Wiseguy (Season 1, Part 2)

Season 1, Part 2 of the unusual ’80s drama continues w/ the always gorgeous OCB agent, Vinnie Terranova (Ken Wahl), going undercover as a bodyguard to unstable billionairre Mel Proffit (Kevin Spacey) in Vancouver.  Proffit is into guns and drugs big time, we discover over this series of eps.

Fans of Spacey are in for a treat here, b/c aside from Mel’s drug dependency and eccentric ways, there are a FEW believable and touching moments, too!  Vinnie gets himself wrapped up w/ Mel’s stunning younger sister Susan (Joan Severance, a former model).  I was surprised to see such capable acting from a novice (too bad that she’s mainly remembered for her looks and skimpy outfits).

Mel’s most trusted associate (aside from Susan) is hitman Roger Lococco (Canadian actor William Russ; he later played the father on Boy Meets World).  Lococco, a Vietnam vet who operates according to his own code, is VERY intriguing.  Vinnie is mystified by him, yet feels like they’re connected somehow.  We eventually learn that Roger is MORE than what he seems.  Russ is a strong actor, so able to create a fine foil (or perhaps, frenemy) for Wahl.

We also see more of Agent Terranova’s field supervisor, Frank McPike (Jonathan Banks), in this arc.  He becomes vulnerable, and more likeable, after his wife asks for a separation.  McPike, who has a young son, gets a love interest.  Vinnie calls on The Lifeguard (Jim Byrnes) more often to discuss his true feelings, not merely business.  They finally meet each other!

Yes, this show has action: guns, fistfights, explosions, etc.  But what keeps me watching are the interesting (sometimes wacky, admittedly) characters that Vinnie has to deal w/ on a daily basis.  He gets involved in their lives, sometimes TOO much.  Though it’s set in the late ’80s, the show is not 100% gung-ho about the police, government, etc.  Vinnie admits in this story arc that he doesn’t want this type of life for long; he thinks of a wife, kids, and wanting to “worry about crabgrass.”  If there was a modern show like this, I’d probably tune in!

Here is my earlier review of Season 1, Part 1.

https://knightleyemma.com/2011/11/21/wiseguy-season-1-part-1/

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