Where is my Spenser for Hire on DVD?

Saturday nights from 1985 through 1988. Since I didn’t have a great social life, I got to watch most of these live. Spenser for Hire, based on the books by Robert B. Parker, would become one of my all time favorite shows. Along with Magnum P.I. and The Equalizer, it was a show that attempted to bring more to the private investigator genre than just guns, girls, and blood. Spenser was intelligent (he would tell people his name was spelled with an “S” like the poet); he more than cooked for his  psychiatrist girlfriend, he was a gourmet; and he was sympathetic to and helped those in need; and he carried a gun and could take care of himself. It’s every boy’s fantasy to be just like him. He had beautiful smart woman, could take on anyone – and wasn’t afraid to do so, and was  independent  in all ways.

Robert Urich was Spenser – he said before his untimely death that it was his favorite role. I read all of the books, and as I read them, it was as if the role was written for him. When the show was cancelled (in part due to the high cost of filming on scene in Boston – part of the show’s character), he went on a tour to try and revive it. There were 3 post cancellation movies that were good, but by then, it was gone.

Then there was Hawk, played with a fevered heat by Avery Brooks – he wasn’t a bad guy, but he certainly wasn’t good. To this day I want a six series BMW like Hawk drove and to look as good in sunglasses and a shaved head. And even though he was a thug, he was a smart guy and was principled.

What Parker did was take the stereotype, and turn it on it’s head. The P.I. that quoted poetry, kicked ass, solved the mystery, and made it home in time to cook dinner for his girl. If only I could literally kick ass.

I’m not sure if the show would hold up to watching it some 20 years later. Some shows are better left to the memory (as I found out with Magnum).

I’ll have to let you know – I can’t own the DVDs, but AOL Video does have Spenser for Hire on demand. Let’s hope I don’t ruin the memory.

  • Amy

    I just got the DVD collection for Christmas, and I must say, although the quality of the DVD’s suck, the show itself is still terrific! Spenser is awesome, and Hawk has me laughing out loud. I wish someone would release the DVD’s in high quality!

  • Les

    Yea, the quality sucks because the series has never been released to DVD. What you can buy is DVDs made from VHS tapes that someone made back when the series was running on TV. I too lament that we cannot buy our own set of digitally remastered, pristine DVDs, but I am watching the series on 'Slashcontrol' , for example http://www.slashcontrol.com/free-tv-shows/spenser… … which takes you to one of the episodes. short commercials, but good quality video. I hope that someone is pressuring Warner Bros. to release the series. As to whether they would play well today: Yes. I enjoy them as much as the first time around, and Have also read all of the books.

  • kris

    I cant believe it. This 5yr request still hasn’t gone through!
    #NewRequest:Sent #BetterYetMakeThatBlueRay! #SpenserRoxs!