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Craig T. Nelson,
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Arliss Michaels is not a sports agent, he is a sports super agent. To his athletes and to the world around them he is God. He is like Jerry Maguire but without a conscience. Written by
Steve Richer <email@example.com>
25 Sports Agents Dead In The Road?...a good start!
I borrowed the lawyer's joke to make a point about Arliss, the agent. Devoid of real consistent ethics Arli$$ Michaels is the epitome of the complex character who treads equally on the honorable side and the ethically challenged. Mix in a bit of conscience with a dash of capitalistic greed and that describes Arli$$ and the AMM Management team.
As for the players they are (were) first rate. Robert Wuhl is phenomenal as the namesake character Arliss Michaels. Combining terrific story lines with a real sense of what and how an agent thinks this comedian turned actor hits a bullseye. The show was, after all, his idea and creation. Jim Turner is ideal as the former jock, first round draft pick and first Arli$$ client, playboy burnout Kirby Carlisle. Michael Boatman is superb as Stanley Babson, the erstwhile V.P. of Finance who often attempts to induce some morality and class into the organization. Occasionally Stanley is faced with the perplexing situation of doing what is right or what is best for the client?, AMM?, or Stanley? Finally there is Sandra Oh as Rita Wu, Arli$$' long suffering secretary. Forever loyal Rita is underpaid, under-appreciated, and under-minded by Arli$$ and almost always Kirby. Rita has her dilemma's of conscience as well but she is insightful yet gullible and always longing to meet Mr. Right so she can quit her job which she really loves. Sound confusing? It is because the show displayed all the nuances of good character development and story lines.
Mix this all in with great guest stars from sports and entertainment and you get a rapid, fast paced 1/2 hour show never wanting for a good laugh or a tear. Arliss has been gone since 2002 and is now a regular late night entry onto ESPN Classic's repertoire. The only problem is this show, like many made for cable, does not have points at which commercial breaks are accounted for and language is censored thereby lessening the fun for those of us fans. Yet, for the newcomer, a whole new generation can enjoy the comic timing and plot lines. Some of the athletes are now dated in time but it is easy to follow. A highly recommended show!!!
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