Episodes descriptions are listed in reverse order with the newest episode first (scroll to the bottom to avoid spoilers):
Debut: Sunday, Feb. 26 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
After learning that Pint of Plain, Gus’ (Dennis Farina) Irish horse, has been tentatively scheduled to race the next day, Ace forces Escalante to swap out Leon for a more experienced jockey, to Joey’s (Richard Kind) chagrin. Marcus fears for his health and wonders why he’s so attached to Jerry, while Kagle (Peter Appel), who’s been fired from the racetrack, returns from a bender looking for a handout.
Joining the cast of the series, from Lionsgate and Mandeville, are Peter Appel (NYPD Blue), Dana Ashbrook (Deadwood), Adam Cantor, Steve Cirbus (Law & Order), Jeremy Davidson (Cold Case), Christine Evangelista ("Law & Order"; reps are Gersh Agency, Myrna Jacoby at MJ Management and attorney Lev Ginsburg), Jennifer Ferrin (Rescue Me), Leo Fitzpatrick (The Wire), Frank Grillo (Prison Break), Michael Hogan (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), Michael Hyatt (Grey's Anatomy), Mike McGlone (The Brothers McMullen) and Wayne Kasserman (Law & Order: SVU).
Production on the series, which centers on a bank robbery that goes awry, starts Wednesday in Pittsburgh, with the show now set to premiere July 22.
In addition, Steve Shill has signed on to direct all eight episodes and co-executive produce.
Supremely weird and off-putting, Stratosphere's "Six Ways to Sunday", which could be described as the first Oedipal crime film, is the kind of quirky genre pic that goes over well at film festivals but drops like a stone in commercial release. It may benefit, however, from the presence of Deborah Harry, whose career is newly revitalized thanks to the re-emergence of her band Blondie.
Bernstein, a veteran music video director whose sole previous theatrical effort was the ill-fated "It's Pat", has adapted an acclaimed 1962 Charles Perry novel, updating it to the present and changing the setting from Brooklyn to Youngstown, Ohio, which is depicted as shabby and depressed. It concerns the burgeoning criminal career of Harold Odum (Norman Reedus), an 18-year-old recruited by the local Jewish mob when his talents for aggression and violence are revealed to them -- a result of accompanying his best friend Arnie (Adrien Brody), a mob flunkie, on a routine muscle job. The main focus, however, is the bizarre relationship between Harold and his blowzy mother Kate (Harry), who in the opening scene is seen giving her son a loving sponge bath.
Harold is taken under the wing of gangster Abie Pinkwise (Peter Appel) and mob boss Louis Varga (Jerry Adler), who delivers pearls of wisdom like "Having money and not flashing it is strictly for gentiles." Harold takes a romantic interest in Varga's beautiful maid Iris (Elina Lowensohn), but the relationship is doomed by Harold's problems with dear old mom, who takes a dim view of romantic competition for her boy's attentions. By the time the complicated plot -- which also includes sidetracks such as Harold's numerous run-ins with a pair of local cops (Gregg Henry and Isaac Hayes) -- reaches its conclusion, some characters wind up dead.
In the hands of a more accomplished stylist (like, say, Jonathan Demme, who receives a "Presented by" credit here), the film might have emerged as an entertaining cult curiosity. Unfortunately, Bernstein's sluggish, often ham-fisted approach to the material robs it of whatever juice it might have possessed, and the weirdness on display is more stultifying than entertaining.
None of the performers is at their best, though Harry invests her bizarre portrayal with emotional conviction. As the disturbed Harold, Reedus is a veritable blank, though admittedly the character never really makes sense. The film gets by mainly on atmosphere, well-provided by Theresa Mastropierro's supremely grungy production design and John Inwood's lensing of several suitably bleak locations.
SIX WAYS TO SUNDAY
Credits: Director: Adam Bernstein; Screenplay: Adam Bernstein, Marc Gerald; Producers: Adam Bernstein, David Collins, Michael Naughton; Executive producer: Charles Johnson; Director of photography: John Inwood; Editor: Doug Abel; Original music: Theodore Shapiro; Production designer: Theresa Mastropierro. Cast: Harold Odum: Norman Reedus; Kate Odum: Deborah Harry; Abie "The Bug" Pinkwise: Peter Appel; Iris: Elina Lowensohn; Louis Varga: Jerry Adler; Arnie: Adrien Brody; Madden: Holter Graham; Bill Bennett:Isaac Hayes. MPAA rating: R. Color/stereo. Running time -- 97 minutes.
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