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TV Review: Steven Seagal Lawman – “The Way of the Gun”

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Martial arts movie star Steven Seagal made his reality television debut this week on A&E’s Steven Seagal Lawman. Unbeknown to his fans, the paparazzi, and apparently a good portion of Louisiana, Mr. Seagal has been a secret deputy for 20 years. How did this happen, you ask? According to Seagal, the former sheriff of Jefferson Parish invited him to teach Jefferson Parish deputies some martial arts techniques.This sheriff was so pleased with what Seagal taught that he decided to have Seagal swear in as an official part-time (read: three months a year) deputy! That was 20 years ago, and, the rest is Hollywood history.

While Mr. Seagal narrates this incredible story we are also treated to a photo montage. In one image we see a younger Seagal — probably in his late 30s — teaching law enforcement some martial arts techniques. Next we see a photo of Deputy Seagal being sworn in as an official law enforcement officer. Funny thing — his swearing in photo shows what looks like a 57-year-old Seagal which is somewhat problematic for the 20-year deputy sheriff story. Now in fairness to the show’s producers, A&E, Mr. Seagal, and his legions of fans, I might also be mistaken. It could be that I got so excited seeing Seagal in something other than a direct-to-DVD movie that I hallucinated. Then again, that excuse is probably as believable as Seagal becoming an official law enforcement officer, without having had to go through any training at a law enforcement training academy.

But I digress.

Episode one,  “The Way of the Gun,” was appropriately titled because, well, it had lots of guns. It also had lots of police cars, police, and “suspects.” In this episode we get to see Seagal in action. The episode starts with Seagal cracking wise at a police roll call. Later he hits the streets with his “team” in an effort to spread peace and harmony among the “suspects.” While spreading peace and offering sage advice, we see Seagal in a high-speed car chase… well, sort of. Thankfully the department’s insurance company must have made Colonel John Fortunato do all the driving. This left Seagal to play the role of backseat driver, and play it well he did. So well in fact that couch potatoes are treated to Colonel Fortunato crabbing Seagal out for telling him how to drive! Later we see Seagal help chase off some drunken guy who was harassing people at a local tavern. After that Seagal participates in capturing some “suspicious person” who fled from the police.

While on the street, we are treated to Seagal imparting knowledge like a Zen master. We learn that due to having studied the martial arts for so long, Mr. Seagal now has keen powers of human observation. So keen in fact that he can tell what a criminal is going to do before they do it! Too bad those same powers did not help our Zen master predict his direct-to-DVD movie career. But, again, I digress.

The highlight of the episode may also be the most believable part of the episode. Apparently Steven Seagal is a crack shot and we get to see him use his marksmanship skills to help prepare Captain Alex Norman for his annual shooting test. Who knew there was such a thing as Zen shooting? Steven Seagal did! We also get to see Seagal shoot two bullets in the same hole and also shoot the tip off of a match — all firearm feats that your typical police officer has to do while on duty [insert sarcasm]. You’ll have to watch the episode to find out if Seagal’s coaching helps Captain Norman pass his test, but I will give you a priceless Segal quote: “The Zen masters in Zen archery too, they don’t pull the arrow they push the arrow. It’s the same with that pistol.”

As good as that quote is, the Seagal cheesy quote of the week has to be this one: "Intelligence is golden. " Indeed it is, Mr. Seagal, indeed it is.

So does A&E have a hit on their hands? Only time will tell. I will say that this is Steven Seagal’s best performance since his role as “Cock Puncher” in 2008's The Onion Movie. I also will say that I plan to watch the next episode — if for no other reason than to see if Colonel John Fortunato finally gets fed up with Seagal’s back seat driving and decides to taser him!

Again, only time will tell.

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About Bob Patterson

  • Jordan Richardson

    Eye on Seagal = Greatest. Feature. Ever.

  • Bill Fisk

    I love it!!!

  • Dennis G. Carrier

    I’ve always liked Steven Seagal, but this Law Enforcement thing is kind of ridiculous. I respect his helping LA Law Enforcement, but I believe being on the job should be for professionals who commit to the job and have mouths to feed; not millionaire movie stars. I’ve lived up north and I’ve lived in the South. Only in the South could this happen, where if your brother-in-law gets elected Sheriff, you can become a Deputy. There are guys I’ve read about that had serious criminal offenses and even did time and got a Deputy’s badge in Dixie. That stuff doesn’t happen up north, where in most of the States the Courts and State Government have stricter control over who gets a badge. This stuff trivializes law enforcement with a tabloid flare. And here’s the real paradox-isn’t Seagal supposed to be a Buddhist holy man? He was annointed some years ago in an Eastern tradition as a re-incarnated ancient priest. Buddhists are not supposed to carry guns or threaten people with them. Which tells me much of Seagal’s public personal through the years has been a big pile of BS. Much like Duane Chapman, a person I don’t take very seriously either. I can like some one and laugh at them at their outrageous BS at the same time. Steven doesn’t want to drink with me. I just wonder if he has any buddies that actually don’t put up with this nonsense and bust him down to size once in a while. Every guy needs that or his head gets to the size of a dirigible. I think Seagal needs that really badly right now…….

  • Dennis G. Carrier

    Just wanted to add; there are criminal jerks out there that don’t care about going to the joint, and would love to have the Rep of being the guy who capped Steven Seagal. That puts the law enforcement around Seagal in danger in this ridiculous and irresponsible farce of a show.

  • http://strikingthoughts.wordpress.com/ Bob Patterson

    Dennis –

    Thanks for the feedback! Yes, not only is he a Buddhist but he’s also claimed to have worked for the CIA and possibly had mob ties. He also sings the velvet blues and has cut a couple of albums.

    Something tells me Seagal is not in harms way a lot. I have a funny feeling that due to liability issues he’s kept in the back where he can’t mess things up. Most of what we see on the show is probably clever editing.

  • http://kansascityfightingfitness.com/ Gary Huddleston

    Steven Seagal! What a star and contributing to a good cause too! I am impressed, he is a dark horse. Mr. Seagal is multi talented though. Buddhist, movie star, martial artist, CIA, and a songster. What more can a man pack into his life. I would suggest this man does enjoy a varied interesting life.