The time has come for me to write one last time about Steven Seagal Lawman. Throughout season one I’ve diligently tried to write weekly recaps of the series. I have had to use every bit of my martial arts discipline to keep up with my self-imposed weekly goal, and, minus having missed one episode, I have met that goal. So, for one last time, let’s visit the sordid world of Steven Seagal!
What many Seagal fans do not realize is that there is a long history of reports about our hero and his possibly exaggerated claims. A sampling of these reports include his having received martial arts training from the founder of Aikido, secretly working for the CIA, alleged ties to the mob, and a smattering of lawsuits against the actor. For example, as his star was rising in the '80s, I can remember Mr. Seagal being interviewed by Johnny Carson, and in that interview Seagal alluded to his past CIA ties. If you don’t believe me, just spend a little time on the Internet and verify some of these reports for yourself. There are at least two possibilities to explain these various stories: 1) a vast anti-Seagal conspiracy that’s spread across multiple sources exists, or 2) some of these reports could be true. Ultimately, I’ll leave it up to you to determine the veracity of these reports.
Seagal’s ongoing controversial history relates directly to the initial success of Lawman. If you remember, Lawman debuted on A&E with what has been widely reported as a record 3.5 million viewers — making it A&E’s most-watched original series premiere, ever. So what were those 3.5 million viewers looking for? Probably the Steven Seagal of the '80s and early '90s — the Above the Law, charismatic, ass-kicking machine who did put a new spin on the martial arts movie genre.
The problem is that said Seagal has not existed since 1995’s Under Siege II. Since then — and probably due mostly to problems of his own making — the big studios have avoided him. Thus, with no other viable options, our Zen hero was forced to develop a direct-to-DVD movie career.