Mike Olshansky - Hack

David Morse - Hack

Calgary Herald July 18, 2002 Thursday Final Edition Copyright 2002 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest Global Communications Corp. All Rights Reserved

Calgary Herald

July 18, 2002 Thursday Final Edition

SECTION: Arts & Style; Pg. E5
LENGTH: 617 words

Lone Ranger, Spider-Man have nothing on Hack: CBS creates an Everyman hero out of former cop

SOURCE: Calgary Herald
BYLINE: Bob Blakey

Nobody's calling it a remake of The Lone Ranger, but the new fall drama Hack has that timeless appeal in its story of a heroic man coming to the rescue of people in peril.

Hack -- airing this fall on Global (Ch. 7-2) and CBS (Ch. 12) at 10 pm. Fridays -- stars David Morse (The Green Mile, St. Elsewhere) as disgraced Philadelphia cop Mike Olshansky, who now makes a living driving a taxi.

In the pilot's opening scenes, Olshansky uses a tire iron and his fists to save a businessman who is being mugged at night by three gang members.

The next day at the airport, Olshansky picks up a distraught passenger who's looking for his runaway teenage daughter, whom he believes has been lured to Philadelphia by an Internet predator. Not knowing the cabbie is an ex-cop, but suspecting he's streetwise, the man offers a big chunk of cash to help in his search. Olshansky turns him down, but later reconsiders, and both men enter a seedy underworld of tenements and pornography.

In a TV season that's shaping up to be heavy with ensemble dramas about teams of crime-fighting cops, Hack stands alone, somewhat like Clint Eastwood's Man without a Name character in those 1960s "spaghetti westerns."

David Koepp, Hack's creator, jokingly allows there's even a similarity to Spider-Man "but without the web slinging so much -- more with a really great stereo than superpower skill."

The drama, he says, "does sort of follow a superhero dynamic" based on a character's need to amend a wrong.

The series opener reveals that Olshansky was caught skimming drug money seized in busts, a common practice in his police department. However, he refused to squeal on his fellow cops and took all the heat, ending his career.

One of the policemen who's grateful for his silence, Marcellus Washington (Andre Braugher), helps Olshansky with confidential data in the missing-teen search, and it's implied the detective will continue to grudgingly assist his old friend.

Another series regular is Father Tom (Grizz) Grzelak, played by early Law & Order cast member George Dzundza.

Hack looks like a hit because of slick writing and the star. Morse is convincing in the tough-guy role, he's tall and intimidating, and wastes few words. And while his facial expressions stay in a narrow emotional range, that technique never harmed Eastwood.

"I think (my) character is potentially really deep and fun to play," Morse says.

"He's complicated. He potentially can go in any direction.

"There are moments that may push logic, but that's the stuff you work out with the director and on the set."

LOAD-DATE: July 18, 2002



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