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"The Commish" was one of the best shows in the early 90s. Michael Chiklis was wonderful and extremely believable in the title role. Also, the supporting cast was always very good. The writing was excellent in the beginning until perhaps the 3rd season. Then, it turned into the usual Cannell fare. Mr. Cannell always wrote/produced excellent shows in the beginning, but once he and his production company ran out of ideas, they looked to current events and/or clichés to pull them through. This is true of "The A-Team," "Hunter," "Night Rider," "Rockford Files," and, of course, the cliché-in-and-of-itself, "21 Jump Street." "The Commish" was flying high until each episode became a carbon-copy of the last one. Of course, that is the fate of many a TV show and is to be disregarded. All this aside, it was an excellent show that made Saturday nights enjoyable for a few years.
I really loved this show during its peak years. When it first premiered, I resisted watching it, because I hated the title. I always hate when people try to sound cool by shortening words (and yes, I realize how silly that sounds). Anyway, I tried and tried to watch "Sisters," the competition on NBC at the time. I finally had to give up--it was just too gynocentric (given to endless gnashing of teeth over nebulous, incomprehensible emotional dilemmas). Channel hopping to ABC, I saw something (or someone actually) who caught my attention, and watched the show. "The Commish" turned out to be thoroughly entertaining. The plots, while never earth-shattering, were inventive and often both suspenseful and funny. Michael Chiklis was surprisingly charismatic as the title character. My favorite character was Stan--the story thread which ran through the first three seasons (until Stan was killed off) depicting the mentor/protege relationship between Tony and Stan was the best part of the show. After Stan (Geoffrey Nauffts) was killed and Syd (Melinda McGraw) left the show, unfortunately, "The Commish" lost its way. The plots became less inventive and more serious. I felt like the heart went out of the show. The show at its best, however, was like eating macaroni and cheese--pleasant, familiar, and comforting.
Tony Scali (Michael Chiklis of "The Shield" fame) is the police
commissioner in a small town, he must deal with everyday problems and
scenarios that that entails, but he does it with finesse, if with
unorthodox techniques. The arch-typical nice guy and very different
than the bad-ass Vic Mackey that Chiklis would later portray. The
slightly offbeat show also focuses on The Commish's home life. This was
a well written show and very likable in a quaint kinda way. Only
plummeting downwards after Geoffrey Nauffts as Officer Stan left the
show, among many others. Sadly the show went on for one season to long,
plus a TV movie afterwords that didn't help either. The first 3 reasons
were great, the 4th one was merely alright, and the 5th one, I would
My Grade: B-
I called it the Andy Griffith Show for the 90s because it was set also in
small town, with goofy officers to assist the Chief, and with some silly
plot lines. At the same time, it was a grown-up "Andy Griffith Show",
of the problems of the time affecting the family, both at work and at
Many of us cannot forget the time in which the son of the Commissioner was
taken...and in which the wife of the Commish was raped and almost killed.
It was realistically done, and all of the actors should take a deep bow.
was good TV. I want it back.
This show initially looked like another boring cop show, but proved to be exactly the opposite. I never saw this on ABC. I started watching reruns on cable. It is hard to explain why I loved this show so much. Maybe it was the small town. Maybe the irony, it was hard to predict the endings. Maybe it was Michael Chiklis? I don't know. I loved the entire cast, which is rare for me. I loved all the deputies especially Sid. I keep hoping it will be back on the air soon. Not my favorite show ever, but a GREAT one.
This was is and will forever be my favorite series from the Nineteen Nineties. Michael Chiklis, is a absolutely stunning actor he has the skills and the looks to make it in the big time. This is a show for the whole family to to sit and enjoy, If you are lucky enough to find the whole series in one collection like I did at Newbury Comics for 10 bucks. on a scale of one to ten I give this series a 10. there is very little of anything in the way of violence and there I nothing in the form of bad language it is totally G rated in my books suitable for the whole family it is a true blast from the past for everyone to enjoy with your favorite TV time Snack and beverage,
Long before he was cracking skulls as Vic Mackey on The Shield, Michael Chiklis was Tony Scali, the Commissioner of the East Bridge Police Department. The show launched Chiklis's career and when you've seen both The Commish and The Shield, you really get the sense that this guy could play any role. Scali was the complete opposite of Mackey, whereas Mackey solved his problems through violence and intimidation, throwing the book out the window, Scali solved crime by using the book to his advantage. Scali would use his cleverness, his charm, and even his wit to get the answers he needed and was the true opposite of Vic Mackey in every sense of the word. The Commish was so much more than just a simple cop show, it was a family show, and during it's five year run on ABC it was way ahead of it's time. The show ran from 1991-1995 and even then was exploring such topics as bullying, gay marriage, the emergence of the internet, and in one first season episode, way back in 1991, Tony states that reality TV was the wave of the future! Scali wasn't just the clever cop who ran a large police department and solved crimes through extremely clever and unconventional methods, he was a family man. Much of the show intertwines his work with his family and he's just as clever, witty, and delightful at home as he is in the station. As I said earlier, this show launched the career of Michael Chiklis who now is a multiple Emmy Award winner and one of the best people you could have on board for a new series. Veteran actress, Theresa Saldana, plays his wife Rachel, and she's more than just a housewife. She's just as intuitive as her husband and is a working mom, another aspect of the show that was ahead of it's time. Their son David, was the first major role for Kaj-Erik Eriksen, who has seemingly been in everything. You may not recognize his name, but you'll definitely recognize his face from one thing or another. I have been watching the Commish regularly for about 3 months now and I can tell you honestly, this show never gets old. No two cases or personalities are the same, and you'd be hard pressed to find award winning novels that are better written. This is one of the most clever, fun, and heartwarming shows I have ever seen, and even though it's been off the air for nearly 20 years, it's still as relevant today as it was then and I can not possible recommend it enough.
The Commish was a slightly different cop show - the emphasis here was
not on heavy violence but on "the commish" himself, played by that
gifted actor, Michael Chiklis. Chiklis brought great likability to the
role of Tony Scali, a good guy in a small town dedicated to family and
his work as police commissioner. Teresa Saldana played his wife, and
the two were totally believable together. The cop part of the show
sported a fine cast including Geoffrey Nauffts, Melinda McGraw, and
Gina Belafonte. The emphasis seemed to be on warmth, as you really
looked forward to seeing the whole group. I never found the episodes as
dark or as interesting as other police shows, but that was never the
point of "The Commish." Like many Stephen Cannell shows, the series was
driven by the personality of the main character and an excellent
ensemble. "Wiseguy" may have had more hard-hitting scripts, and
"Rockford Files" may have been more fun, but "The Commish" was
comfortable and highly entertaining.
Michael Chiklis is one of those actors who can do anything. An accomplished stage performer, he did return to theater after the run of "The Commish" but came back to television as a policeman again - this one with a real dark side - on "The Shield," a big hit for F/X. "The Shield" was truly the evil brother of "The Commish," and it's the rare actor who could carry off both so perfectly. Though I'm a great admirer of "The Shield," I admit that TV isn't as bright without Tony Scali.
An unsung gem from the waning days of Stephen J. Cannell's production
company, the big draw of The Commish nowadays is definitely Michael
Chiklis. Now best-known as tough guy Lt. Vic Mackey from the lauded FX
drama The Shield, it's intriguing to see Chiklis in his earlier series,
playing a cop who's the polar opposite of his Emmy-winning Shield
The show centers on small-town Police Commissioner Tony Scali, who leads the force in Eastbridge, New York (based on real-life Rye, N.Y., Police Commissioner Tony Schembri, who collaborated on a few scripts for the series). As another poster stated, Eastbridge could easily be the Mayberry of the North, but considering that violent crime can and does happen there, one could also make comparisons to Cabot Cove, Maine or Sparta, GA., two other seemingly sleepy TV towns where trouble often lurks in the shadows.
Most of the time, though, it's petty crime and petty incidents that take up the time of Tony and his quirky force of officers...they're just as likely, if not more so, to help an old lady whose son stole her dentures (as part of a bigger plot to force her to move into a nursing home) or break up a fight between two guys dressed in chicken outfits, as they are to investigate a murder or a drug deal. Also, Tony's home life takes up a good deal of some episodes...he has to help his son get a date or coach the kid's basketball team, he supports his wife in their efforts to have another child...it's little things like this that lighten the mood and make The Commish more than just another shoot-'em-up.
Commissioner Scali is truly a different cop...unlike Chiklis's later character of Vic Mackey, who was more of a criminal than the criminals he pursued, with his brutality and disregard for suspect's rights, Tony relies on wit, charm and good old common sense to solve most problems...but that doesn't mean he doesn't get mad...far from it. He can yell with the best of them if the occasion warrants. Tony Scali might be a kind, sweet man, but he's nobody's pushover.
If Tony is Andy, he needs a Barney. For most of the first season, Irv Wallerstein (Alex Bruhanski) fills that role, until he's killed while working undercover, prompting one of the biggest bursts of anger from the normally-calm Commissioner. After solving Irv's murder, Tony takes on 'visiting' L.A. detective (and high-school buddy) Paulie Pentangeli (John Cygan) as a sidekick. Cygan fills out the season, then disappears to make way for Detective Cyd Madison (Melinda McGraw) for a couple of seasons, then returns to stay for the fourth season and the TV-movie follow-ups. And at home, he has the support of his beautiful and devoted wife Rachel, played by the underrated Theresa Saldana, who sadly seems more remembered for being brutally attacked by an obsessed fan that for any acting roles.
The Commish is definitely a great, lighter cop show if you want to see a cop that favors brains and charm over weapons. My rating...8 out of 10.
Thanks to NetFlix, we started watching the early 90's show 'The
Commish' based on recommendations here at IMDb. Michael Chiklis is a
very gifted actor, and the stories are pleasant, with some interesting
twists. We also get to see the 'Commish' (small town police
commissioner) interact with his family, and endure the lengthy 'stay'
of his annoying, eccentric, and lazy brother-in-law played by the
talented David Paymer.
The setting is the New York area, but the series was shot in Vancouver, B.C. giving the series a fresh look.
One thing we noted is that the supporting crew and guest actors are given time to contribute. They come ready to play and the casting guy seems to favor quirky-looking folk, which makes for compelling viewing. I was just contrasting the trend at the current show 'Lie to Me' to have the camera follow Tim Roth everywhere, and to barely give any other characters room to breathe. With Commish, you enjoy the story, and you feel as if you are getting closer to the characters every episode.
So, if you missed it, and you're looking for a quality series on web stream, or season-DVD, give Commish a try.
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