The Cleaner (TV Series 2008–2009) Poster


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William Banks helps people get rid of their addiction
Kenny Belliveau21 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
William Banks was an addict himself. He could never find a means to cope with it. He almost lost his entire family, until one man helped him. Since then he has sworn his life to the same thing. He wants to help others, he wants them to be clean. He knows they are on the wrong path, a path to nowhere. William sees they are heading for disaster, so he tries to interfere before it is to late. Things may not always work out for the best, but William is likely to do all he can.

Benjamin Bratt is amazing as William. He just seems to fit. William is now a man of faith but he is still in jeopardy of being broken, of falling from something back into the life he used to have. William is on edge, living everyday as though it could be his last, he wants to help, he is just not always sure he can.He would love to be able to help everyone, but people need to be willing to help themselves first.

The Cleaner is one of the best T.V shows I have ever watched. It is deep, moving, powerful and dramatic. It is all you can ask for in a series and teaches you a few life lessons along the way.
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Dealing with a difficult subject
Moviefile21 October 2008
This makes for uneasy viewing as one must ask should psychological or chemical addiction be turned into entertainment? This series skates close to trite clichés, but overall it does succeed in concentrating on the sufferers' problems. William Banks is 'The Cleaner'; himself a past drug addict, he now works as an interventionalist, trying to help others whose addictions have reached a point where they are no longer in control of their own lives. Banks is no paragon either as he is a very controlling individual and has swapped his chemical addiction for a spiritual relationship with God whom he talks to about his problems, and a career which gives him power over others. He is also trying to win back his family who mistrust him after fifteen years of hell, and while he has moved back in with them, he sleeps apart from his wife at the start of the series. Banks has three employees who have all had their own addictions in the past and work for him for their own reasons, he also runs a residential clinic where clients are detoxed. Background plot isn't too soapy as, if it were it, would detract from the message. Banks has teenage children who want to see him reunited with them and their mother. Problem is the job which means that he takes off at short notice day or night and so manages to alienate his family as they come a poor second when there is a client who needs help.

William Banks is a hard man to like though, and he has demons of his own. You cannot fault what he does, but he is abrasive and pushy and talks to his family and employees as if he is the only one who is capable of knowing what is right. Is he in fact a messianic megalomaniac or just an ordinary man trying to save his own soul? Just a man with a calling? There are those would would equate his conversations with the almighty as evidence that the men in white coats will not be far away. However if this helps him to keep on the straight and narrow then as therapy maybe he has found his own personal answer.

The ensemble cast is good, Benjamin Bratt has one of those voices you could listen to all day, and fills the William Banks role very well. His employees (played by the talented Grace Park, Esteban Powell, and Kevin Richardson) all bring depth to their parts, but, and this is a big but, the writing does not endear the characters to us. Hopefully if and when there is a season two there will be more character development, and we will come to understand and empathise with the characters. To date the series has failed spectacularly in that respect and the writers are to blame as there is real potential here.

My view is that this is a worthy effort to portray the nature and effect of addiction, on the addicts themselves and their family and friends, and goes some way to showing the physical spiritual and moral degradation that people fall into. Many, it is true, are beyond help and in spite of attempts to help will eventually succumb, only a quarter of clients are cleaned which is a sobering statistic.
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My view on "The Cleaner"
mlsongbirdkeyofc14 October 2008
I began watching this show with the very first episode. I maybe would have not given it much thought, however, my husband has been in recovery from addiction for about 14 months now. He loves the show and can relate to so many of the addicts Mr. Banks helps. It is real for him. I like the show and can relate with the families of the addict. My husband and I have been married 25 years and addiction has been a major struggle in both our families for most of our lives. This show is a wonderful look at both sides of the addiction. Not only the addict but also the affects it has on the family member dealing with the addict... I will look forward to many more episodes of The Cleaner. God bless William Banks for saying, I'm not gonna take it anymore... My husband would love to meet the man behind the show. Is there a way???
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Excellent show, but...
MemphisChik20 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I loved the show at first, but watching the "in your face" drug use does make me uncomfortable. Especially with Arnie's relapse so graphically portrayed. With a husband struggling with addiction, it's difficult to see the drug use, so vivid in HD, in our living room. I have to give the show's creators big applause for the realistic portrayal of drugs in all walks of society. Unfortunately, sometimes it's just too realistic for me. I tend to watch television for an escape and, living with addiction, this show doesn't provide an escape.

William Banks is a lifesaver for many and his story can provide hope for families struggling with addiction. I just would like to see more innuendo towards drugs and less blatant drug use. That may be unrealistic in a show of this nature, I admit. So perhaps I just need to change the channel.
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Blatantly Irreverent and shameful attempt at crowd pleasing.
thefinalword20 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The first episode tries so hard to be 'cool' it takes away from the original idea why I was SO interested in the premise of this show. I'm going to make a guess that nobody was interested in this show so they could watch the main characters squabble about money and past relationships. The main character talks to God a lot, interesting, too bad he can only whine to him for his car not starting. He mewls pathetically, "Is this because I was with cheating w/ Connie?"

See, the fact that he banged his hot asian sidekick, he feels amusingly guilty about, despite that he is married. "Haven't you got anything better to do?" He says, chiding "God". For taking the time to sabotage the starter of his 25 year old truck.

I don't really give a fuck about who you fuck though, Mr. Cleaner. I want to learn about saving people from addiction. People want to assuage their guilt for cheating, vicariously through a tv show. Who cares about sexual infidelity?!. I'm not watching sex in the city or fast and the furious.? It's so designed for the average low attention span viewer so far. They make saving people from drugs look like a show about a car repossession company. They focus MORE time on the people who aren't even addicted! The addicts are barely focused on! When they pick someone up off the street for rehab, they begin to squabble about who gets to drive the junkie's lamborghini for the month.

It's all too damned cool, I guess. I got another episode left in me--- I hope its more serious. Yes, there are spoilers in this review, but believe me its impossible to spoil that first episode. Very shallow and infuriatingly misleading because I was very excited for this show.

"This makes for uneasy viewing as one must ask should psychological or chemical addiction be turned into entertainment?"
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Offensive scene
mtilley-054208 April 2017
This is the first year this series has been available to me. At this point I have watched 6 or 7 shows. I have been totally enjoying the show until the last one I saw. the addict got help but it then showed the Cleaner and his wife having sex on the screen. In my opinion it was completely out of context, unexpected (I could have been watching it with family), it did nothing for the story of that episode. Things left to the imagination would be more suitable. Anyone who needs a porn fix - they have shows for that. That way we are given a choice as to exactly what we wan to watch. I believe it took away from the show. The Cleaner will be taken off my viewing list.
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Most authentic
bethduffy9513 November 2016
As a former addict I can say this show is on point. I just wish it was was continued. Benjamin Bratt does an awesome job as an interventionist even with the risk of losing his own family. So sad it was not renewed! he sacrifices his own family to do the good works. It hit home for me and an emotional roller coaster ride in the life of an addictive and an interventionist, even if you haven't been exposed to addicts this show is heart wrenching, I would recommended this 2 season show for the relationships and how they are like a real couple.after Law & Order......Benjamin kaplaus this character to perfection. Worth the watch! I hate that it was cancelled. I didn't even know it exsited. Well done on all parts. Give it a's well produced and directed. And finally, the actors play their parts to Perfection!
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For the first time in a long time, I am really proud of CBS
jrw-128538 October 2015
William Banks is an ex-addict who turned his life around by making a covenant with God to help addicts if he can live a life free of addiction. William and his crew engage in interventions with primarily drug and alcohol addicts. I found the show to be absolutely riveting. It is refreshing to see CBS doing a show that showcases a man talking to God throughout each episode. William Banks offers a black and white crystal clear point of reference on the rights and wrongs of substance abuse. The pilot episode was a little hard to get through, but, after that I couldn't stop watching until I had seen every episode. The Cleaner is a truly unique drama. In the present stench of a drug legalizing culture, The Cleaner is a well deserved breath of clean fresh air.
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A Hidden Treasure
sevenof9fl1 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This show will not appeal to all audiences and in fact it has taken me the entire first season and 3 episodes of the 2nd season for me to truly appreciate how good this show really is. I would call it a Thinking Person's Drama, because it's not your typical run of the mill procedural or action show.

By this time, most people probably know what the show is about: the superior Benjamin Bratt portrays a recovering addict William Banks, who is trying to save other addicts, with varying degrees of success, while trying to deal with the wreckage his addiction caused in his own family, also with varying degrees of success. Doesn't sound very appealing, does it? I first became interested in the show because I had a close relative who died from her addiction at a young age, so you'd think this not be a show I'd watch, right? Wrong. Turns out, even if sometimes watching this show is like pulling the scab off an unhealed wound, it really is enjoyable for the viewer who wants a viewing experience that leaves you really thinking deeply about the human condition, whether afflicted with addiction or not.

I like that the show is accurate about the actions of addicts and the effects of addiction on the addict's family and friends. I also enjoy the fact that not every story is a success. A complex relationship exists between Banks and his family, who learn that the cure they wished to happen does not guarantee that the family will survive as a unit. Banks himself is still struggling with his addiction and wonders if his commitment to saving other addicts has just replaced one addiction with another - a position held by his wife and family.

There's obviously a lot to see here and the production qualities, cast and writing are first-rate. I think the show works for any viewer who enjoys a good story and believable characters with complex relationships to themselves and each other. You don't have to be a recovering addict or someone coping with a family or friend with addiction to appreciate the show and in fact it's a great teaching tool for those who don't know much about the topic.

This is a unique show with a unique view that delves into a topic that is the unspoken curse of many people: the monster of addiction. It drags into the light a topic that most families wrongfully will not discuss and admit: the addiction issues of a loved one.

After long consideration (and jettisoning of my own personal garbage), I give it a 10/10. Give it a chance.
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