Manhattan AZ aired during the summer of 2000 on the USA Cable Network.
Slapstick comedy about a straight-arrow Los Angeles cop named Daniel Henderson ( Brian McNamara), who took a job as sheriff of the small town of Manhattan, Arizona, after his Greenpeace activist wife was killed during a dolphin rescue. This Manhattan was dusty and God-forsaken; Daniel's chubby son , Atticus ( Vincent Barry) hated it ( " Life sucks") and spent most of his time surfing the internet for ponography. Daniel's new boss and the man who owned Manhattan was narcissistic 1970's tv star Jake Manhattan ( played by 1970's tv star Chad Everett from Medical Center), who was apparantly unaware that nobody remembered him. Sgt. Jane ( Kate Hodge) was the frustrated guard at the gate of the local U.S. Air Force compound, who came on to Daniel. There were dumb jokes about three-legged dogs, killer cacti, dressing in women's clothing, and guntrotting, sex-obsessed locals, but not much of an audience. The buzzards that circled over Manhattan swooped in for the kill after only 8 episodes, leaving 5 additional episodes made but not aired.
A Review from The Boston Phoenix
By Robert David Sullivan
AUGUST 14, 2000:
Manhattan, AZ (Sundays at 9:30 p.m. on USA), a crude version of Northern Exposure with a big-city sheriff moving to the desert instead of a big-city doctor moving to Alaska, is more rewarding, but it still tries too hard to push the envelope. The writers overcompensate for the absence of a laugh track, making sure the most thick-headed lout realizes that, despite all the deaths on this show, this is a comedy. And like too many sit-coms without laugh tracks, Manhattan, AZ is narrated by its central character. His patter seems to include leftovers from the sophomoric Son of the Beach ("I wanted to get a stiff one, but I decided to get a drink instead") and the politically incorrect Strangers with Candy ("Senior citizens were dying faster than people in the grandstand during a Third World soccer game").
Once in a while, a genuinely surprising and funny image pokes through all this nonsense, such as a menagerie of three-legged pets in the premiere episode (the result of a rampage by a one-eyed coyote). Much of the show's potential comes from its appealing cast, including Brian McNamara as the incorruptible sheriff and Chad Everett (Medical Center) as an unscrupulous mayor who's also a has-been TV star. If they're allowed to grow into their roles a bit more, Manhattan, AZ could become that rarest of TV creatures, a show with bad taste and a good heart.
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