When I saw the promos for Kojak and that Ving Rhames was playing the character Telly Savalas made famous in the 1970s, I wondered if Rhames would be able to make me forget Savalas.
It did not make me forget the original at all. The storyline is pretty standard police drama that I've seen many times before. What kept me interested were the relationships between Kojak and his ex-partner/boss Capt. Frank McNeil (Chazz Palminteri), the asst. D.A./love interest Carmen Warrick (Roselyn Sanchez) and the two kids he temporarily took care of while their father was in prison.
Just like Savalas, Rhames presents himself and his character as tough and no-nonsense with a sensitive side. (As far as I'm concerned, any actor, like Rhames, who can play gangster Marsellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction and drag queen Holiday Heart deserves a little bit of respect.)
I hope future story lines become more interesting which is the main flaw of all pilots. There's no way anyone can determine how well a show will be in one opening episode. For now the show will run on the strength and charisma of Ving Rhames and that's not bad at all.
Update: Sadly, the USA Network pulled the plug on "Kojak" because of poor ratings.
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