Dangerous Passion

This is the week’s one stylistic anomaly: a prime-time black-exploitation film, a TV updating of 20-year-old features such as Shaft and The Mack.

Billy Dee Williams, doing a variation on his malt-liquor ads, plays a smooth drug kingpin who gets mighty peeved when his wife (Lonette McKee) starts fooling around with an ordinary guy (Carl Weathers). When Williams goes after him, Weathers decides to take down Billy Dee and his criminal organization.

Unfortunately, Keenen Ivory Wayans’ recent I’m Gonna Git You Sucka parodied the blaxploitation film so perfectly that it’s impossible to take Dangerous Passion seriously.

Fortunately, there are also times when Dangerous Passion doesn’t want to be taken seriously, as when the ultra-slinky McKee holds out a tall, chilled glass to Weathers, who is shirtless, muscles rippling, sweating on a hot summer day. Shaking the glass so the ice cubes jingle, McKee coos, “Come on, everybody wants my lemonade.” It’s the campy-sexy moment of the week, made all the better for McKee’s witty knowingness. C

Dangerous Passion
  • TV Show