Harry O

Season 1 Episode 0

Smile Jenny, You're Dead

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Feb 03, 1974 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
9 votes

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Episode Summary

Smile Jenny, You're Dead
When Harry looks into the murder of a friend's son-in-law, he becomes romantically involved with the man's daughter, a model who happens to be the chief suspect in the killing.

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  • Pretty slight considering what came before it. Oh, well -- at least it sold the series to ABC.

    It speaks volumes that this second pilot was what convinced ABC to give the go-ahead for Harry O the series.

    Predictable where the first pilot, Such Dust as Dreams are Made On, was raw and surprising, and egregiously padded rather than lean and mean, Smile Jenny, You're Dead carries the DNA for the handful of outright bad episodes the show subsequently offered. On the plus side, it was vapid enough to get the attention (and money) of the network brass, and the series it spawned was a wonder.

    A lot goes wrong here, primarily that the plot concerns a cliched psycho killer straight out of a 1950s B-grade thriller. (The kook, admirably played by Zalman King, delivers lugubrious speeches to the photos of his stalkee of choice plastering his apartment walls, for God's sake.)

    I imagine this was more in line with what ABC wanted from series creator Howard Rodman in the first place, which was a haircut of popular cop movie Dirty Harry. But no network was about to green-light the level of violence that made Don Siegel's film stand out, let alone its tricky racial and social politics, so you have to wonder what it is they were looking for. This, I guess, even though Rodman and producer-director Jerry Thorpe gave them something far better in Such Dust.

    There are a few nice touches here: Janssen lightens Harry up a little this time around, a trait he'd carry over into the series, and there's a great scene where the detective surprises psycho boy having a one-man pretend dinner party at his fantasy girl's dining room table. Harry's growing feelings for the titular Jenny (Andrea Marcovicci) are complex and touching, too.

    But Marcovicci is a dull, self-involved actress who gets more screen time than the other, more accomplished guest-stars (including John Anderson, Howard Da Silva, the great Clu Gulager, and even Jodie Foster in a go-nowhere subplot) combined, and she and Janssen never really click.

    More head-scratcher than out and out failure, Smile Jenny, You're Dead gave life to one of the best shows ever to run on TV. So no matter how tossed-off it is, it's impossible to hate.moreless
David Janssen

David Janssen

Harry Orwell

Henry Darrow

Henry Darrow

Det. Lt. Manuel "Manny" Quinlan [eps 3-15, 23]

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett

Sue Ingram [eps 21-42]

Anthony Zerbe

Anthony Zerbe

Lt. K.C. Trench [eps 17-46]

Paul Tulley

Paul Tulley

Sgt. Don Roberts [eps 17-46]

John Anderson (I)

John Anderson (I)

Col. John Lockport

Guest Star

Howard Da Silva

Howard Da Silva

Lt. Humphrey Kenner

Guest Star

Martin Gabel

Martin Gabel

Meade DeRuyter

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Writer(s): Howard Rodman

      Quote 1
      LIBERTY: Whatsa matter with your back?
      ORWELL [voiceover]: You want to know what's the matter with my back? It hurts because there's a bullet in it. That's why I live at the beach on a policeman's disability pension, and that's why I moonlight the rest of my income as a private detective. I have a boat, and as soon as I get it put back together I'm going out on the ocean where they don't have any telephones. Telephones bug me…

      Quote 2
      LIBERTY: Who's that?
      ORWELL: That's Mildred.
      LIBERTY: You makin out with her?
      ORWELL: Go home!
      LIBERTY: You never said what's the matter with your back.
      ORWELL: It's none of your business what's the matter with my back…How do you know she's not my wife?
      LIBERTY: Hmph…she doesn't look like a wife to me.

      Quote 3
      MILT: Harry, you're on your own time. My time belongs to the department. I have eight mur…I have eight murders going, Harry!! I don't have a day and a half to spend on a simple case like this one.
      ORWELL: Who did it, Milt? The butler?

      Quote 4
      KENNY: How'd you like my daughter?
      ORWELL: I'll take her for Christmas.
      KENNY: You'll have to get at the end of the line.

      Quote 5
      LIBERTY: You lead a funny kind of life. You don't even have a car.
      ORWELL: I have a car…It'll cost me $300 to get the transmission rebuilt and I'm thinking about it.
      LIBERTY: You broke now?
      ORWELL: That's not what I'm talking about. It's…it's way of life.

      Quote 6
      ORWELL: Where've you got the colonel now, Milt, downtown?
      MILT: It's an easy bus ride, isn't it, Harry?
      ORWELL: You ever ride the buses, Milt?
      MILT: Hardly ever.
      ORWELL: Well, that's nice. You sit there and look out the window. It gives a man a chance to think. You ought to try it sometime, Milt.

      Quote 7
      LOCKPORT: I didn't murder the man. You don't murder somebody for slapping somebody. It's disproportionate. There's no mystique to killing. You don't commit murder if there are other alternatives because murder…has a limited problem-solving value in most situations. So, uh…you don't commit yourself to murder lightly. And that's ignoring the insoluble question of morality—-in the stillness of the night, in the times of being totally alone. Not for a slap in the face.

      Quote 8
      ORWELL: A house belongs to who lives in it. If you want guests, you invite them. If you lock the door, you want the cockroaches to stay out.

      Quote 9
      JENNIFER: …You're very…patient, aren't you?...Wrong timing.
      ORWELL: What's that?
      JENNIFER: The courtship dance…round and around.
      ORWELL: I give you the impression I was coming on with you?
      JENNIFER: No...I know. I like you.
      ORWELL: I like you too.
      JENNIFER: ….Be careful of me. It's just something I do…I don't even need to do it. I just want to be liked. I ask for approval to make you come closer.

      Quote 10
      Orwell [voiceover]: Days happen to you. And sometimes I wish I could go back to being 17 again. When I was 17, I once said, "A woman is like a bus: let her go, there'll be another one along in 5 minutes." Now that was a long time ago. Good-bye, Jennifer.

  • NOTES (0)