‘Steven Seagal Lawman,’ premiering Wednesday on A&E


Reason to watch:
Title says it all.

What it’s about:
Sorta like the Sasquatch, there have been mysterious sightings of a very famous
and physically imposing actor dressed as a cop in Jefferson Parish — the
suburbs around New Orleans — over the last couple decades. He is a cop.
“For the past 20 years, I’ve been a cop. … My name is Steven Seagal.
That’s right, Steven Seagal.”

How often he has been a cop — considering that movies like On
Deadly Ground
or Hard to Kill couldn’t exactly make themselves — is left unsaid.
But, we learn that Seagal is a reserve sheriff’s deputy, goes out on patrols
and dispenses Zen wisdom to fellow officers. Such as: Don’t jerk your weapon,
but allow it to pull itself to its target, as though being drawn by a
mysterious universal force seeking to abolish evil.

We see him teach officers martial arts. We learn the secret
of Seagalesque enforcement is “We’re trying to take away the bad guys and
restore harmony.”

My say: One always
runs the risk of reviewing Seagal — particularly Bad Seagal, which is not
unheard of — because if the review is negative, one could get killed. Online
reports vary but generally agree that he has dispatched 420 to 520 bad guys
over his big-screen career, and there must have been a critic or two in that total.
So, let’s carefully weigh the three options here.

First, pretend I’m not me. (“Verne Gay” is
obviously a fake name.) Two, lie. (“Steven Seagal Lawman is brilliant, and his greatest tour de force since
Half Past Dead.”)
Three, tell the truth, then make out a will.

OK, here goes: Lawman
is actually pretty lame, and Seagal here is so mild-mannered that he seems more
like Jim Belushi than the toughest human disposal machine this side of Jackie

Bottom line: Watch,
if only for novelty’s sake, although it is lots of fun to see the Zen master
teach bemused, if slightly fearful, cops the fundamentals of Aikido.


Steven Segal Lawman

10 p.m. EDT Wednesday


Verne Gay writes for Newsday. Via McClatchy-Tribune News