Friday, July 03, 2009

Random TV Title: Karen Sisco

I've written plenty about KAREN SISCO on this blog, including individual reviews of all ten episodes. Elmore Leonard created the character for a short story and the novel OUT OF SIGHT, published in 1996. OUT OF SIGHT was made into an excellent film in 1998 with Jennifer Lopez playing the role.

When ABC brought the character to television in 2003, the very foxy Carla Gugino (WATCHMEN) played Karen, a U.S. Marshal based in Florida who encounters a bevy of oddballs in both her professional and personal lives. Bill Duke (who once signed my PREDATOR DVD) played her limping boss at the Marshal's office (don't know if the cane was a carryover from the Leonard stories), and Robert Forster (JACKIE BROWN) played her father, with whom she had a very personable relationship. In fact, I'd say it was one of the most interesting father/daughter teams I've ever seen on television, partially because the overall writing on KAREN SISCO was so good, but mostly because Forster and Gugino had genuine chemistry together.

ABC treated KAREN SISCO like shit, promoted it badly, took it off the schedule, and never put it on Sundays back-to-back with ALIAS, where it would have been a hit. ABC only aired seven episodes with the three unaired shows running later on USA and on Sleuth. USA realized what a good concept it was, and is currently ripping it off with its series IN PLAIN SIGHT, which stars Mary McCormack (MURDER ONE) as a U.S. Marshal in another sun-drenched locale: Albuquerque.

KAREN SISCO's groovy open bathes Gugino in MIAMI VICE-style Day Glo colors (the show was set in Miami) and features a remix of the Isley Brothers' 1971 smash "It's Your Thing."

1 comment:

Christopher Mills said...

My wife and I loved this show.