Steven Seagal: Lawman -- An early look
by Jane Boursaw, posted Nov 28th 2009 10:33AM
When I heard that Steven Seagal had a new A&E series coming out called Steven Seagal: Lawman, I thought, oh great, another cop show starring an aging movie star. But that's not what it is at all! Ok, I'll qualify that. Yes, it IS a cop show starring an aging movie star, but probably not what you think.
Turns out that Steven Seagal, best known for his action movies like Above the Law, Hard to Kill, and Under Siege, has been quietly working under the radar for the past 20 years as a real-life deputy with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana. Part of his duties there include instructing the other officers on weapons skills and martial arts.
He tells a group of new recruits, "Some of you may know who I am, and some of you don't. I've been doing martial arts for 40 years, so you can look at me as Steven Seagal, he's a movie star, or you can look at me and say Steven Seagal, he can save my life."
The show is a cross between Cops and, well, a Steven Seagal movie. I was joking with my husband that it would be a real trip if you had an altercation at your house and Steven Seagal showed up at your door ready to break things up or haul your ass down to the station for questioning. He can certainly be a badass, but Seagal prefers to work things out without violence if at all possible. "Peace and harmony" is the mantra of his martial arts training, and you can see that in his work as a deputy.
"If a police officer is not prepared to use his weapon as a last resort, then he shouldn't be a police officer," he says.
People might tune into this show because they're curious about Seagal and what he's been up to for the past two decades. But after that novelty wears off, they'll likely keep tuning in to learn what life is like for a cop in post-Katrina New Orleans. Seagal and his fellow cops deal with everything from capturing an armed carjacker after a high-speed chase to breaking up a parking lot brawl.
When he's not working with the force, the cameras will follow him on his other pursuits, including environmental and animal rights activism, and musical performances in the New Orleans area. And he's still making movies, as well. He has three films coming up in 2010, including the Robert Rodriguez thriller Machete, in which he stars with Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez.
In Lawman, Seagal looks much the same as we've seen him in his movies, only slightly more portly and grisled. When you think about all of the things he could be doing -- retiring on a mountaintop or beachside villa spring to mind -- the fact that he's chosen to live the nitty-gritty life of a cop is pretty amazing. He's either a glutton for punishment or truly does love serving the greater good by putting his years of marshal arts and weapons training to good use.
Steven Seagal: Lawman premieres on A&E Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 10 PM ET/PT. Each 30-minute episode goes fast, and as the show's tagline says, "It's no act." Here's the extended preview.