A Man Called Hawk (1989)
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I long to see that engaging snarl of Hawk's with the quintessential growling "ahhh" that he often followed up with. Only Mr. Brooks could give life to something that had no meaning.
It's a shame to see that Avery hasn't gotten his due props in movies and TV. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was cool, but I wanted to See Avery in action---HAWK in action.
Maybe someday someone will think hard about putting Hawk on DVD for the masses -- not just for Africn Americans. I hope that times have changed just enough for the powers-that-be to factor in the huge crossover appeal of AMCH and of Avery Brooks.
What would be awesome would be to see Avery in action again, as Hawk, in a revival of the series. Surely there's a cable station or network out there that could truly give this show the chance it deserves to find its audience.
And hopefully, Mr. Brooks would WANT to do it.
Firstly, there is the "Hawk" character. I believe that it overwhelms White people, especially so in the late 1980's, to see a Black man portrayed so splendidly. "Hawk" contained many fine ingredients: intelligence, sharp knowledge of the streets, toughness when necessary, gentleness when necessary, the ability to speak in such a dignified manner, tact, a fine wardrobe, etc. In a previous special edition of TV Guide which ranked the most memorable characters in TV history, "Hawk" was mentioned, though I felt that he should have been ranked higher.
This man was smooth, suave, and debonair. "Hawk" was a "Shaft" without the blaxploitation element. Many in the Black community felt that the reason that this show did not last was because the character was far too "cool" for television. It was acceptable for "Hawk" to be the Black "sidekick" to "Spenser". However, having such a smooth Black character in a starring role on series television was too much. Of course, the reason that was made public was that the show was canceled due to low ratings. However, I digress.
It was very unfortunate that this show never had the opportunity to blossom into the great show it could have been.
Perhaps Hawk was ahead of its time. Tour of Duty faded quickly also -- but now we have Steven Bochco's family-made "Over There" series. Perhaps Hawk was ahead of its time but could also come back in some form?
Of course, positioning Hawk against the powerhouse Cosby Show was another bad move. A wonderful news show featuring Linda Ellerbee was also slaughtered by the Huxtables, and Hawk was also no match.
Would be great to see this on DVD -- especially in memory of the late Moses Gunn who was the metaphysical "old man" character (and later joined Avery Brooks as his father in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).
My favorite part about AMCH was that Hawk got to escape from being Spencer's second banana and gain his own cache. He was Afrocentric without being militant. Strong without being obnoxious. Before his time, perhaps?
With today's emphasis on gangsta rappers, a strong man with the sophistication of Hawk may be lost as a protagonist for future television or film roles. At least, we should have a DVD release for the true fans to enjoy.
The strong Black character of Hawk seems right in place in 2006. This addition to the TV One programming will allow an entire new generation of viewers. TV One should be commended for bringing this short-lived but powerful series back to life.
Thanks for bringing these 13 episodes back!
"Hawk" had great potential, and certainly was on a par with a number of other similarly-themed detective/police shows of the time. Avery Brooks portrayed the hard-edged, scowling Hawk with just the right balance of menace and charm.
You look at some of the garbage on TV today and wonder why a show of this caliber got an early hook. Fortunately, the very underrated TVOne station is re-running episodes of this show.
It was similar to an angel and a devil that fight together for the noble case. Or it was some kind of metaphor for the forever discrepant; good and evil sides in the human being, through a show that teamed them up for the realization of one ideal purpose, where every side helps the other by using its own special way. So the irony between the 2 different men and their styles was captivating. However, the way how their friendship went despite their differences was even more captivating.
The secret of how Hawk stole the show was simple, due to the spirit of the role itself, and its distinguished disposition. I mean his way of talking, famous words (naughty naughty ah ha !), preferred style in clothing, sunglasses, long silver pistol.. etc. And I mean also the way he was appearing from the shadows suddenly to save Spenser in so many memorable ways; that rare kind of the bodyguard trained in hell, or that angel who looks more like a devil; all of that made Hawk one of its kind partner, the tough protecting friend that any one dreams of, and the powerful guardian angel that everybody wants.
Hawk was no Dirty Harry; he wasn't a cop or loves any, and he was less funnier. Hawk was dark, mysterious, and not predictable at all. Put in that mix the strong performance of (Avery Brooks), and how original the character was in the 1980s, and you'll easily understand the lasting magic of this character after nearly 20 years of its appearance for the very first time.
It made also its own mark on other shows. For example, you can clearly notice that with the relationship between agent Mulder (David Duchovny) and Mr. X (Steven Williams) in the second season of (The X Files) 1994, 9 years after the beginning of Spenser.
So, surely, there were some good reasons to make an independent show for Hawk one year after (Spenser) was canceled. But the formula this time wasn't the same !
Mainly, the other half is not here; Spencer is in Boston and Mr. Hawk went to Washington! I know life goes on, but not that way, because here you won't find any friend for The Good Old Friend. Yes, Hawk is that loner, but I think the writers didn't compensate the absence of Spencer being not here or there. That was a shock, maybe a slight one.
But despite whatever it might have had of whatever defects, the real shock was that the producers didn't give the time for such a show to progress. And I believe, like everybody else, that there was plenty of potential in it.
Was it bad luck ? Well, I don't believe in luck. So it could be the foolishness and the rashness of the bossy producers who gave a lot to nonsense shows, with absolute nothing to show, putting them on air, for years and years, to present the same nothing, or the bad nothing, over and over again. And the list of that kind is endless.
After that, (Avery Brooks) got some wonderful roles in TV and cinema. But I think none was as exceptional or popular as Hawk which I call the most evil good hero ever, even if he lasted for 3 seasons in a show, 13 episodes in another, and appeared in all the 4 Spenser TV movies from 1993 till 1995.
P.S: I'll never ever forget his line in one episode of (A Man Called Hawk) when he was telling a young man who he was watching over: "Wherever, whenever, I'll be there for you" WAW.. honestly, who needs more ?!.. And he wasn't even a superhero !!