Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tell Them Willie Boy is Here

The Cleaner (A&E, Tuesdays, 10:00 PM) comes accompanied by a strangely misleading title, a batch of portentous must-see trailers, and (uh-huh) yet another lead character who carries on an ongoing conversation with God. Benjamin Bratt is William Banks, a hardcore ex-junky now devoted to rescuing, babysitting, and kidnapping druggies of all shapes and sizes, all the while trying to redeem his sins and pay the rent under the doubting eyes of his seen-it-all wife (Amy Price-Francis). For all the drug culture similitude the show strives to evoke, it tugs on the logic meter when Willie Boy calls together his team (trust fund cutey Grace Park, shaky-puff Esteban Powell), and they make elaborate plots to achieve their old school interventions, and still end up in the midst of punch-outs and snatch-and-grabs. Through it all Bratt’s central figure, as potentially annoying as he’s drawn, manages to remain somehow likable, although I think this particular vehicle is highly unlikely to catch on.

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