'Steven Seagal Lawman': Camp-classic TV at its finest

Watch out, evildoers. That lumbering tree-trunk of a man with the scary, hatchet-shaped hairline: He’s got a badge! He’s got a gun! He’s got a soft little voice! It’s Steven Seagal Lawman!

If you missed last night’s premiere of this reality show, you missed one of the best cop comedies since the first Police Academy — except I don’t think this one was intended to be a laugh-getter. For over 20 years, it turns out, the martial-arts action-hero has been a deputy for the Jefferson Parrish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana. Only now has he agreed to let cameras follow him on his appointed rounds. Lucky us.

Seagal has never been known for either his sense of humor or an awareness that his deeply-spiritual-knock-out-artist image is pretty silly. When he appeared on The View earlier this week to promote Lawman, he sat between the gals, a serene Buddha stuffed into a leather jacket, answering questions from Whoopi, Joy, and the rest with a furrowed brow and deadly seriousness, as though he was being quizzed on the mysteries of human existence.

Similarly, on Lawman last night, Seagal seemed utterly clueless about how he came off. Sitting in the passenger seat of a squad car roaring off to a crime scene, he starts giving his cop-partner directions… that the partner calmly ignored. It seemed clear that this good officer had probably been led down a few one-way streets the wrong way by following the star’s peremptory orders in the past.

I loved the way Seagal arrived at a crime scene at which the perp was already on the ground. Heaving his bulk out of the squad car, he ran over and yelled, “I’ll get him! Taser! Taser!” You could hear faint cop voices in the background saying, “No! No!” The poor suspect was — did I say this already? — on the ground, in the process of being cuffed.

Man, I haven’t laughed this much since the pilot of Modern Family. When it comes to Steven Seagal Lawman, I’m arrested.

Did you watch, by any chance?

(You can follow me on Twitter.)

Comments (127 total) Add your comment
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  • Jill

    I did watch a little. I had no idea it was even on; just caught it while flicking through channels. I liked how he was “teaching” a guy how to shoot a paper target and it looked like SS could barely bring his hands together in front of his own bulk.

    • mark in nyc

      gotta disagree with you Jill. While I found the whole show very silly (it’s Celebrity Cops!), Segal can shoot. Placing two bullets in the same place, knocking the head off of a q-tip.
      It was the only part of the show that I thought he really did know what he was doing.

      • Marcus

        I have to disagree. That was obviously trick photography. They never once showed him shooting and his targets in the same shot. Only in split screen. A cheap TV trick.

    • lori

      Forget about the targets, what I didnt like is how the police were so weak-kneed and pathetic. What happened to the good old days when cops would bust heads and worry about “how it looks” later? Thats the only way criminal scum is gonna get the message.

  • Will Harris

    Funny how I’m looking at an EW Picks for “The Truth About Binge Drinking” to the right of this piece, since I was just thinking what a great drinking game you could make out of “Lawman.” If you only drank on the occasions when Seagal says the word “zen” or references the martial arts, you’d still be drunk long before the closing credits rolled.

    • Blancmange

      Will, I was thinking the same thing about a drinking game. Every time he mentions his years as a martial artist, take a big pull of a Hurricane. After all, that’s THE drink in New Orleans. I was just there in October, which is the main reason I watched Lawman. Another possible drinking game: Every time he sees something and it mystically lights up in the dark. That wouldn’t been lights out for drinking participants.

  • Sherra Clay

    Watched it with my son, a cop. Wasn’t impressed AT ALL! The paper target looked like it was about 10 feet away – a blind man could shoot it! SS is so full of himself and is making a fool out of the parish.

    • Ang

      My brother is also a cop for JPSO. This show is a disservice to the people who place their lives on the line everyday to keep us safe. I know several of the cops that worked on this program, all of the cop work had been completed prior to the ZEN MASTERS arrival. He showed up just in time to put cuffs on and put them in the car. Which is not a bad deal because then he had plenty of time to sign autographs. Trust me when I say his life was never in danger. The person that cocmmented earlier about his officers being retired you are almost right. They havenot worked the steets in years and the driver is the public relations officer.

      • gregg

        Sounds like to me that you are a jealous Cajun…….. lol

      • gregg

        ok, your brothers a cop, good. What are you? What you are telling us is hearsay. The deputies in the show granted may be near retirement but they aren’t on the internet whining like old ladies…..LOL

    • gregg

      no offense but i know alot of people who aren’t cops who can shoot the dust off a knats ass dude…….

    • gregg

      Ok, your son is a cop! so what! Because he carries a badge makes him a expert on television shows? get a life miss jealous

  • Laine

    Will, I was thinking the same thing. This show begs to be a drinking game!

  • lori

    The roving gangs of menacing, armed blacks makes it look like a REAL nice place to live.

    • GP

      Wow. Do you just hang out on EW.com all day waiting for your next opportunity to be a racist twit?

      • lori

        What’s racist? Didnt you watch the show? Those streets looked rough and scary to me. When they were arresting those 2 guys, there was a crowd of black guys approaching down the street.

    • gregg

      you have punk blacks in all cities. Whats your point?????/

  • Kelly

    I live in this parish that he is deputy of and I had never heard he was deputy for 20 years until yesterday….I have it DVR’d, but haven’t watched it yet…..should be funny.

    • lori

      You do? Well, sleep with one eye open and perhaps take some gun range trainin yourself! I’ll stick with Conneticut.

      • Jess

        Really Lori? Stay in CT? What about Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury, Danbury? Crimes all over the place. In Cheshire you have the raping and killing of Dr. P’s family. No crime in CT? Really Lori? What do you read? The Courant? You have absolutely no business talking about crime in any part of the country until you look at our great Nutmeg State and Jodi’s minions.

      • lori

        Never said there wasnt crime in Ct Jess. Just that there is a lot less violent street crime and its actually safe (in most places) at night.

      • Alissa

        Jess, as someone living in CT…I agree that we have crime, especially in the places you mentioned, but overall, CT’s a pretty suburban place. our crime rate is laughable compared to, say, NYC, Detroit, etc.

      • mtraptor

        Whatever, troll.

    • Michelle

      Just because you live there doesn’t mean they have to inform you of who they hire or fire

  • Stage Left

    I’m sure the perp was laughing at him also.

  • Kelly

    To Lori…..Like any city, there are bad and good places to live….of course the crime lingers in the bad parts, and that is what will be shown on TV.
    So don’t assume the entire city is crap until you see it for yourself and visit. The city has muli-million dollar homes as well as the “ghetto”….recognize beotch.

  • Tina

    The View interview was a classic! I was laughing at how ridiculous serious Seagal was being…like he was on Nightline.

  • Marty

    Can anyone spell – M O N E Y. Seriously – when has he even made a new movie

    • Chris

      Not that I like him or anything but he does still put out movies on a consistent basis. Just nothing in the theaters, it’s all straight to video.

    • N8

      When has he ever made a new movie? The guy comes out with more direct to DVD movies a year than most actors put out in a lifetime! lol!

  • Synth

    when i saw him on the view, i couldn’t stop cracking up. his walk to the stage alone was worth watching. can’t wait to check this out. the guy’s delusional.

  • CuZ187

    It is easy to just type these comments. I would like anyone of you say these things in segals face. Typical bunch of cowards. Steven Segal is HARDER than Hard. Be cool.

    • Tina

      He’s harder than Van Damme, but not as hard as Courtney Cox.

      • bubba

        But he’s not as manic as Courtney, and at least as good an actor.

    • Meryl Streep’s menstrual blood

      I would call him a dufus to his face. Let him try something, I would sue him for all he’s worth!
      On second thought, considering his “career” of late, I would probably just end up with a box full of direct to video DVD’s I’ve never heard of, and half eaten rice cakes from several aborted attempts to lose weight.

      • npt

        streep is past menopause…no blood, oh, duh, guess that’s the joke

  • CuZ187

    Forgot to mention this show was good, and I will continue to watch every week.

  • H.Vangchhia

    I watched it and loved it.

  • David Barker

    For a 58 year old man, he was impressive. I wish the show had better editing, because you could see that Steven was more worried how he came across on the camera than his partners were. Many Many Props to you Steven, I’ve never been a fan of yours, But I am now. Good American, Good Cop, and just doing the right thing. Bravo!!!!

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