In other words, these guys maybe didn't intend to write a show, a feminist show, but in my opinion they did. Whether that was their intent or not, I don't care. I care about what I saw, what I got out of it. Because there are many, you know, they're examples of people with intention of doing something. And it turns out not so great. I'm not as concerned about the intention as I am about the result. And the result for me was that, as someone who was about Laura Holt's age at that time to see this woman on television, this character on television, meant more to me than whatever the intent was behind the scenes, whatever their realization, or understanding of what they were doing was behind the scenes. Because perhaps at that time, all things considered, if they had realized, maybe they wouldn't have done it. Maybe it wouldn't have gotten Laura Holt. So--

Susan Lambert Hatem  45:45

I think there wassome like, oh, yeah, women can do things. Like I think they, I think they were, would have considered themselves pro women, right? Like, I work with women. Sure. You know? Like, we put that we put everything into the media we consume, those are the charact-- Like I recognize myself in that character. And I cheerleading that character, because they recognize something. It's not always our whole self. It's whatever we can have.

Sharon Johnson  45:45

some like, oh, yeah, women can do things. Like I think they, I think they were, would have considered themselves pro women, right? Like, I work with women. Sure. You know? Like, we put that we put everything into the media we consume, those are the charact-- Like I recognize myself in that character. And I cheerleading that character, because they recognize something. It's not always our whole self. It's whatever we can have.

Susan Lambert Hatem  46:12

And that character of Laura Holt, definitely, like, gave women confidence, to continue to do what they were doing. And to do it with more confidence. For sure. And women have talked about that. And Stephanie Zimbalist, 'cause she's like, the women that I meet, that are like, Laura Holt was like a huge person for me. There are these amazing women, they're these scientists and doctors and lawyers and, and judges and to like, they're so impressive. These women that come up and go, Oh, my God, Laura Holt, she was my everything. She was my star. Right? Like, because I saw myself in her and I saw more of myself in her than I saw in other other forms in the media. Because we're so desperate, right for, for an identity, for some tiny sliver of, "Wait. That's me! I can be that." And yeah, so I do think that that character really did kind of slide in there and become resonant, particularly for our generation. And now again, it feels like Oh, that's sweet. (Laughs) Which is good. It's good, right? Like, there are more representation, there's better representation.

Sharon Johnson  46:12


Susan Lambert Hatem  46:33

Turst me, not every episode is a gem, because they were writing, you know, 20, 22, 24,26 episodes a Season, cranking them out. I mean, but I love the fact that this character exists and existed at the time and and it still exists today. I'm trying to find though the name of that Episode that that Stephanie co-wrote from Season Three.

Sharon Johnson  47:22

She co-wrote an episode in Season Three with Robin Bernheim, who came on as a Guest writer, because Stephanie said, Hey, I know writer and brought her on the show. And then she stayed on the show and was an Executive Story Editor by Season Five, and now is still working today. She's the Executive Producer and Writer of the Princess Switch movies on Netflix.

Serita Fontanesi  48:04


Sharon Johnson  48:05

It's Episode 20 from Season Three. It's called Steel in the Chips. And the brief description is Laura and Steel get involved in the search for the inventor of a no-calorie cookie and his only batch of prototypes. Guest stars include Geena Davis, and Jean Smart.

Susan Lambert Hatem  48:25

And Jean Smart.

Sharon Johnson  48:26

It is by far my favorite Episode. If you are so inclined, I would highly recommend that you go find that Episode and give it a look. It's different in a lot of ways. It's it's, it's pretty much slapstick.

Susan Lambert Hatem  48:40

Yeah, it's goofy.

Serita Fontanesi  48:41

What was the Episode again?

Sharon Johnson  48:43

It's called Steel in the Chips, Season Three, Episode 20. It's a fun Episode. So yeah, for what it's worth. Not a requirement but just if you're so inclined. So, anyway.

Susan Lambert Hatem  48:54

So you guys know the Princess Switich movies

Megan Ruble  48:56

Oh, yeah.

Sergio Perez  48:57

Yes, with Ms. Vanessa Hudgens.

Susan Lambert Hatem  49:02

Playing like triplet roles, right? Or not triplets, but like identical people.

Sharon Johnson  49:08


Serita Fontanesi  49:08

Top tier holiday content. Yes.

Megan Ruble  49:13


Susan Lambert Hatem  49:14

We asked her whether there was going to be a four, but you'll have to listen to the podcast.

Sergio Perez  49:20

Don't do that to us.

Sharon Johnson  49:21


Sergio Perez  49:23

Don't do that to us. No,

Serita Fontanesi  49:26

Sergio I'm so glad that these movies could be our Venn diagram.

Sergio Perez  49:30

Yes. The Princess Switch.

Susan Lambert Hatem  49:33

Marvel here here--

Sergio Perez  49:36

The Princess Switch.

Serita Fontanesi  49:37

The Princess Switch

Sergio Perez  49:38

Brings people together.

Susan Lambert Hatem  49:41

There we have to leave it. I think we have to wrap it up.

Sharon Johnson  49:43


Susan Lambert Hatem  49:44

Oh, my god. I love you guys so much.

Sharon Johnson  49:47

This has been so much fun. This has been so much fun.

Susan Lambert Hatem  49:51

Serena, Megan, Sergio.

Sharon Johnson  49:54

Good to see you all.

Megan Ruble  49:55

Good to see you.

Megan Ruble  50:02

Bye, y'all.

Susan Lambert Hatem  50:02

Welcome back. So we've been asking for questions from our listeners about if they had any questions about Remington Steele and some have come up. And so I was like, Well, I'm going to email Robin Bernheim, and find out what she has to say about some of these questions. So one of the questions we got is for Season Five, and it's a question that we had as well. Can you share insight of the idea about bringing in the Tony Roselli character, or the like evolution of how that character in the love triangle evolved for Season Five? So there are a couple questions we got about that. And the answer for Robin Bernheim is, "Bringing in Jack Scalia was born out of the need to come up with a new love interest for Laura, because of the possibility that Pierce would not renew his contract after Season Five. The thought was to bring in someone who is very different from Remington. I distinctly remember Michael Gleason saying that Remington was champagne, while Tony Roselli was beer. Stephanie did have final approval on the casting choice and went to lunch with Jack before it his deal was finalized. She liked him very much."

Sharon Johnson  51:03

That doesn't surprise me, I guess, in terms of what some of my thoughts were, in saying about his casting in the show. So that makes perfect sense.

Susan Lambert Hatem  51:12

It seems like an impossible mission in some ways, in retrospect.

Susan Lambert Hatem  51:15

Well, I

Sharon Johnson  51:15

have to agree with that. I mean, I understand the impulse amongst the producers on the show to try to figure out a way to continue the show, if, as expected, Pierce were to leave, but I don't know. I think for me, as a viewer, I would have-- I just, I find it hard to imagine that it would have been satisfying to me. And then what do you do with the title of the show, for goodness sake?

Susan Lambert Hatem  51:38

The success of the show seemingly was built on the chemistry of the two leads, and this back and forth. It worked and Cheers, you know, when Diane left, and they brought in Kirstie Alley.

Sharon Johnson  51:52

But the difference was in Cheers, by the time Shelly Long left, Sam and Diane had been over for a long time. So there had been a transition from them, when they first got together at the end of the first or second Season. And then they broke up and they were apart for a long time. There may have still been some tension between the characters, but they weren't still a couple, where Remington and Laura were. And that's one of the reasons why I think it probably wouldn't have worked, at least for me as a viewer.

Susan Lambert Hatem  52:20

Well, I think at that point, you're just trying to like get your show back on the air, right? Like, you're just like, Wait, we could, we can have this back? Let's-- Okay, what do you need?

Sharon Johnson  52:27

(Laughs) Well, of course, it's so hard to get a television show on the air. You have it on the air, you want to do everything you can to keep it. I completely understand. I just don't know, for this show to continue without one of the leads, because of the relationship between the two lead characters on it.

Susan Lambert Hatem  52:47

I think the challenge is, is that we had spent so many years basically knowing what Laura wanted.

Sharon Johnson  52:54


Susan Lambert Hatem  52:54

And it wasn't beer.

Sharon Johnson  52:55

Exactly. (Laughs)

Susan Lambert Hatem  52:58

I would have loved that they continue on with the show with just her.

Sharon Johnson  53:03

Oh, yeah.

Susan Lambert Hatem  53:03

Turns out-- And then, and then you could bring in the Jack Scalia as-- You can bring in, have whoever and she can basically be the young Murder She Wrote.

Sharon Johnson  53:13

Yeah, that seems to me would have been for lack of a better word easier. They would have needed to, just to throw it out there to--

Susan Lambert Hatem  53:19

And it would have been so much-- Like you'd be like heartbroken because they weren't together.

Sharon Johnson  53:21

Well, of course.

Susan Lambert Hatem  53:21

But he was out there somewhere as a possibility.

Sharon Johnson  53:26

And he gives her his blessing and let the clients all know and the private investigator world knows that Remington Steele has full confidence in her while he's off on some long-term assignments somewhere. And anyway, this is off top of my head, but that would make more sense to me than trying to bring in some other guy.

Susan Lambert Hatem  53:42

We're trying to do Season Six.

Sharon Johnson  53:43


Melissa Roth  53:45

But he can be more like Charlie from Charlie's Angels.

Susan Lambert Hatem  53:45

Don't mind us.

Sharon Johnson  53:51

Exactly. And he could have, again told the private eye world that because she's so good, the name of the agency is now Steel & Hart. He's perfectly fine with that.

Susan Lambert Hatem  54:01

Steel & Hart. I like that.

Sharon Johnson  54:02

You know? So yeah. So she's run it.

Susan Lambert Hatem  54:04

But then she'd be  second banana on the--

Sharon Johnson  54:05

You gotta start somewhere.

Susan Lambert Hatem  54:07

That's true.

Sharon Johnson  54:07

Gotta start somewhere.

Susan Lambert Hatem  54:08

That's the 80s. That's what they kept telling us.

Sharon Johnson  54:10

Exactly. With the idea that someday he says, "I'm not doing this anymore. It's now the Holt Agency. Go for it, Laura." I Yeah, you can, you couldn't--

Susan Lambert Hatem  54:18

Holt. But yeah. So it wasn't Hart.

Melissa Roth  54:20

That's okay. We like it anyway.

Susan Lambert Hatem  54:23

The Holt, like-- Wait, that sounds great. Wait--

Melissa Roth  54:25

Let me get the lesbian.

Sharon Johnson  54:28


Melissa Roth  54:28

Heart and Laura Holt.

Susan Lambert Hatem  54:30

They get divorced and people wouldn't like that. Now Stephanie Powers and Stephanie Zimbalist--

Melissa Roth  54:35

Would be pretty hot.

Susan Lambert Hatem  54:35

That's pretty great.

Sharon Johnson  54:37

Too many Stephanies--

Melissa Roth  54:38


Susan Lambert Hatem  54:41

Too many Stephanies. There's always that problem. Too many Stephanies.

Sharon Johnson  54:46

Anyway, sadly, not everyone is looking at things correctly.

Sharon Johnson  54:51

Yeah, that's right. They should really check with us.

Sharon Johnson  54:53

Exactly. I

Sharon Johnson  54:54

say that all the time, because there's so many things people forget to check with me and then disaster ensues. If only they would check with me first. So our final question for Robin, is something that's come up several times from our listeners. We wanted to know if she thought that the show would have built or evolved the character of Laura Holt differently had women been the lead creatives and writers on the show. And here's what she said. "Interesting question. And first, I have to say, I do believe there are men who write really well for women and women who write really well for men. A good writer is a good writer, and Michael Gleason was one of the best and made Laura Holt one of the best female characters of the day. Second, there was a lead creative who was female, and that was Stephanie. Her opinions and tastes did shape and polish the character of Laura and her relationship with Remington. And I don't think it's fair to dismiss her input. But I do think male writers and producers of the day put a far greater value on a woman's appearance than women writers and producers would. And they accepted glamour as a given. I was thinking that it's actually very significant that the Episode Stephanie and I wrote, centered around finding the holy grail of dieting, a cookie with no calories. There's a multi-dimensional story to explore about a woman's struggle to look good. I don't know if a male writer would have seen that. But Michael did, and he gets a lot of credit for it." I think that's a great answer.

Susan Lambert Hatem  56:34

Yeah, I think so too. You know, I would agree with it. I think as we've learned hair, and what women wearing is still a factor today.

Sharon Johnson  56:42

In ways it's not for men.

Susan Lambert Hatem  56:44

In ways is not for men. And so is age aging, right? We accept men aging much easier than we accept women aging, and women looking their age.

Melissa Roth  56:55

Oh, it's terrible. Have you seen the cover of Allure with Jennifer Aniston in like this really, like, front cover barely wearing anything?

Sharon Johnson  57:05

It's the kind of thing that makes me crazy.

Melissa Roth  57:07

And she's so like, airbrushed and everything. It's just like, really? You had, really?

Sharon Johnson  57:12

Chris Evans was named People's Sexiest Man Alive. Fine. I mean, it's, it's fine. But whenever you see men on the covers of these magazines, they're always fully dressed.

Susan Lambert Hatem  57:25


Sharon Johnson  57:26

And then when you see women like Jennifer Aniston, on the covers of these magazines, they tend not to be fully dressed.

Melissa Roth  57:33


Sharon Johnson  57:34

Even just comparing the-- You know, Vanity Fair does this Hollywood issue every year and every year, when it's all men on the cover? They're all in tuxedos. They've got two or three layers of clothes on. And then the next year where it's women, they're all in lingerie or something. It's maddening.

Susan Lambert Hatem  57:50


Melissa Roth  57:50


Sharon Johnson  57:51

It's absolutely maddening.

Susan Lambert Hatem  57:52

So I'm looking at the photos, just for research purposes of Chris Evans on sexiest man alive--

Melissa Roth  57:59

Well, me too then.

Susan Lambert Hatem  58:00

Yeah, he's wearing a T-shirt and jeans and denim jacket.

Melissa Roth  58:03


Sharon Johnson  58:04

And there's nothing wrong with that.

Susan Lambert Hatem  58:05

Don't 'ew.' He's a good looking guy.

Sharon Johnson  58:07

That's perfectly fine. If it were...

Melissa Roth  58:07

I know, but why does he get to be all T-shirt and scruffy and she doesn't? It's like, Really? That's the sexiest man alive?

Sharon Johnson  58:15


Melissa Roth  58:16

I know a lot of sexier men.

Susan Lambert Hatem  58:17

We don't have to dis Chris Evans.

Sharon Johnson  58:19


Melissa Roth  58:20

I love Chris Evans.

Sharon Johnson  58:21

I'm not making any sort of comment about whether he is or isn't, I'm just saying-- But if you go back and look at all the covers, I don't think any of those those covers feature a guy with his shirt off, or, you know, in bathing attire, or some other form of undress. Whereas if it had been a sexiest woman alive, that's exactly what you would get.

Susan Lambert Hatem  58:44

Yes.(Wolf Whistle) All right, we want to shout out to our listeners who are reaching out to us. Thank you so much.

Sharon Johnson  58:51

Docdeb56 on Apple podcast. Thank you for your five star rating and review.

Susan Lambert Hatem  58:56

And on YouTube. I want a special shout out to Alfonso from Madrid who wrote in to praise Stephanie Zimbalist for her work on stage and in Remington Steele in our comments.

Sharon Johnson  59:05

Via email, we had a comment from Kate who is loving the podcast. Hearing about Scarecrow and Mrs. King along with Remington Steele brings her back to her childhood. She hopes we will cover Designing Women and Kate & Allie.

Susan Lambert Hatem  59:19

All right, it's on the list now, Kate. Thank you for listening, everybody, and please send us your feedback.

Sharon Johnson  59:25

With the new year, we're starting a new segment called the 80s TV Ladies Salute, where we recognize some of the fabulous television ladies and people of the 80s who we recently lost.

Susan Lambert Hatem  59:37

Our goal at 80s TV Ladies is to celebrate and highlight the history and accomplishments of women in television.

Sharon Johnson  59:44

So we salute the following 80s TV Ladies in memorium.

Susan Lambert Hatem  59:49

Barbara Walters, an icon of television and news from the 70s and 80s. She became a co-host of The Today Show in 1974, the first woman to hold such a title on an American news program. And she continued to be a pioneer in broadcasting for women, and the first female co-anchor of a network evening news show. These were huge in the 80s. It doesn't really resonate the same way. That's what everyone tuned into to find out what was happening on a national level was the evening news. And Barbara Walters was the first female co-anchor. And her interviews were really startling. You should go back and check some out.

Sharon Johnson  1:00:30

We also lost Kirstie Alley, probably best known for playing Rebecca on Cheers, as well as for the Look Who's Talking movies. Her iconic role in Cheers, I think, will always live as one of the best comedic performances by an actress on TV.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:00:49

And Irene Cara, the songwriter, singer and actress who gave us mostly Fame, and everything else, but it was Fame that I just first knew of her.

Melissa Roth  1:01:01

She was Coco in the movie.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:01:03

Yeah. But she also sang the song

Sharon Johnson  1:01:06

And won an Academy Award for that song.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:01:08

Yep. A prolific writer wrote a lot of stuff.

Melissa Roth  1:01:11

She wrote the Flashdance.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:01:13

Yes, What A Feeling.

Sharon Johnson  1:01:15

Next we have Carol Cook. She was an actress who starred in television in the 60s, was a protege of Lucille Ball from The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy, and guested on just about everything else in the 70s and 80s, including four episodes of Dynasty, two of Murder She Wrote and five Cagney & Laceys.

Melissa Roth  1:01:35

That's a lot of episodes.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:01:35

And I want to shout out Sonia Eddy. She started as a stage actress and transitioned to television in the 90s working on shows like The Drew Carey Show and Murphy Brown, and she did 543 episodes of General Hospital.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:01:51

It certainly is.

Sharon Johnson  1:01:52

Next we have Helen Slayton Hughes. She's another theater actress who became a big TV character actress in her 60s and 70s. She's best known for playing Ethel Beavers in Parks & Recreation and Marion Cotesworth-Haye on an Episode of The West Wing, where they make up an award called the Francis Scott Key key to appease her.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:02:16

Because she's coming in hot to the West Wing.

Sharon Johnson  1:02:19

That's it.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:02:20

I want to shout out Dorothy Tristan, and Diane McBain who worked a lot in the 80s, television and television in general. And you can find out more about them on our website.

Sharon Johnson  1:02:30

And last but certainly not least, we have a couple of honorary 80s TV Ladies, a couple of men we'd like to shout out. First Adam Rich who was one of the stars of Eight is Enough. And Earl Boen, who was a huge actor from the 80s and 90s, guested on just about everything in the 80s including Murder She Wrote and 227. He did a Season of It's A Living. He was a big voice actor for animation and video games from Kim Possible to World of Warcraft to Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:02

I included those because those are games I've played.

Sharon Johnson  1:03:06


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:06

Baldur's Gate.

Sharon Johnson  1:03:08

I said that, I said that correctly?

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:09

Baldur's Gate. Yeah.

Sharon Johnson  1:03:10

Yeah. I think all of them, the people we've mentioned, made a contribution to television. Not just in the 80s, but before and after. And it's good to have an opportunity to give them a little bit of a shout out.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:22

And remember them.

Sharon Johnson  1:03:23


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:32

All right. Next time. We're going to have one of the top stuntwomen in Hollywood on our show, Sharon!

Sharon Johnson  1:03:38


Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:39

Debbie Evans. She was Stephanie Zimbalist's stuntwoman on Remington Steele, and she's a stunt driver and performer on The Batman, The Fast and the Furious movies, Matrix. She's like, crazy exciting.

Sharon Johnson  1:03:52

Oh, so exciting. So we hope you'll join us for our next Episode.

Susan Lambert Hatem  1:03:56

And right now we are deciding what show to cover next. Should we do a comedy, a drama, another detective Dynamic Duo show? Tell us what show we should explore next at 80sTVLadies.com.

Sharon Johnson  1:04:07

We hope 80s TV Ladies brings you joy and laughter and lots of fabulous new and old shows to watch, all of which will lead us toward being amazing ladies of the 21st century.

80s TV Ladies Theme Song  00:22.  

80s TV Ladies, I’m so sexy and so pretty.  80s TV Ladies, I’m steppin out into the city. 80s TV Ladies, I been treated kind of sh#*ty. Working hard for the money in a man’s world. 80s TV Ladies!