Let's be clear: Spy Kids was a great movie. The idea of little kids becoming super-cool super-spies tapped into the wish-fulfillment of every kid who saw James Bond, and even those who didn't. But in all the accolades that Spy Kids received, it's forgotten that there was a show that plumbed the underage secret agent fantasy long before it. I had almost forgotten this show, too, so much so that I couldn't even remember the name of it. I had to go to a list of every TV show that aired in the eighties and literally go through every title, one by one, until I found it: The New Adventures of Beans Baxter.
The premise of the show is similar to Spy Kids, where a kid's parent disappears and the kid discovers his parent was really a secret agent. In this case, Beans Baxter's father disappears, and Beans discovers that his father isn't a mailman as he claimed, but really a secret agent. Beans becomes an agent in order to locate his missing father. I remember watching this show faithfully, but don't remember much about it.
* Beans' real name was Benjamin Baxter, Jr.
* The creator and director of Beans Baxter was "Savage" Steve Holland, who also created the awesome animated series, Eek the Cat.
* Beans was one of the early shows aired by the newly-created Fox Network.
* The Network (the secret agency that Beans' works for) was intended to be the descendant of UNCLE, the secret agency from the TV show "The Man From UNCLE."
* Beans' nemesis was the evil Mister Sue, played by Kurtwood Smith. Smith later went on to fame playing "Red" Forman on That 70's Show.
* Mister Sue worked for U.G.L.I. (Underground Government Liberation Intergroup), the prototypical evil organization
TV.com summary http://www.tv.com/show/5497/summary.html
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