1 9 9 7 (USA)
6 x 60 minute episodes
This arty six-part anthology from film director Robert Altman followed the path of a pearl-handled, semiautomatic pistol that passed from owner to owner, usually bringing misery and pain to those whose lives it touched.
The stories were not all downbeat, but often they ended with a twist. For example, in the debut episode, an obnoxious, failed actor’s life was turned around when he foiled a convenience store robbery by thugs wielding the gun.
An overnight celebrity, he soon landed a movie deal portraying himself as the crime-stopping hero, with the two young thugs as his very realistic co-stars.
The story then turned into a wild parody of Hollywood mythmaking, as he bickered with obtuse producers and tried to convince his onscreen “wife,” Kathy Ireland, to do a love scene.
Only at the end of the hour did viewers realise that it was all a momentary fantasy – the actor had actually been shot to death in the holdup, and had imagined the rest in his dying moments.
Some notable stars appeared during the ABC series’ short run, including James Gandolfini, Rosanna Arquette, Carrie Fisher, Daryl Hannah, Randy Quaid, Sally Kellerman and Martin Sheen. There were no regulars.
The cacophonous theme tune was by U2.
The Shot | Ricochet | Columbus Day | All the President’s Women | The Hole | Father John