Friday, December 7, 2012

TV – Weekly William Shatner Double "Bill": Double the Bill, Double the Thrill

If you’re as much of a Shatfan as I am, then you’ll be thrilled to know that you can watch William Shatner every Monday through Saturday in all his scenery-chewing and over-the-top gut-busting glory in two different decades in two different uniforms.

First up, Shatner’s heyday (shortly before he became a self-parodying, perpetually wealth-generating cottage industry unto himself) came in the 1980s, when—at the same time he was reprising his role as James T. Kirk in the Star Trek movies—he pounded the pavement and cleaned the streets of slimy scum as the titular no-nonsense police sergeant in T.J. Hooker, airing most weeknights at 7:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday after midnight, and Fridays at 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Universal HD.

Shatner as a uniformed police officer is about as high-concept as you can get, making this the best cop show of all time. Shatner often gets touted for his peerless hood jumping, but he was quite adept behind the wheel as well. He could drift (brake-skidding the car on fast turns) with the best of them. And who could forget that Shatastic ‘80s perm? (Was it real or was it a hairpiece? Find out at The series also stars the adorably smug Adrian Zmed, a very fresh-faced Heather Locklear, and Shatner’s fellow aging pretty boy James Darren.

Then, catch Shatner two decades earlier in his first iteration of Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek television series, which airs Saturdays at 9:00 p.m. on Me TV (Memorable Entertainment Television). Nothing beats Shatner hamming philosophic about the quandaries of mankind’s place in the universe, all the while sporting a ‘60s-style“straight-laced” coiffure (again—real or fake? Check out Shatner’s partners in pop cultural perpetuity include Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, and George Takei.

So don’t forget to enjoy William Shatner in two of his most memorable TV roles. Tune in five nights (and four early mornings) a week, same Shat time, same Shat channel! (Actually, that's five different times on two different channels.)

--Raj Manoharan

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