CBS (ended 1990)


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Wiseguy Fan Reviews (9)

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out of 10
162 votes
  • Vinnie Terranova goes undercover for the OCB, great character-driven show. Not about action or car chases, just people.

    Sadly, this show seems forgotten now, but at one time it seemed poised to be huge, the word of mouth was great, critics loved it. I had a Wiseguy T-shirt and a poster, so someone was conscious of marketing it. It was the first of the "arc" shows. What I mean is: now you the viewer take for granted that what happens in one episode of say "24" affects the next episode. But back then networks wanted shows that could be rerun in any order, it made them easier to sell. Wiseguy broke that rule and For three years we saw Vinnie Terranova evolve, endure hardships and grow as a person. This was a show based on character and the people we saw in it every week were very real, flawed, vulnerable. Though the show had a regular cast of three, some story arcs focused more on guest characters and this kept the show fresh. No two episodes or arcs are alike. The writing, directing and acting were top-notch. This is the polar opposite of a silly program like the A team, don't be discouraged by the fact that the two shows were produced by the same folks, this one was for grown-ups. The first season was the best but 2 and 3 were also high quality drama. The ratings declined after star Ken Wahl departed in season four and after a few weeks MIA, i realized my favorite show had been cancelled after the first arc of seas 4. That was 1990, a disapointing reunion was aired in 1996.
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