Friday, April 27, 2007

DVD Wishlist: Karen Sisco

Karen Sisco is a tough, smart, and sexy U.S. Marshal who has the unfortunate habit of falling for the same bad guys her job requires her to catch. She first appeared in an Elmore Leonard's novel Out of Sight, and then in the 1998 movie adaptation of the novel (played by Jennifer Lopez opposite George Clooney), and both were excellent. In 2003, ABC brought Karen into her own show, and I had mixed emotions going in. It's hard enough to adapt a good book into a good movie, could lighting strike twice when they spin the character off into her own series? Fortunately, as you probably guessed since I'm holding out hope for an improbable DVD release four years later, I thought it worked out perfectly. Random thoughts about the show (and a clip) after the jump.

Bob Brush (The Wonder Years, Early Edition) wrote the pilot, and Scott Frank, who wrote the movie version's script, served as a creative consultant. The series was a mixture of action and mystery, with plenty of character-based drama as well. And like any good Elmore Leonard adaptation (of which there are surprisingly few), it always managed to make the criminal element a constant source of oddball characters and plenty of laughs.

The cast was excellent. Carla Gugino, who can currently be seen on Entourage but at the time was only known for the Spy Kids movies and a season of Spin City, was cast in the lead, and in addition to being beautiful, made the character her own, and for my money played it a little better than Jennifer Lopez. Robert Forster doesn't have much range as an actor, but Karen's tough private-eye father was right up his alley. And Bill Duke (Predator) is always so mean you can't help but love him, and his role as Karen's boss was no exception. And for good measure they brought in some great guest actors.

ABC I thought did a decent job trying to promote it, but could've scheduled it better. In the fall of 2003, Alias was still a modest hit, and would've been a perfect lead-in for a show with a similar strong-but-sexy lead. Instead, it aired on Wednesdays after The Bachelor, which seemed like an odd choice. But whether it was scheduling or just America's often frustrating tendency to ignore shows I like, the audience just wasn't there, and ABC pulled it from the schedule after 7 episodes. The remaining three were shipped off to USA and aired the following spring. And that's pretty much the last we heard of the show. Although it had it's share of dedicated fans, it won't be coming to DVD anytime soon, which is a shame.

And for kicks, here's the only decent clip I could find of the show, featuring Grey's Anatomy's Kate Walsh.

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