I’ve never been one to watch a lot of television, but back in the 1980s, there were a few shows I enjoyed. One of those was Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Kate Jackson played Amanda King, a slightly ditzy housewife and mother of two boys, whose mundane everyday life included nothing more exciting than grocery shopping, the PTA, and being a den mother for her sons’ Boy Scout troop. Her life is turned upside down when a handsome spy, played by Bruce Boxleitner, waylays her and gives her a package to deliver for him and then disappears, pursued by his enemies.
From there, the two become unlikely partners, thwarting various plots by those who would endanger national security. The shows were lighthearted and fun, focusing more on the mismatched partnership of Amanda and Lee than on serious plots, which was one of the reasons I liked it so much. Jackson and Boxleitner had great chemistry and played their roles well. I liked the supporting characters, too, particularly Amanda’s mother, Dotty, who was a bit dotty.
I also liked how the characters grew and changed over the seasons. Amanda became more competent and eventually signed on as a spy in her own right, while Lee matured from his playboy ways and came to truly value Amanda’s contributions. Inevitably, they fall in love, and halfway through the final season, they get married.
The show ran for four seasons, from 1983 to 1987. During the fourth season, Kate Jackson was diagnosed with breast cancer, which curtailed her appearance on the show. The show was never the same without her, and it was canceled at the end of that season.
© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.