|Posted: 24 December 2018 at 10:51am | IP Logged | 20
SPOILER WARNING for Seasons Six and Seven of HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET...
First off, I remember FAMILY and enjoyed it very much. Kristy McNichol really lit up the screen on the show, but I liked all of the performers.
I just watched a two-part HOMICIDE episode from the show's seventh season. Season seven was the one where they lost Andre Braugher as Det. Frank Pembleton, and the new hires did not set well with the series' regular viewers. Braugher was the backbone of the series and his loss would be keenly felt going forward.
I was watching the show at the time, and the storyline that kept me plugged into the show was Det. Mike Kellerman's shooting of drug dealer Luther Mahoney in Season six. After establishing Mahoney as a savvy and self-aware manipulator of the system, the show had Kellerman gun down Mahoney as he was surrendering, hands in the air, bragging about how this latest arrest wasn't going to stop him any more than any of the others had. Two other detectives were in the room when he did it, and Kellerman would go on for the rest of the season protecting them and himself from the ensuing investigation and charges based on his shooting of a suspect already in custody.
Reed Diamond played Kellerman and I was fascinated watching his character walk a razor's edge that year, as he lied and blocked the investigation in any and every way he could, earning him the enmity of John Seda's Det. Falsone and Mahoney's wildly murderous and vengeful sister, whose response included open gunfire in the squad room. In the end, Kellerman was given the choice of going to trial, taking the other two detective into court with him, or turning in his badge. He tabled his badge and asked one of the detectives he'd been protecting, Meldrick, to leave his gun and leave the room for a moment. Meldrick refused.
Diamond was back for two episodes in Season Seven as "Kellerman, P.I." and his character was instrumental in getting a rich young suspect off for murder and railroading her boyfriend into getting convicted for murder. Facing life in prison, the 15-year boy killed himself, and Kellerman was able to piece together a crucial portion of the case to discover how she was able to get him to cooperate with her for so long, right up to the moment she testified against him in court.
In these two episodes, the lingering resentment and loathing the Homicide squad has for Kellerman is palpable and his interactions with various members of the cast are electric, especially a moment in the police parking garage with Melcrick where the two exchange a few pleasantries and then Kellerman, who is on the wrong side of the case the department is investigating, thanks Meldrick for not giving him his gun that day.
Reed Diamond is one of my favorite actors based on his performances in these two episodes and throughout Season Six. I was absolutely livid when my family recorded over my tape of these two eps. back in the day. The embarrassment of that meltdown has kept me from revisiting these two episodes, despite my owning the set for a few years now. I just kept it on a shelf out of the way. I put the disc in today for no particular reason except that I knew they were excellent episodes, and what do you know? It turns out to have been a Christmas story, with the two young folks' murder of their newborn serving as a twisted sort of Holiday metaphor.
A couple of days ago, I put in the film THE ORANGES with Hugh Laurie and Leighton Meester because I'd just revisited THE INTERVENTION and had forgotten Alia Shawkat (Maybe from Arrested Development) was in THE ORANGES as well. That turned out to be a stealth Christmas (and Thanksgiving) movie as well, with a particularly amusing and satisfying scene involving lawn ornaments.
Weird how those both sort of snuck up on me. Prior to watching these, I did, with full knowledge and aforethought, revisit the Rankin-Bass production of L. Frank Baum's "LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS," one of my favorite Holiday specials. I put in the HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET disc thinking it would sort of cleanse the pallet afterwards, and smiled to find all of the Christmas decorations, Menorah displays, and holiday music everywhere throughout part two.
In any case, Reed Diamond's performance did not disappoint, despite how I'd built up these episodes in my memory. Kellerman is more even-handed here than I'd remembered, which makes his being on the wrong side more interesting. I continued to follow Diamond into JOURNEYMAN, where again, he played a conflicted police detective whose motives you had reason to mistrust. He played a dicey security chief in Joss Whedon's DOLLHOUSE. I've heard that he was on Marvel's AGENTS OF SHIELD, but have yet to check those out. Someday I'll watch him performance as a missing kid in the AFTERSCHOOL SPECIAL based on Betsy Byars's SUMMER OF THE SWANS. I've been avoiding that one since they removed the crucial element of the missing kid being mentally impaired. For the completeness's sake, I should finally view that.
In the meantime, I am glad to have finally gotten "Kellerman: P.I." re-watched, especially since it means that, strangely, I'm inadvertently enjoying an even larger amount of holiday fare than I'd intended. It's kind of a really, really minor Christmas miracle... :-)
Edited by Brian Hague on 24 December 2018 at 10:59am