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Battery Park aired from March until April 2000 on NBC.
One-liner's abounded in this silly cop comedy, set in New York City's Battery Park district. Captain Dunleavy( Elizabeth Perkins)was the tough, sarcastic boss who was mostly interested in advancing her political career, and Ben ( Justin Louis), the level-headed chief detective with an annoyingly impeccable record. Others at the station house included smart, flirty Elena ( Jacqueline Obraders), self-absorbed publicity hound Kevin ( Robert Mailhouse)( often seen reading Variety), slightly dense Carl( Jay Paulson), and the overeager team of Stig and Derek ( Frank Grillo, Bokeem Woodbine), who had to be reined in before they blew away every perp. Ray ( Sam Lloyd)was the precinct's sad sack perpetual victim and Maria ( Wendy Moniz), a mob boss' cute daughter whom Ben was unwisely dating.
This sitcom was created by Gary David Goldberg of Family Ties and Spin City.
A Review from variety
March 21, 2000 11:00PM PT
By Phil Gallo
NBC sent out for review the second episode of Gary David Goldberg’s cop comedy due to the reshooting of scenes in the first episode. Goldberg and NBC know there’s a kernel of quality in “Battery Park,” but getting an ensemble comedy to gel at lightning speed, even with special handling, is well nigh impossible. Episode reviewed, which airs March 30, weaves through painfully worn-out jokes in the name of exposition and then suddenly shifts gears to show off its comic, and poignant, potential.
Ben (Justin Louis), the cop with what’s termed an annoyingly impeccable record, is smitten by Maria (Wendy Moniz), the daughter of a dead mob boss. Once they begin to date — in the middle of the show — it becomes a surveillance free-for-all that manages to bring in elements of a slew of police show predecessors: “Police Squad,” “Barney Miller” and “Hill Street Blues.” It’s in the second half of the show that “Battery Park” breaks from its fomulaic one-two of straight lines and jokes to elevate these plain-clothes members of New York City’s finest into full-fledged people.
Madeline (Elizabeth Perkins) is the overbearing commander with an ear for sarcasm and the eye of a watchful mother. She continually cautions her charges, particularly Derek (Bokeem Woodbine) and Stig (Frank Gillo), about rights and wrongs; these two overzealously blast their way through every assignment. What Madeline lacks are people skills, which opens the door for her more caring officers.
Carl (Jay Paulson) is running in a collection of hookers when he stumbles upon his high school English teacher (Michelle Clunie) — the brood’s madam. Without condemnation, he lavishes praise on her teaching skills and the effect she had on his life, while the juxtaposition of sentimentality and absurdity is resonant.
Elena (Jacqueline Obradors), meanwhile, takes pity on the squad room’s resident crime victim (Sam Lloyd as Ray) and even agrees to have dinner with him after she learns he’s a gourmet cook. Her police partner, Kevin (Robert Mailhouse), is stunned; it’s clear that he longs for a romantic diversion with her.
“Battery Park” has no interest in solving crime, and Sheriff Andy Taylor probably put more people behind bars in Mayberry than these cops ever will. To a certain degree, it’s “Sports Night” moved to a precinct. Blessed with one of the most-coveted timeslots in television, series needs to find a consistent tone to find its own audience — the second half of the second episode demonstrates that it is possible.
NBC, Thurs. March 23, 9:30 p.m.
Production: Taped in Studio City by UBU Prods. in association with DreamWorks Television. Executive producer, Gary David Goldberg; supervising producers, Chris Henchy, Jane O'Brien; director, Andy Cadiff.
Crew: Camera, Mikel Neiers; production designer, Michael Hynes; editor, Andy Chulack; casting, Allison Jones, Bonnie Finnegan. 30 MIN.
Cast: Madeline Dunleavy - Elizabeth Perkins Ben Hardin - Justin Louis Derek Finley - Bokeem Woodbine Elena Vera - Jacqueline Obradors Anthony Stigliano - Frank Grillo Kevin Strain - Robert Mailhouse Carl Zernial - Jay Paulson
A Review From The New York Times
TELEVISION REVIEW; A Sitcom in a Precinct With Inventive Brutality
By ANITA GATES
Published: March 23, 2000
Capt. Madeleine Dunleavy is a police chief America could love to hate. Played by the sharp and sophisticated Elizabeth Perkins, the last person you might have ever expected to see in a sitcom, Madeleine has, let's say, a strong sense of self.
When a frightened citizen spots her in an otherwise empty area of the police station and asks if she is there to take his statement, she answers, ''Does this look like the haircut of someone who takes statements?'' Madeleine desperately wants her precinct to have the lowest homicide rate so she'll have a shot at becoming mayor. When a shooting threatens to change that statistic, Madeleine comes up with an angle. Standing in the hospital room of a Mafia boss in critical condition, Madeleine announces to her underling (Justin Louis): ''He lives, we're the safest precinct. He dies, we're the precinct that cares.'' The mafioso's daughter is feet away, sitting at his bedside.
Madeleine is the key figure in ''Battery Park,'' the new NBC sitcom from Gary David Goldberg and Chris Henchy. The show is not as original as ''Barney Miller,'' the last prime-time comedy hit set in a police station, but it has possibilities and a strong cast. Ms. Perkins is delicious, and Mr. Louis is charming as the far warmer, more sensitive of the two. Bokeem Woodbine is appealing as Derek, a police officer who wants his job to be more like an action movie. He requests, for instance, ''an amphibious assault vehicle'' for patrolling the wharf but is told that his Chevy Lumina will have to do.
The real laughs on ''Battery Park'' don't come often enough, but some of them are solid. Derek and Stig (Frank Grillo) strike a blow for defendable police brutality when they take a recalcitrant suspect, in his undershirt and boxer shorts, and put him through an airline-style security X-ray machine. Derek announces his diagnosis: ''He's a smoker, possible hernia, and he likes to swallow balloons of heroin.'' The pilot also includes what may be the first ''Sopranos'' joke on a network series.
Sam Lloyd stands out in the pilot as a hapless crime victim whose complaint is that ''women are breaking into my apartment to have sex.'' And when told that some men might think that was not a problem, he explains, ''I'm not there.''
For more on Battery Park go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_Park_%28TV_series%29
For the Official Website of Elizabeth Perkins go to http://elizabeth-perkins.org/
For a review of Battery Park go to https://web.archive.org/web/20030104005926/http://www.holecity.com/asp/tvhole.asp?issue=14&sec=2&hole=3
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Keywords: Battery Park Cast