DVD Review: B.L. STYKER: The Complete Series

Arts Alliance America
Release date: September 30, 2008
MSRP: $54.95

Stars: Burt Reynolds, Ossie Davis, Rita Moreno

B.L. Stryker was one of several series aired on a rotating basis as The ABC Mystery Movie (1989-1990). Burt Reynolds starred as an ex-New Orleans cop whose talent for empathizing with violent criminals and killers almost drives him over the edge. Before that can happen, he moves home to Palm Beach, Florida to live the life of a boat bum.

Created by Christopher Crowe and produced by Tom Selleck and several Magnum P.I. veterans, Stryker seemed to borrow background from several crime fiction favorites (notably Travis McGee and Spenser), with a dash of Magnum thrown in. You can read my review of the first three discs in this set as B.L. Stryker: The Complete First Season.

In Stryker’s second season, the hard-edged backstory above gave way almost completely to Reynolds’ own personality. The fun was watching his natural chemistry with guest-starring friends like Dom DeLuise, Paul Gleason, and Jerry Reed. My favorite second-season episodes are “Grand Theft Hotel” (B.L. is distracted by Loni Anderson while working security at a Bahamian hotel) and “High Rise” (B.L. must rescue his ex-wife and best friend–Moreno and Davis–from a building under siege by Ricardo Montalban and Julianne Moore). The latter was likely a nod to Reynolds’ contention for the role of John McClane in Die Hard.

As star-driven as the episodes were, they didn’t skimp on well-dramatized detection. B.L. Stryker: The Complete Series includes twelve 90-minute episodes with scene selection and four original scripts accessible via DVD-ROM drive.

Order B.L. Stryker: The Complete Series from Amazon.

Gerald So
For more of Gerald’s thoughts and observations, check out his blog: If you want to know about my Life…
For more reviews from Gerald, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.