Episode 815- Agent for H.A.R.M.

Movie Summary: Ah yes, it's the '60s again, and studly secret agents are running all over the place, proud and free. The eponymous "Agent For H.A.R.M." is one Adam Chance, a joyless fellow who favors yellow cardigan sweaters and looks like Dr. Smith's less effeminate younger brother. Chance is assigned to protect one Dr. Jan Steffanic, a scientist recently defected from a vague Iron Curtain country (remember them?). Turns out Steffanic is on the cutting edge of some wacko technology which shoots "spores" at people, turning them into quivering masses of green-grey fungus - quite a disgusting little fate, as you might imagine. Dr. Steffanic also has a frequently-bikini-ed niece, who is certifiably hot. And though she is easily 25 years younger than Chance (really, when has that ever mattered in the world of movies?), they become entangled. They survive an onslaught of fey, mincing Euro-bad guys, one of whom is the artist known as Prince. Turns out the niece -- like most alluring women in these kind of movies -- is Evil and not to be trusted. She is exposed as a double agent for the Commies, and then the movie mercifully ends.

Prologue: The 'Bots are really into Extreme Sports, man. Doesn't matter what, as long as it's extreme and you can yell really loud while doing it. This includes Extreme Yoga and Extreme Stamp Collecting. They berate Mike for being so un-Extreme.

Segment One: Mike is whisked away from the SOL by a mysterious Intergalactic Judge to stand trial for his recent rash of world-destroying. Bobo is appointed his defense attorney. Pearl, of course, is the prosecutor.

Segment Two: Pearl and Bobo's opening statements. Bobo gets very off-track, digressing mostly into ruminations about food. Mike feels doomed.

Segment Three: The 'Bots supply video testimony to the court. Servo mistakes his with a T.V. telethon; Crow sinks Mike's boat even further with a barrage of bleeped obscenities.

Segment Four: Servo searches for a legal precedent that might help Mike. Meanwhile down in the courtroom, the Observer testifies, adding weight to Pearl's case. But then he's craftily trapped in a lie about baking pies by Bobo, who knows his pies if he knows anything.

Segment Five: The 'Bots hold a candlelight vigil for Mike on the SOL. Meanwhile, Pearl calls her final witness, Ortega, who is sealing Mike's doom. Then Bobo counters with a little Amish boy, and all heck breaks loose. Finally the verdict from the Judge: Mike is guilty! And is sentenced to death!...But this is quickly commuted to community service. Back on the SOL, the 'Bots are not shy in making Mike get right to it, cleaning up the mess they made while he was away.

Reflections: The generic-'60s-spy movie theme from Agent for H.A.R.M. provided us all with yet another vehicle to torture each other's already embattled psyches around here at Best Brains -- it was sung and hummed at top volume for weeks, ultimately hurting everyone involved, I think.
This show had several milestones in it, if you're into that kinda thing. It marked the directorial debut of one Michael "Antonioni" Nelson, who did an excellent job despite the pretentious on-set wardrobe of jodhpurs and riding crop. Mike had a tough first assignment with our extended courtroom scenario, which was a trip into the unfamiliar for all of us -- but came through with flying colors (or more appropriately, with flying black and white). It was also the first show where the voice of Gypsy was supplied by our own set-and-prop genius Patrick Brantseg, filling Jim Mallon's big shoes extraordinarily well, and wielding the often-unwieldy Gypsy like a pro.
I also think Mary Jo and Kevin reached new heights of funny for Pearl and Bobo in the host segments, as attorneys for the prosecution and defense, respectively. Our brilliant editor Brad Keeley turned in a CableAce-worthy comic performance as the little Amish boy, challenging our collective ability to keep a collective straight face while taping.
I played the intergalactic judge, and though my voice changed accents and octaves in every segment, it was, technically, supposed to be only one consistent character -- although when Brain Guy took the stand, Paul sat in as the Judge. This is noticeable on not-so-close scrutiny, since I weigh roughly four times what Paul does, and it shows in the face. -- Bill Corbett.


Back to Index