Quentin Tarantino’s Wild TV Career Includes ‘The Golden Girls’ and ‘ER’
Quentin Tarantino is a legend in the filmmaking business. He has been directing, writing, and starring in movies for over 20 years now and is best known for classics like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, and Reservoir Dogs. He has won two Oscars and has had somewhere around 286 nominations for his films, securing his spot in film infamy. He has stated in interviews that after he makes his 10th film, he will retire. His ninth film was Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and sources say that he has the script for the 10th, meaning the end of a bloody, cuss-word-filled era is coming to an end.
That doesn’t mean, however, that Tarantino has been slowing down. In fact, it seems as if between filming movies, he shifts his focus toward television. Being somewhat of a film purist, it is a bit surprising to hear of Tarantino jumping to television and creating a series for a streaming service, but when you are good at what you do and enjoy it, the desire to work will always be there. In a Variety interview, Tarantino mentioned that he plans to direct an eight-part series sometime in 2023. Since we know that he will be dipping his toes back into the television world, we can take a look at his wild and eclectic career in television from years past.
Quentin Tarantino, the Actor
Tarantino has been known to cameo in his own movies, but he has the acting chops to star in other movies and television shows. His first stab at acting in a TV show was on none other than The Golden Girls in 1988. He starred in Season 4, Episode 6, titled “Sophia’s Wedding: Part 1.” His role in this episode was as an Elvis impersonator. You can really only see him in one scene and in the second row among other Elvis impersonators, but that was his first gig on television. Tarantino stated that the residual money he earned from his role in The Golden Girls is what helped fund his movie Reservoir Dogs. His next opportunity came from the show All-American Girl in 1995. This time, he starred in Season 1, Episode 18, “Pulp Sitcom,” as Desmond, a pop-culture-obsessed video supplier. The name of the episode is in homage to Tarantino’s magnum opus and actually recreates some of the scenes from Pulp Fiction. Quentin’s role on the show at that time was due largely in part to dating Margaret Cho, the stand-up comedian and star of the short-lived series.
From there, also in 1995, he hosted Season 21, Episode 5 of Saturday Night Live alongside the wild cast and musical guest The Smashing Pumpkins. His next gig on television proved to be slightly more recurring, as he starred in four episodes of Alias alongside Jennifer Garner. His role was as McKenas Cole, a villain on the show who used to work for the agency that Sydney (Garner) works for currently. He appears as this character in Season 1, Episodes 12 and 13, entitled “The Box: Part 1” and “The Box: Part 2,” respectively. His character comes back in Season 3, Episode 11, “Full Disclosure,” and Episode 13, “After Six.”
After a brief hiatus, he comes back in 2005 to voice the character of Master Moloch on Duck Dodgers, a famous kung fu master who helps the Duck Dodgers learn kung fu to stop a master thief. This is during Season 3, Episode 11, “Master & Disaster.” His most recent role is from 2022 as narrator for the show Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, which follows the rise of the transportation company and what Silicon Valley is like for those involved. We hear his voice throughout the show clueing us in on what is happening and providing commentary on the events and characters of the show.
Quentin Tarantino, the Director
Even though he has fewer gigs as a director for television than he does as an actor on television, that doesn’t diminish his ability to direct a great television episode. In 1995, he directed Season 1, Episode 24, “Motherhood.” on the long-standing and forever popular show, ER. This episode was done in one take by Tarantino to ensure that his edit of the episode was what would be aired. He then directed Season 3, Episode 75 of Jimmy Kimmel Live! when Steven Wright, Laura Harring, and The Darkness were all guests on the show.
Another highly popular television show had Tarantino guest direct — CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Directing Season 5, Episodes 24 and 25, “Grave Danger,” Tarantino earned an Emmy nomination for directing a project he wanted to do simply because he loved the show, not just for a paycheck. Finally, taking Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn cult classic and turning it into a television series titled From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, it’s a no-brainer to have involved and used inspiration from the creator himself. Tarantino is credited as a writer for 30 episodes of the television series, which is the entirety of the show than ran from 2014-2016.
He was originally slated to direct a few episodes of the upcoming revival of Justified, releasing sometime this summer 2023, titled Justified: City Primeval. That didn’t end up happening, but he was a primary source of inspiration for the revival.
Die-hard Tarantino fans are patiently awaiting him to release his tenth film and wondering what it could be, but are also on the edge of their seats for what the eight-part series is going to be about. If we know Quentin, we know that it’ll be unique, unpredictable, visually stunning, and a bit exaggerated in nature. When speaking about his legendary presence in Hollywood, we should not count out his ability to work the small screen as well as the big screen. Here’s hoping that even after his 10th and final film releases, we continue to see the distinctive style that makes Tarantino one of the greats.