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Nero Wolfe

Where to Watch Nero Wolfe

Pair of Swords (episode 8 of 8)
A diamond theft brings Wolfe in contact with the love of his life. Based on the novel 'Over My Dead Body' by Rex Stout.

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The Red Box (episode 7 of 8)
Wolfe investigates the senseless death of a fashion model. Based on the novel by Rex Stout. Directed by Riccardo Donna, 2012.

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Parasites (episode 6 of 8)
Archie goes undercover as a client's secretary to find a traitor. Based on the novel 'If Death Ever Slept' by Rex Stout.

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Checkmate (episode 5 of 8)
A chess genius dies from poisoning during a tournament. Based on the novel by 'Gambit' by Rex Stout. Directed by Riccardo Donna, 2012.

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The Pact of Six (episode 4 of 8)
A woman wants an English lord to pay money he promised her father. Based on the novel 'The Rubber Band' by Rex Stout.

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Princess Orchid (episode 3 of 8)
A young Chinese girl asks for Wolfe's help in solving a kidnapping. Based on the novel 'The Golden Spiders' by Rex Stout.

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Champagne for One (episode 2 of 8)
Archie witnesses a murder during a charity benefit for single mothers. Based on the novel by Rex Stout.

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Snake Track (episode 1 of 8)
A housekeeper solicits Nero Wolfe's help when her fiance goes missing. Based on the novel 'Fer-de-Lance' by Rex Stout.

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Nero Wolfe, produced by MHz Choice in 1981, is a television series that breathes life into author Rex Stout’s popular detective novels. Centered around Nero Wolfe, a remarkable, passionately eccentric private detective who rarely leaves his home, the show manages to depict Wolfe's unique lifestyle and compelling cases he solves with finesse. While many detective series cast the spotlight squarely on their male protagonists, Nero Wolfe saves room for a cast of eccentric, competent characters who assist the genius yet socially-reticent Wolfe in solving the captivating yet intricate mysteries.

The series triumphs in set design, historical accuracy, and significant attention to detail. Set in 1950s New York, Nero Wolfe's office is filled to the brim with vibrant orchid flowers, his personal interest and hobby. Next door in his kitchen, exquisite meals are prepared by his live-in gourmet chef. Even Wolfe's vibrant yellow silk pajamas are a nod to the detailed descriptions in Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novel series. The exquisite set design coupled with accurate historical settings gives the show a unique blend of authenticity with grandiose theatrical flair.

In terms of characters, Nero Wolfe, portrayed by William Conrad, is an intriguing mix of eccentricity and brilliance. He is heavyset, indulging in exquisite meals and spending time with his beloved orchids when he's not solving cases. His meticulous nature and photographic memory allow him to pick up on the minutest of details that many overlook, helping him solve the most convoluted of mysteries. Wolfe is constantly at odds with law enforcement, particularly New York City Police Inspector Cramer, often due to his unconventional, yet laudably efficient, methods of solving cases.

The series is enriched by the presence of Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's right-hand man and the show's narrator. Played by Lee Horsley, Goodwin is the sharp, dapper young man responsible for doing Wolfe's legwork and serving as a liaison between Wolfe and the clients or the police department. Filled with wit, humor and a propensity for falling into trouble's way, Goodwin is the contrasting affectionate figure who balances Wolfe's prickly and inaccessible character.

The other characters of the show are equally appealing. Fritz Brenner, played by George Voskovec, is Wolfe’s highly skilled Swiss cook and the third permanent resident of the house. Together, the trio engages in witty dialogues during meal times, adding comedic relief to the series. Saul Panzer, Wolfe's favorite freelance operative, often assists with investigations, while the frequent interaction between Wolfe and Inspector Cramer adds an engaging dynamic of conflict to the series.

A large part of Nero Wolfe's charm comes from the variety and depth of cases he solves. From murder mysteries to kidnappings to attempts on his own life, Wolfe manages to surprise the viewer with his analytical prowess in every episode. Many of the mysteries are closely tied to incidents and personalities from New York's high society, which adds a certain allure to the show's narrative. Notably, Wolfe's insistence on never leaving his house to investigate, instead using the facts that Archie brings back, adds a distinct touch of uniqueness to the cases and their resolutions.

Thematically, Nero Wolfe leans heavily into the crime noir style, with subtle humor, clever clues, uncanny ability to decipher seemingly impossible mysteries, and stern authority conflicts. Yet it never forgets to incorporate rich narratives with intriguing characters, making for an engaging combination of ingredients that makes the show thrillingly pleasing.

Nero Wolfe successfully brings to life Rex Stout’s beloved detective series and the eccentric genius at its heart. With its unique plot structure, stunning setting, handful of complex and interesting characters, and protection of the original’s charm, the TV show pays an incredible tribute to the source material. The period setting intertwines with the timeless nature of the mysteries, offering a delightful viewing experience for both fans of Nero Wolfe novels and newcomers alike.

In nicotine, orchids, and gourmet food, the genius Nero Wolfe uncovers the truth behind the toughest of cases, making this television series a timeless classic to watch with fascination. That ability to present a larger-than-life character and showcase his brilliant detective work in a quirky, humorous, yet sophisticated manner sets Nero Wolfe apart from other detective shows of the era, making it undeniably compelling to viewers even decades after its original release.

Nero Wolfe is a series categorized as a new series. Spanning 1 seasons with a total of 8 episodes, the show debuted on 2012. The series has earned a moderate reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 7.3.

How to Watch Nero Wolfe

How can I watch Nero Wolfe online? Nero Wolfe is available on MHz Choice with seasons and full episodes. You can also watch Nero Wolfe on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, Amazon online.

MHz Choice
William Conrad, Lee Horsley, George Voskovec
Nero Wolfe is available on .