|Index||8 reviews in total|
After having seen and greatly enjoyed Carla Gugino in various limited
parts in relatively minor movies, I was overjoyed to see that she
finally got some real recognition and was given her own TV show. And
when I saw it, I wasn't disappointed. The show is smart, attractive and
funny; clearly aimed at a fairly youthful, intelligent and
predominantly male demographic. In short, it's everything a show should
be in order to succeed. Only, for some inscrutable reason, it failed.
What a great pity. What's wrong with audiences today? In a just world,
this show would have rocketed Carla to true stardom.
For me, being a huge Carla Gugino fan, watching this show is pure joy. The writers and/or producers clearly adore Carla as much as I do, and put her squarely in the limelight, both in terms of loving camera angles, story and dialog. For someone of Carla's talents and charms, it's long overdue. At least with these 10 episodes, a devoted fan of Carla Gugino can get his fix, losing himself in a witty and charismatic action show captained by one of the dreamiest actresses currently working. What more can anyone ask?
I just CANNOT believe that they canceled this show *sigh* Just goes to show that television studios (and, just maybe, television audiences) do not know entertainment.... Instead of shows like this, we get stuck with yet more "reality TV" drivel like fear factor, American idol, survivor, etc etc ad nauseum... PLEASE make it stop! The executives don't know good television, the general public does not seem to recognize talented scripts, plots, excellent acting, etc. Does any one actually realize how many variations of CSI, or some take-off, spin-off what have you there are? Try to go 2 days without seeing it on the TV! Good luck! Everything is the same, same stories, same plots, we need something fresh, different, exciting....
What more could I ask for - not only is this show witty, exciting, and
directed, it also has a remarkably hot woman playing the lead role,
Enterprise's T'pol off to the side for the finest lady on network TV.
Every episode is really a gem, however two so far have stood out as really kickass (the second episode, the one with the two brothers who like Leonard Skinnard, and the one about the guy who keeps breaking out of prison to get back with his stripper girlfriend). Even though Elmore Leonard did little more for the series than invent the main character, the unique touches that are present in every Leonard book are present here. I pray to God this show makes it, because it beats the hell out of most everything else on TV today.
I knew I had seen something special. After the hour-long episode 5
(Nostalgia) I knew I had not imagined it. Yes, this was a critics'
favourite, and yes, they all gave the same reasons and impressions I'd
had. There's no coincidence here.
What is it that gets you to not turn the channel? When you see something intriguing already in the opening titles? Les Paul used to say that an audience will never remember the first song you play - they're busy making up their minds whether they like you or not, and they make up their minds in those first two minutes.
So with Karen Sisco. This is well acted, well directed, and above all well written. More and more it's become apparent to me how vital a good teleplay is: without it the directing and acting will fall apart, lacking a foothold.
I imagine this crew has a lot of fun. Yes, there's violence, and I don't like that, but there's a coziness and a sense of adventure too. And the humour - or should I say wit?
I've only seen the pilot of Karen Sisco, but I think that it's got real potential. TV shows today seem to be becoming more and more like movies, and while watching this I had trouble remembering that it was actually a TV show. Since TV shows generally have cliff hangers, I found myself eager for more of this great new show. Carla Gugino, Thomas Kretschmann, and Xander Berkeley were exceptionally good, and all I can say is that I can't wait for more! :)
Based on the character portrayed by Jennifer Lopez in Elmore Leonard's
Out of Sight, Karen Sisco is a smart, sexy, and tough United States
marshal in Miami.
Carla Gugino plays Karen Sisco and the great Robert Forster plays her father Marshall Sisco. It could never really take off and lasted only 10 episodes.
I think there were 2 main problems.
The first is they shot this is L.A. If they could do it in Miami, it would add so much more flavor.
The second is the need for edginess. Seeing the successful 'Justified' (another Elmore Leonard creation), it seems obvious that 'Karen Sisco' just doesn't have the grittiness in both style and substance. It just wasn't Elmore Leonard enough.
Network: ABC; Genre: Crime/Mystery, Action, Drama; Content Rating:
TV-PG (violence and some language); Available: reruns on Sluth;
Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 -4);
Seasons Reviewed: Complete Series (1 season , 10 episodes)
In 1998, out-of-the-blue, ABC delivered a criminally unseen and wondrously entertaining little (6 episodes) masterpiece called "Maximum Bob". "Bob" was a flawless translation, a free-roaming piece of quirky TV magic, better than just about every Leonard adaptation big or small screen to date. "Karen Sisco" is the network and producers Danny DeVito and Barry Sonnenfeld's 2nd attempt to wrestle an Elmore Leonard novel onto the small screen and the results this time are not nearly as impressive. "Sisco" spins off "Out of Sight" Federal Marshal Karen Sisco (Carla Gugino, "Spin City") as she tracks down parole jumpers in Miami, Florida.
Compared to "Bob", "Sisco" restrains itself into a TV crime/mystery template and for the most part lacks the wild non-linear storytelling and, with the exception of "Dumb Bunnies" (featuring DeVito, Rhea Pearlman, Kevin Dillon, a series of gruff henchmen and a grenade), the quirky hobby pre-occupied characters of a Leonard novel. For such a light, colorful series, "Sisco" remains flat pretty consistently. It is too serious to be quirky and too quirky to be serious, a balance that it never comes to grips with. The mysteries aren't particularly clever, the action routine, the dialog uninspired - although you wouldn't know that just watching Robert Forster who gives a wily performance as Karen's retired father Marshall. Yes, Marshal Marshall Sisco. Credit also goes to Gary Cole and Xander Berkley who guest star in memorable, colorful characters.
Propping up the series is Gugino who lends a casual sexiness that smartly isn't too played up - to Karen's tough-gal attitude. But the show makes the death-blow mistake of under-writing our lead which makes Karen a pretty dry and uninteresting heroine. The only way the show can think to humanize her is to end each episode with a moment of bonding between her and her "daddy". Forster and Gugino sell the hell out of the chemistry but I can't shake the feeling I'm being manipulated into a happy ending for all the families out there. "Sisco" follows "Alias" as another show with a butt-kicking heroine who needs her in-the-business dad's shoulder to lean on.
Maybe I'm wrong to be so tough on "Karen Sisco". It isn't bad. It just never revs up. It never quite finds itself, and wasn't on the air long enough to reach the quirky crime series nirvana it should have. I expected so much more and was, personally, profoundly disappointed.
* * / 4
As others have noted in these comments why is it that studio execs keep putting reality show dreck on? I have never watched survivor, the bachelor or any other "reality" show drivel. Since really those shows are for the average person to have their 15 minutes of fame and since most of them are self centered idiots (at least that is what the commercials show them as) why would a rational, thinking person ever watch it. If you want to watch a reality show watch The Soup and you will get the best parts of it anyway. This show was very well put together and if you had watched the Jennifer Lopez/George Clooney vehicle Out of Sight you would have gotten a little bit of background on her character. This could have been an excellent series. This and Ms Gugino's other series Threshold (way, way better than Invasion even though that has William Fichter)I don't get it. Two series that she has been in and both well done and what do the networks do? Please someone slap them for those of us that would like a little bit of thinking behind out entertainment.
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