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The Night of the Shirtless Agent

Yeah, I never claimed to be original all the time.

A friend on Google Plus was sharing tidbits from The Wild, Wild West today, which got me thinking two things. First, as I have been wanting to do some weekly themes, Thursday might be a good day for posts such as this one here. Which I am doing because something you might not know about me is that Bret Maverick was not entirely my first crush. He shared that privilege with two others:



though my heart actually belonged to James Garner, and a piece of it always will.

I really loved The Wild Wild West. Well, actually, Artie always made me super uncomfortable, but James West captivated me for awhile. So I watched it after school when I was a little kid. It's definitely ironic that CBS had to can the show because of a congressional uproar over violent programming, but I was just watching it at 4 in the afternoon a few years later, for my own little reasons. Poolstick
As a child, I never thought of the show as violent. I mean, none of it seemed real to me or particularly visceral. It was just TV. Beltbuckle
But The Wild, Wild West was actually extremely violent at times, to anyone who was paying attention to the actual events taking place. Am I saying I've always been kind of shallow? Probably.
James West as portrayed by Robert Conrad set the standard for how the good guy should be treated by villains. He was super fit and rarely tied up or pinned down until he was shirtless, but he always had a couple gadgets in his pockets he could use to free himself before the bomb went off or the bad guy came back from having wandered off to tend to his minions, dressed or undressed. This is how these things should operate. Imagine if Adam West had been so fit as Batman. Dynamite
In The Wild, Wild West, two guys traveled around together in a private train car, wore fancy clothes, and one of them was nearly always wearing a disguise. The other one was always finding himself tied up. Those were the good old days I grew up with. The Wild, Wild West was born the same year I was, actually. It was a very good year.

Here are a few more shots from the show. If you expected me to note which episodes they came from, I expect you're at the wrong blog. But you can watch many of them on YouTube, and collect your own favorite shirtless/torture moments. Also, you can read this blog post written by a friend in 2005, which actually discusses the show and its production.