Gabriel's Fire and Pros And Cons

Gabriel's Fire (1990-1991)
Pros And Cons (1991-1992)
Type: Series Revamp

   Hmm. Sometimes a cool premise is also just too much of a downer. Gabriel's Fire fits this description. James Earl Jones starred as Gabriel Bird. Bird had been a cop who had been unfairly sent to prison for life on murder charges. He had killed another cop but he had done it to stop him from killing innocent people. A couple decades pass and attorney Victoira Heller gets Bird released from prison. Bird works for her as a P.I. He knows about cops and cons because he's been both. See, I told ya, cool!

   But given his history, Gabriel Bird was hardly a chipper happy go lucky dude. Talk about having a life worth bitching about: he got sent to prison for doing the right thing. But who wants to tune in week after week to see a guy who's all angry and crap? People want to watch characters they can care about AND like. A character could be as noble and good as Superman but if he's always angry and pissy it puts people off. I mean what if Superman was that way? Would you want to follow the adventures of Superman if after he saved a baby from an accident he went to the parents scowling and said, "What the hell kind of parents are you? Your baby almost died except for me. I'm turning this baby over to the authorities. You sicken me!"

   So, back on track, nobody tuned in and ABC overhauled the show for the next season. It was now called Pros And Cons. Gabriel moved from Chicago to L.A. and teamed up with goofy P.I. Mitch O'Hannon played by Richard Crenna and they went about solving crimes in the City Of Angels. Only now Gabriel was chipper and happy go lucky. Why? I dunno. I guess they put him on lithium or some antidepressants or something. Maybe he was lobotomized. Again, I dunno. He was just all happy all of a sudden. He wasn't fooling the viewers though. They knew he was still the angry depressed guy from Gabriel's Fire underneath it all and they still stayed away. As for me, seeing that he went from downbeat to Mr. Positive suggests something not right going on upstairs. I would've been tempted to watch just figuring at some point the guy would have to just snap. But he didn't. After another season Gabriel Bird went somewhere worse than prison, cancellation and non-existence.

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