The fastest way to explain what we’re dealing with here is simply “Cops” hosted by Steven Seagal. That’s what we’re talking about. Steven Seagal has supposedly been a sheriff in Louisiana for the past twenty years and never told anyone until now. So he’s outfitted with a special team and a couple shiny new SUVs to go on “patrol” with. Of course, these aren’t anything like the real beat up patrol cars you see the actual law enforcement officers driving when they hit the scene of the crime but maybe if they were as hard to kill, they too would have their own semi-reality show and the shiny new SUVs to match.
I personally watch the show as a comedy and because it’s Steven Seagal and he’s hilarious. The entire show feels like a set up and like his movies it’s not very convincing, and JUST like his movies you’re really only watching them for the hapkido master himself. So the “fakey” set up part isn’t too bad, given that you can see through all of the theatrics.
Not once do you ever feel like Seagal is even remotely close to any kind of danger. In fact, it almost looks like they’re picking on people and creating situations to film. Almost every suspect is released. Almost every episode features what I’m calling “Seagal Vision”, it’s a slow motion repeat of what was just shown next to a close up shot of Seagal’s face as if his eagle eyes are spotting crimes as they drive by. Every episode also starts with a monologue by Seagal where he actually says “My name is Steven Seagal. That’s right, Steven Seagal.” There’s also an almost inevitable moment in every episode where he has to state that he’s “spent his entire life practicing martial arts,” as if we’d ever forget! This is the kind of humor you can expect to find throughout the show, so if you don’t think it’s funny, you might want to give it a pass.
Each episode follows a fairly specific pattern. We go out on patrol with Seagal and his boys three times and each time captures a different incident. For example, you might see a public disturbance, a B&E and a speeding violation that results in a hidden weapon charge. Between these three sections there is a small narrative that focuses on some part of Seagal’s life. This too plays out in three parts. So a typical episode might look like this; stop a reckless driver on patrol, cut to Seagal trying to train his dogs to protect his house, then back on patrol they might respond to a domestic disturbance. When we cut back to the dog training we can see that his dogs are coming along but they’re not quite there yet. After one more adventure on patrol, we cut back to the dog training and see that the dogs have learned something new.
These “window” into Seagal’s life is just as great as seeing him in the streets. One day he’s visiting a children’s hospital and putting on a benefit concert for the sick kids with his band and the next he’s showing his partner how to shoot. “Like the Buddhist masters of archery, push the bullet where you want it to go,” he says. Come on! That’s just genius! Two enthusiastic thumbs up for this ultimately silly show.