tek's rating: ½

Johnny Bago, on CBS
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This ran for eight episodes in the summer of 1993. I really, really wish it would've lasted longer, especially so that it could have had some kind of resolution. I also wish it would be released on DVD. (I think I probably still have all the episodes on VHS, but I don't currently have a VCR, and the video quality sucks, anyway.) Anyway, Peter Dobson played John Tenuti, who in the pilot episode was released from prison, having served a five year sentence for a crime he didn't commit. The actual culprit was his cousin, Vincent, a member of the Mafia. And immediately after Johnny's release, Vincent once again sets him up, this time for the murder of the son of don Benito Roselli. So, Johnny goes on the run, both from the police, and hit men sent by the don to kill him. His main pursuer, however, is his ex-wife, Beverly Florio, who is now his parole officer. Also in the first episode, Johnny meets an old coot named Hick, who's traveling in a Winnebago. When Hick dies, Johnny takes the vehicle, and adopts the pseudonym "Johnny Bago."

So, each episode has Johnny in a different part of the country, meeting a different group of people, whom he ends up helping out in some way, whether he wants to or not. He's a fairly likable, charming guy, but not that bright, and not exactly an altruist. Mostly he just wants to survive, and hopefully prove his innocence... though he doesn't really do anything to that effect, aside from once sending a letter to don Roselli, claiming that Vincent was really behind his son's murder. But Roselli didn't believe it. (Vincent is now apparently the don's second in command.) He also always sends his mother a letter, telling her what he's up to. However, Vincent always intercepts the letters, so he can keep track of where Johnny is, to send more hit men after him. Anyway, it's a very quirky show, with totally ridiculous but hilarious plots for every episode. And I guess that's all I can think to say, except that I also really dug the theme song, which was written and performed by Jimmy Buffett.

Oh, and once upon a time, I wrote episode recaps for this series, for TV.com, or maybe it was even back when the site was still TV Tome. I forget. But I think the episode summaries on the site are probably still the ones I wrote.

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