The Commish is a TV series about an everyman police commissioner in a New York State suburban town, his job and his home life. In Episode #3.18: Security the Commish tries to prove to the tenants of an apartment complex that private security can be a cure worse than the illness. Callum plays a small-time criminal. His role is brief, but good. It’s nearly a preview of many of his roles to come (bad guy or cop “with an attitude”). One of those “you watch it for Callum’s parts and can forget the rest” movies, but the show itself is not so bad compared to let’s say Viper. Coherent with the realistic approach, there is no complete and forceful happy end at the end of the episode.
The IMDB page: The Commish (1991 – 1995)
Created by Stephen J. Cannell and Stephen Kronish, starring Michael Chiklis before he got better known as the hero of The Shield. In the five Seasons, 92 episodes, many actors of Canadian 6 Degrees fame have been part of the cast. Peter Outerbridge played a police officer in 6 episodes; Babz Chula had a recurring role in the 1st season, so did Nicholas Lea in the first 3 seasons. Kate (or Karen) Twa, John Pyper-Ferguson have made appearances. Several actors are regular of Da Vinci’s Inquest like Ian Tracey who was a regular and plays along Callum in this episode. The series gained several nominations and awards.
"Security" (episode #3.18 - 1994) was directed by Miles Watkins and written by Robert Cochran.
Cast / Characters:
Callum Keith Rennie
Commissioner Anthony 'Tony' J. Scali
Officer Ronnie Lopez
Officer Jon Hibbs
Officer Stan Kelly
Det. Cyd Madison
Runtime: 60 min. (in fact, 48 min.)
IMDB rating: 8,4/10 (36 votes) for Callum’s episode (7.0/10 from 189 votes for the overall series)
Genre: Comedy / Crime / Drama
9 user comments on the series on the IMDB page:
"The Commish" was one of the best shows in the early 90s. Michael Chiklis was wonderful and extremely believable in the title role. Also, the supporting cast was always very good. The writing was excellent in the beginning until perhaps the 3rd season. Then, it turned into the usual Cannell fare. Mr. Cannell always wrote/produced excellent shows in the beginning, but once he and his production company ran out of ideas, they looked to current events and/or clichés to pull them through. This is true of "The A-Team," "Hunter," "Night Rider," "Rockford Files," and, of course, the cliché-in-and-of-itself, "21 Jump Street." "The Commish" was flying high until each episode became a carbon-copy of the last one. Of course, that is the fate of many a TV show and is to be disregarded. All this aside, it was an excellent show that made Saturday nights enjoyable for a few years.
Comments range from “pleasant” to “exceptional”. They all can be found here.
Callum Quotient: 10%. Three scenes he’s in, 5 minutes total, but he’s not an anonymous extra and even when he’s not on screen, his character’s actions are discussed.
- Konachek, holding a knife to Christine's throat:
What’s your name? I said, what’s your name?... Christine? It’s a pretty name. It’s a name I like.
- The Commish to the caretaker of the apartments’ complex, about the security guy they’ve hired :
Where did you find this one? In a bad cop show?
- Nichols, the security guy, to Christine, after she’s been assaulted by Konichek:
There are two kinds of people: the good guys and the bad guys. The guy who assaulted you, that’s a bad guy. I’m a good guy.
- Nichols to Christine: You are too honest to defend yourself. May be that’s why God created men like me.
- Although set in Upstate New York town in the fictional town of Eastbridge, the show was filmed in and around Vancouver, British Columbia..
- The character for Tony Scali was based on the real-life 30th Commissioner of New York City's Department of Correction, Anthony Schembri
- Produced by ABC Productions / Three Putt Productions / aka Productions / Stephen J. Cannell Productions
- In the lift (compare with Tru Calling)
- Identitykit:: would you have recognized Callum from the drawing?
- The fight in the Hungry Oyster (compare with Mutant X)
- The scene at the chain fence
- The lineup
Do I want to show this to my parents / friends / co-workers?
All in all, this TV show was very good
It was pretty good
It was just your average cop show
It was bad
It was very bad
Unexpected in a cop show, no violence at all
Looking closely, you may find some
A lot of violence
LOTS of violence
This was hilarious
I found it quite funny
It had its funny moments
Not funny at all, or not meaning to be
Should be X-rated
Rather sexual heavy
Your average prime time sexual content
The only (!) sexual content is Callum
No sex at all, not even mentioned
Nope, not at all
Very little and very short
Quite a lot
So much it looks like the show is about sexual violence
So, Michael Konichek?
He’s the hero and he saves the day
He’s a good guy!
Well, he doesn’t harm anyone, doesn’t steal anything, so…
He’s what’s usually called a bad guy, yes
Very bad guy, even by the standards we’ve been accustomed to
How many people does he kill?
One it seems, but I have to watch again
Several, and not nicely
He kills people like others eat donuts, and not a few!
Is he crazy?
Crazily cute, but not crazy at all
Well he has his weird moments, but one wouldn’t say crazy
He definitely has strong tendencies
Bordering on mental illness
Hot like the hottest thing
In most scenes, definitely
How could he be not hot?
Not hot-hot, but you can’t help finding him cute
Difficult to believe, but that’s not his main quality here. Not at all.
What about queer?
Of course he is!
Doesn’t he look like a hustler in the lineup?
He clearly uses his charm on guys and knows how to do it
Yes but he does it on girls too, so?
No way! Did you see the way he checked out the waitress?
Does he die?
You really want to know? Are you sure? Really sure? Well, then. (highlight to read)
::He does, about half of the movie, which curiously is less interesting from then on.::
Articles on the series
This series becomes more interesting when you consider that Tony is based on a real-life police commissioner from New York. That guy wowed co-creators Stephen J. Cannell and Stephen Kronish with his knowledge on a diverse array of subjects and remarkable anecdotes from his professional life. His personality seemed perfectly suited for a different type of cop show, with a lead actor who wasn't tall, dark, and handsome. Instead, Cannell and Kronish lobbied hard with the network for the unknown Chiklis, whose regular-guy appearance fit the character. Although catching the bad guys was still the primary motive, this show also provides some less-serious moments for the police commissioner. …/… The Commish lasted through four full seasons and several full-length movies during a fifth year. It will not stand as the most groundbreaking series ever to hit the airwaves, but it is especially memorable for the remarkable acting from star Michael Chiklis. Theresa Saldana also does a great job in making Rachel a real person who does far more than act as a cop's wife…/… The strong cast makes even the most familiar stories somewhat interesting, which earns this series a solid recommendation.
From a review of the Season 1 DVD.
A dedicated Wikipedia page
neu111 (!) posted two picspams here and here.
DVD’s are available for the series Seasons 1 & 2 only, in spite of petitions for the release of further seasons. In May 2007, Anchor Bay confirmed they were not planning on releasing any further seasons of The Commish. On IMDB Boards, someone mentions they’ve “taped Commish season 3-5 on dvd off Lifetime when they ran in reruns back in 1996” and made them available on ebay.
All comments and additional information welcome!
ETA: Added one quote from Callum's character, because c_regalis requested one!