As Bon Jovi would say, “Ooooooh, we’re halfway there.” Six episodes down and six episodes to go. With season one coming to a less-than-explosive climax for us with the episodes “Cannonball” and “Black Magic” thumping us over the head like Bud Spencer himself, it seems as if we could only enter season two of DETECTIVE EXTRALARGE (now titled simply EXTRA LARGE) with optimism as we knew changes were in store. Seriously, see if you can spot the difference:
Yes, Bud Spencer has a new partner in his heavy shadow in the form of POLICE ACADEMY alumni Michael Winslow (more on that in a minute). It appears the producers took their down time between seasons to evaluate what their target audience really wanted out of a Bud Spencer TV series – namely action and comedy. With the season opener “Lord of the Sun” they delivered plenty of both as we begin Jack Costello’s new adventures.
With the principals established, it is time to get the plot in motion. We cut to the Miami airport where Professor Tien Foo (Bob Lem) is arriving for an energy conference. While attempting to disembark, Foo is taken for a fool as he is knocked out and switched with an exact double. The doppelganger hops into a white limousine and heads into town for whatever nefarious plans. What the folks behind this switcheroo didn’t count on were a couple of Chinese guys in a Trans Am with a rocket launcher. Yes, a rocket launcher. They send the limo sky high on the freeway in a stunt that would make Richard Pepin and Joseph Merhi high five.
worldwide, especially in Germany as he appeared in the popular ZARTLICHE CHAOTEN films. So the casting makes sense. We suspect there might be another reason. The producers brought back virtually all the recurring characters like Maria and Sam. Hell, they even brought back Little Tyson, the punk kid always wandering around the apartment complex with a gun. With Winslow sliding into the assistant role, we begin to wonder if Philip Michael Thomas was originally set to return but held out for more money. After all, Archibald dresses and acts almost just like his predecessor. Hell, they even nicknamed him “Dumas” so perhaps the scripts were already written and Winslow came in at the last second to replace a holding out Thomas. Either way, I much prefer Winslow in the role of sidekick. Thomas could be endearing at times, but was generally a straight actor running wild. With Winslow you know what you are going to get and he is obviously much more seasoned than Thomas in the realm of comedy. Plus, I think he and Spencer have a better onscreen rapport.