Steven Seagal Lawman--the A&E reality show that premiered last night starring the Mansier model, fading action movie star and Orange County Sheriff's Department reserve deputy reject--is the greatest, best television programming God ever gave man.
Here's why . . .
1.) Steven Seagal delivers Zen Master voiceovers with words of wisdom like, "When the world is speeding by for others, I see things for what they are." That's some deep shit, brother!
2) Steven Seagal brushes aside any questions Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, sheriff's academy recruits may have about his training them--but never dare speak on camera--by referring to himself in the third person: "So you can look at me as Steven Seagal a movie star and say, 'Hey, Steven Seagal movie star,' or you can wipe that s*@# out of your mind and say, 'Steven Seagal can save my life.' 'Cause that's why I'm here."
3) Steven Seagal teaches his fellow Jefferson Parish deputies the finer points of the Aikido to safely take perps down. Their safety is what Steven Seagal is all about.
4) Steven Seagal does not bogart his Zen breathing techniques, teaching them to one deputy struggling to make a shooting score of at least 96--lest he lose his service revolver. The portly copper shoots a 97. Thanks, Steven Seagal!
5) Steven Seagal cannot abide that a tall perp placed gingerly in the back of a sheriff's cruiser has become so upset he kicked out the side window. "He's not finding his Zen," laments Steven Seagal.
6) Steven Seagal knows the streets. "These are the 'jects. You know, the projects," Steven Seagal tells his now-clued-into-the-lingo-yo partner.
7) Steven Seagal may have been the lead actor in Under Siege, Hard to Kill and Above the Law, but Steven Seagal wasn't just acting: "A cock of the head, a foot planted forward or back, a flick of the wrist--they all tell me something." Given the figure Steven Seagal and half the JPSO force cuts in their uniforms, they are being told, "Let's break for lunch, fellas."
8) Steven Seagal knows how to talk with regular folks. Steven Seagal doesn't pull any of that movie star attitude shit. After deputies pull over some black guys who were doing nothing wrong, run their names and the serial number of a handgun one of them had on him, and discover all of them and the firearm were clean, Steven Seagal explains to the gun owner, "We're looking for murderers. We're not looking for people like you. Alright? You hear me?" The man answers sheepishly, "I hear you," prompting Steven Seagal to plop one of his ham hands onto the fellow's shoulder and say cheerfully, "Alright man."
9) Steven Seagal knows his holes. Riding with one of the "hand-selected elite team of deputies" Steven Seagal rolls with, Steven Seagal excitedly barks from the passenger seat in hot pursuit, "To the right!" That draws an annoyed reply of, "Steven, just let me drive" from his partner. "Just telling you where the holes are," Steven Seagal gently informs.
10) Steven Seagal IS NOT doing this as a publicity stunt, having worked "major cases" for 20 years in Jefferson Parish, where he has achieved the rank of Reserve Deputy Chief. Ignore that "Steven Seagal Gets to Play Cop" crap in the LA Times, where entertainment reporter Scott Glover implies that's a ceremonial title Seagal received while shooting a movie in Louisiana 20 years ago and that he's just one among 200 other department volunteers.
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Writes Glover: "As the actor speaks, a black-and-white photo of him raising his right hand in what looks like a swearing-in ceremony appears on the screen, creating the impression it was taken when he first joined the department. At closer inspection, however, it appears the photo was taken 20 years--and at least 20 pounds--after the fact. Seagal says he attended a police academy in Los Angeles and has a certificate from Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST), an organization that accredits police officers. POST officials in California and Louisiana said they had no record of Seagal being certified. Attempts to reach Seagal were unsuccessful and a spokesman for the show did not respond to queries about his qualifications."
You must understand that the Times has been out to get Seagal since before 2002, when he was the Hollywood client at the center of a threat to then Times reporter Anita Busch. While investigating the action star's ties to organized crime, Busch was threatened by ex-con Alexander Proctor, who told an FBI informant that he had been hired to spook the reporter by Anthony Pellicano, the so-called "private detective to the stars" who was in Seagal's employ before being sent to the Big House.
11) Steven Seagal is FUCKING STEVEN SEAGAL!
STEVEN SEAGAL LAWMAN IS SHOWN AT 10 P.M. WEDNESDAYS ON A&E. BUT YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT. IF YOU DIDN'T, HERE'S THE TRAILER.