A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mission Impossible Star, Peter Graves, Dies

I noticed last night that Peter Graves, who played Jim Phelps in the hit tv series, "Mission Impossible" is no longer with us. Graves, who was 83, collapsed in his driveway but could not be resuscitated. I can't say that I knew much about Graves but I enjoyed "Mission Impossible" immensely. My first memories of "Mission Impossible" were the re-runs on afternoon television as a child and then when we came to live in Australia, we saw the series enjoy a brief revival in the late eighties. Interestingly enough, it's the theme song that has captured the imagination of the public for the past 4 decades, being the subject of tributes, ads and spoofs.

The first MI film produced by and starring Tom Cruise was entertaining in a James Bond sort of way and then it continued to go down that way with the one after that. I can't comment about the third one as I haven't seen it. Nonetheless, the MI that I grew up on and loved was much more team effort than a one man show. It didn't feel obliged to be angsty and was bucketloads of fun. Really, the fact that these men and women were government agents didn't make them any less scam artists even if they were scamming the bad guys.

The relatively recent series, "Leverage", share many similarities to the old school "Mission Impossible" (and another popular tv series, "The A-Team"). The action revolves around a group of modern day Robin Hood types and they are entirely self-referential about being con-artists and thieves. The leader of this unlikely band of merry men and women, an ex-insurance investigator is a brilliant planner/strategist. The poor man, as it is normally the case, has seen tragedy in his life and is haunted by the loss of his son. There's plenty of touching moments throughout that particular arc but it doesn't stop the show from being uproariously hilarious as the team scrambles out of numerous impossibly difficult situations.

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