[US] The Rockford Files: Catch a few episodes (recommendations in comments) this holiday season before this classic tv series leaves January 1!

S3 E2: The Oracle Wore a Cashmere Suit

Phony psychic Roman Clemente a.k.a. "The Great Clemente," implicates Rockford in the disappearance of Rick Richards and Allison Curry. Both clairvoyants and the record business take a hit in this segment, with Robert Walden playing music executive Barry Silverstein and Pepe Serna appearing as hired muscle and ex-drummer Ray Achoa, who performs his own number on the hapless Rockford.

S3 E7: So Help Me God

When future “Sopranos” producer David Chase became a producer for “The Rockford Files” during Season 3, several episodes assumed a darker tone. Perhaps the darkest is “So Help Me God,” which chronicles Rockford’s cruel treatment at the hands of a mean-spirited prosecutor (William Daniels, Dr. Mark Craig on “St. Elsewhere”) who hauls him in to testify before a grand jury. The episode takes another of the series’ favorite devices — putting Rockford into the middle of a dangerous situation he knows nothing about — and adds a powerful statement about how easily the grand jury system can be abused. While we get a fair amount of the Rockford flippancy, it’s balanced by his horror at the events as they unfold. Daniels, who could so often be amusing in authoritarian roles, has no difficulty being completely menacing here.

S4 E1: Beamer’s Last Case

The fourth season began with this gem, written by producer Steven J. Cannell. James Whitmore Jr. stars as Freddie Beamer, an auto mechanic who has romantic visions of being a private eye, and assumes Rockford’s identity while he’s away. Beamer naturally gets into all sorts of trouble, putting the real Rockford into a terrible predicament. Only Garner could credibly play someone who is extremely angry about these antics but has enough restraint not to take the impostor apart (though he does dole out some well-deserved punishment).

S4 E12: The Queen of Peru

Rockford is working on a big diamond recovery case for an insurance company. After making the exchange, the thieves leave the gem in Rockford's grill back at his trailer in Malibu. Carl Wronko and family of Peru, Indiana, come into possession of the diamond after his son swipes Rockford's grill. Rockford then takes to the road manning his CB, trying to locate the Wronkos in their RV with a criminal character named Ginger and his hired muscle Lou also in the hunt. Hunter Von Leer has a good secondary role as lifeguard Skip Speece, who is well-known for his "work" with youth, especially teenage girls. George Wyner (Colonel Sandurz, from Spaceballs) plays naive insurance company executive and gung-ho weekend warrior Steve Kalifer.

S4 E16: Dwarf in a Helium Hat

Hanger-on Julius "Jay" Rockfelt stiffs mobster Gianni Tedesco with the tab for Gianni's own birthday party. The angry mobster then begins making threats, phoning Rockford by mistake. Tedesco kidnaps Jay's sister Amy, demanding that Jay come up with the money in order to garner her release. Jay goes to his English rocker friend Keith Stuart (Rick Springfield) for the cash, but is turned down. Now reluctantly involved, Rockford arranges a payoff using money acquired from Jay's wealthy parents. Rock 'n' roll and the party scene are expertly spoofed in this classic episode, which takes its title from one of Keith Stuart's hit albums – "Dwarf in a Helium Hat."

S4 E18: The Competitive Edge

Joyce Brauder hires Rockford to find her missing husband Barry, an accused embezzler who jumped bail. Jim's investigation leads to a new wave health club called The Alphian Way and a crooked mental asylum located just below the Mason-Dixon Line. Dr. Herb Brinkman learns of Rockford's meddling and injects the nosey private eye with a knockout drug, sending him to the aforementioned asylum which is run by his equally crooked brother Dr. Carl Brinkman. The wild scene in which Rockford, "Doc Holliday" and several other patients break out of the sanitarium is priceless. Jack Garner, Jim's brother, plays the cigar-smoking Sheriff Delbert Bassett with Harold Sakata (Oddjob from 1964's Goldfinger) appearing as John Doe.

S5 E4: White on White and Nearly Perfect

Tom Selleck, not long before beginning his iconic role as Magnum, P.I., stars as Lance White, a private detective for whom everything comes easily. As he and Rockford work a case, he tells Jim at one point that they have to “wait for clues.” Rockford immediately tries to school the young man on just how difficult the profession is, but sure enough, a clue simply appears. Garner hilariously displays Rockford’s exasperation throughout the episode.

S5 E12: Local Man Eaten by Newspaper

Rockford goes undercover as a reporter for The National Investigator, a scandal sheet which has been obtaining confidential medical information from his client Dr. Richard Hagens. When publisher Harold Whitbeck learns of Rockford's real identity, he boots the private eye out of his office, with Jim and disbarred attorney friend John Cooper later becoming the subjects of a scandalous Investigator story. Mobster Johnny Bongard has a beef with The National Investigator as well, which erroneously reported that he is dying of cancer. The National Enquirer and other like-minded gossip tabloids take a real razzing in this segment, with prominent mention of UFO stories and a young girl who fended off a giant grizzly bear.

S5 E17: The Man Who Saw the Alligators

This expanded 90-minute segment features Anthony Boy Gagglio, a mob contract killer just released from prison who comes gunning for Rockford. Anthony Boy, along with his sidekick Syl, corner Rockford, his accountant Adrianna Danielli and Angel Martin at a remote cabin. George Loros turns in a stellar performance as the homicidal "Tony Boy," reprising his role from a previous two-part episode titled "To Protect and to Serve." The unbalanced Gagglio talks of dreaming of alligators under his bed as a youth, hence the episode's title.

S5 E20-21: Never Send a Boy King to Do a Man's Job

In this expanded two-hour episode sports promoter Harold Jack Coombs cheats Mr. Brockelman out of his printing business, paying him $40,000 for a company worth $500,000. Hearing of his father's plight, private eye Richie Brockelman enlists the help of Jim Rockford and other con artists, running a game on Coombs in order to collect the full price of the business. It proves to be an elaborate sting operation exploiting Coombs' irrational fear of germs while introducing a phony second King Tut exhibit and the "curse" that goes with it. Rockford slips into his patented good ol' boy Jimmy Joe Meeker impersonation, getting the ball rolling when he relieves Coombs of his prize race car during a grudge match at the track. "Captain Space, thanks for the race," a winning Rockford needles Coombs who is decked out in his silver racing outfit.

S6 E1: Paradise Cove

Court appointed receiver Althea Morgan pays Jim a visit to his trailer at Paradise Cove in Malibu. Rockford has lost a $35,000 lawsuit filed by neighbor C.C. Calloway, and Althea is there to inventory his assets. Jim, Althea, Rocky and Angel Martin later become involved in a treasure hunt for stolen gold bullion, which is rumored to be buried near Jim's trailer. C.C. also knows of the story, and along with his dimwitted nephew Cliff also pursues the missing gold. Hollywood car crash aficionados take note, as Rockford wrecks three different cars in this segment: his own Pontiac Firebird, Angel's 1959 Chevy, and Althea Morgan's Chevy Nova.

S6 E11: Just a Coupla Guys

The 1979 Rockford Files episode that Inspired The Sopranos, written by Sopranos creator, David Chase. Chase signed on to Rockford Files in 1976 and remained until its premature conclusion midway through the sixth season in 1980, writing and/or producing nearly two-dozen shows. And Rockford’s penultimate installment was actually a backdoor pilot for what would have been a Chase-produced spin-off about New Jersey mobsters—nearly two decades before The Sopranos premiered on HBO.

/r/NetflixBestOf Thread Link - netflix.com