Friday, January 28, 2011

Reviewed: Let George Do It

"Let George Do It" is an easy, light, fun mystery in the vein of Mr. and Mrs. North or the Thin Man series.

Valentine (Bob Bailey) and Brooksie
George Valentine (Bob Bailey) is a laid-back, happy-go-lucky guy who seems to never find any real adventure; the "cases" (I really hesitate to call them "cases") that come his way seem to be more of a small problem rather some life or death situation.  You kind of feel like George could take it or leave it - as if his bags are packed for Tahiti and he feels like he really doesn't care about the case, but eh, it's a living.  (Think: Late-1950's Johnny Dollar on marijuana.)

That's not really a criticism of the show, as it's a worthwhile time-killer and I enjoy listening to it.  But old-time radio is filled with so many noir-type detectives, violent criminals and even more violent cartoon enigmas that I want to frame all OTR detectives the same way.  It's safe to say that Valentine is probably less of a detective than Baby Snooks is - he's more like a problem solver/delivery boy.

"Complimenting" George is his go-everywhere-he-goes Girl Friday or his secretary/sidekick/whatever-she-is with the odd name of Brooksie; she's usually not too hard to take but she's rarely any fun at all.

She kind of has a bitchy attitude but not enough of an attitude to dislike her. More of the attitude where you don't really give a hoot about her at all (and wonder - why is this girl hanging around?)  She is rather a bit protective of Valentine.   In some ways she acts like she is in-like with him - but there is no romance period between the two and that is probably one of the "problems" with the show.  She's like his younger tomboy sister or something similar.  He must like her a bit though as he calls her "Brooksie" and you just know that isn't her real name.  Add to that the fact that there is NO electricity between them - yet they somehow belong together, like Abbott belongs with Costello - without the silliness from Costello or the bite from Abbott.
Frances Robinson is "Brooksie"

The show Let George Do It often comes off as a cross between a very wilted version of Clark Kent/Lois Lane and a random episode of Box 13; the main difference is there's almost never any danger involved.  Bailey plays it so very cool at every turn and it seems he has more fun avoiding the almost-jealous allures of Brooksie than he does looking for trouble.  Besides, real trouble never comes.


  1. Boy, did you ever peg this one. I like Let George Do It and listen to it in my car but I will have to agree with you that the show is seriously lacking.

  2. Thanks for the comments Kevin. Missing something for sure. I mentioned love sparks; not even sure that's the missing ingredient.

    Perhaps someone like Shirley Mitchell (with southern drawl) would have made a better Brooksie or a really tart talker like Joan Alexander (who played Lois Lane on the radio Adventures of Superman) would have done the trick - - then again, I'm not so sure the problem is with Brooksie, it might be with Bob Bailey's character or the scripts themselves. (??)

  3. Enjoyed your comments and agree with Kev. Despite everything, I still listen to it. I wonder why? I will still put it in my cue.

  4. I listen to it once a week, I think I like to be critical on here :)

  5. I don't mind the show. I enjoy the scripts that use the medium of radio to advantage -- one story sent George to South America and he ended up on a wild train ride through the mountains (something you can do on radio at no expense unlike TV!).

  6. Hi Mike. Sure, no a bad show. The more I listen to it, the more I think George has a thing for Brooksie.


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