What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this 1970s detective series features frequent violence, though it will appear tame by today's broadcast television standards. The show's characters frequently occupy grey areas of morality, but only for the sake of clever dialogue and plotting. The show's tone is relaxed and easy, in spite of the fact that it's set in a typically intense genre.
What's the story?
Jim Rockford (James Garner) is hardly the kind of glamorous private investigator typically found on television. On THE ROCKFORD FILES, he works out of a ramshackle trailer parked near a beach in Malibu, taking second-rate jobs that enable him to do as little work as possible while still maintaining his slacker lifestyle. He always seems to owe somebody money and he never turns down a free meal. Inevitably, he's called upon to take risks and crack a few skulls to make sure that he gets paid and can return to his beach bum ways.
Is it any good?
It may be hard to appreciate from the perspective of today's highly evolved TV dramas, but The Rockford Files was a groundbreaking and critically significant series for the 1970s. Until Jim Rockford ambled onto the screen, TV detectives were hard-nosed, chisel-jawed champions of justice, as bland as the black-and-white shows they used to star in.
Jim Rockford represented a more complex, humorous take on the PI genre. His character made an indelible impression on the history of television, and the playful dialogue and plotting freed TV creators to explore more interesting territory on such notable 1980s series as St. ElseWhere and Hill Street Blues. Perhaps most importantly, the show remains immensely watchable, full of humor and unforgettable supporting players.