Have you ever seen the film Dirty Harry
? One person sure has: Alan Spencer, creator of Sledge Hammer!
This sitcom is meant as an over-the-top parody of that film. Spencer had been inspired by another television program growing up: Get Smart
, which had revolutionized the way we look at the spy genre. So too did Spencer feel the need to revamp the 'cop' genre, adding to it a nihilistic attitude, and one of disregard for the law in order to carry out law enforcement. It looked at gratuitous violence and satirized it. Unfortunately, many viewers did not see the satire within the show and therefore did not enjoy mass appeal.
was, however, critically acclaimed
. Still it suffered a horrible fate at the bottom of the ratings for two seasons. You may well ask how such a revolutionary, refreshing, and acclaimed series could be at the bottom of the ratings. Quite simply, it was competing with the colossal hits Miami Vice
in the first season, and The Cosby Show
during the second season.
Thanks to the proliferation of television series DVDs, Sledge Hammer!
lives on, only better than ever. When the show was originally aired it was shown with laugh tracks added (screen testing had shown that the addition of laugh tracks helped ratings tremendously), but on the DVDs, that pesky canned laughter has been removed.
Recaps2x13: They Call Me Mr. Trunk recap
: Colonel Poltz informs his superiors that there was a break-in at an Army germ warfare lab and virus BX576 was stolen. The virus is highly toxic and highly secret. Richard Sirod, a foreign agent, is the thief. He contaminated himself while attempting to steal the virus. The four stages are hallucinations, disorientation, lethargy, and death. Poltz tells everyone to find Sirod before he contaminates everyone, and no one in the public can be known... read more.2x9: Last of the Red Hot Vampires recap
: A beautiful woman is sleeping on her bed when a bat hovers at the window. It transforms into a vampire who stalks into the room, bares his fangs... and his teeth fall out. The director, Steven Schmielman, calls cut, and accuses the elderly actor, Vincent Lagarski, of ruining his shot. Schmielman fires him and calls his assistant Zeff over to throw Lagarski off the set. Zeff apologizes and tries to escort him out, but Lagarski insists on making his exit alone. He walks off into the sunlight, pausing only for a moment to consider his actor's chair... read more.2x1: A Clockwork Hammer recap
: As seen previously, Hammer tries to disarm a nuclear warhead and fails, blowing up Los Angeles... read more.1x22: The Spa Who Loved Me recap
: Robin Leach introduces the episode, explaining that the producers plan to ensure the audience stays for another season by giving them sex, violence, rock music, and a cliff hanger ending... read more.1x21: Jagged Sledge recap
: Trunk is elated at the fact that Hammer is going on trial for the murder of racketeer Hugo Victor. Doreau doesn't believe Hammer did it and storms out of the captain's office. Trunk has to admit that he doesn't believe it either. They go to the courthouse where even Hammer's attorney admits he thinks Hammer is guilty. Hammer arrives next and is angry that someone else had the fun of killing Hugo Victor and he's getting blamed. Inside the courtroom, Doreau warns that things are looking grim but he's confident he'll be cleared... until he sees he's meeting with Judge Grim. Hammer's attorney wants Hammer to plead guilty so he can sell the rights and Hammer chases him out of the courtroom. Hammer has no choice but to represent himself and plead innocent... read more.