Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Nightbeat

When I was a kid in the mid 1970's, one of the first programs I discovered that I really liked was Nightbeat.

The station I listened to carried OTR every weekday night I believe but Nightbeat might be only twice a month.  I do believe it was my favorite program then.

Randy Stone, a late-night reporter for The Chicago Star newspaper, was played by veteran actor Frank Lovejoy.  His voice is perfect for a radio actor and I enjoyed listening to it very much as a kid.  My imagination went wild with this show as those hot summer nights would come to a close and I lay there in my bed.

But OTR tastes, like your taste in food, changes.

Nightbeat is a show I still listen to late at night sometimes.  Whatever magic or draw the show seemed to have when I was 12 or 13 doesn't seem to exist now.  I have scratched my brain trying to figure out why the show doesn't click for me as it used to.  The only thing I can figure is that like so many of these detective and detective-like shows, there are big holes in almost every story.  The holes are there so you cannot figure out what is going to happen.  At least, not most of the time.  And I think that's the problem with most shows like this is that they cheat - and I don't like to be cheated.

Nightbeat isn't horrible or even predictable and it's still a fun show.  But it's not a great show.  It's a lot like Box 13 - as a matter of fact, these two shows could be brothers, if you know what I mean.

So when I listen now, I no longer listen with intrigue.  I no longer pant in anticipation...is it going to come on tonight?

No.  Now I just listen and fall asleep.

©Jimbo 2010/2011


  1. You mention some shows cheat by leaving things out so you can not determine the bad guy. The biggest cheat in my book is Ellery Queen. All too often it is revealed after the guest provide their analysis. So they are usually wrong and so are we. Nightbeat I like because it takes place in Chicago and during the show it reveals places I have been at. Also, I like Frank Lovejoy's voice. It is a show that is in my regular cue just as Duffy Tavern is. I usually look forward to listening to Night Beat. I think that is my measure of a show.

  2. Ellery Queen is a big cheat as is Same Spade. There are many others.

    I think I might be harder on Nightbeat because I used to hold it in such high regard but it doesn't seem to hold up to what I thought it was.

    On the contraire, Lum and Abner is better than I remember it being as are some others.


Let me know what you think of this post or this site! It only take a few seconds and I'd really appreciate your comments...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...