23 November 2006 | tsl04
A lost gem
The series aired (briefly) on ITV in the UK before disappearing without trace. I remember it as being fresh, different (not one but two female leads in Margaret Colin and Frances McDormand) and brave (I distinctly remember one episode showcased AIDS at a time when it was still a taboo subject, especially on US prime-time TV).
The show didn't have the crash-bang-wallop of high octane cop shows like Hunter. It didn't have the flashy car and stunts of Knight Rider. (Claire McCarron did own a Porsche which she had received as payment from one of her clients, but it was forever in the repair shop.) And it didn't rely on the hackneyed cliché of buddies-who-aren't-really-buddies from different sides of the track, as employed most tenuously in Hardcastle & McCormick. What it did have was a solid premise, engaging characters, good, straightforward stories and was very much rooted in the real world. (Would Magnum PI or Simon & Simon have done an AIDS storyline? I don't think so.)
Would it have been the greatest TV show ever if it hadn't been prematurely cancelled? No. But did it have the potential to be a strong, strikingly different addition to the genre alongside the almost exclusively male-led PI/cop shows of the era? Absolutely.
Very few people missed Leg Work when it vanished from the US & UK schedules. I was one of them.