Posted on Fri, May. 24, 2002
Philadelphia Daily News
THE WORD ON 'HACK': GET ME REWRITE!
SHOW TO BE BASED IN PHILLY COULD USE A BIT OF TINKERING
BEFORE WE GET all excited about the latest "good news" dangled to us from network TV-land - that the new series called Hack will be based and filmed in Philadelphia - let's do a reality check.
Frankly, we're not convinced this show has legs. And the city could use one, since the presence of a long-running TV show can pump prestige and big dough into the local economy of the city where it's based. Look what Cheers did for Boston. And what Laverne & Shirley did for Milwaukee.
Well, OK, maybe let's not look there.
The premise of Hack, at least for the time being, is that David Morse (who actually lives here) plays a disgraced ex-cop trying to win back his family and self-respect by solving crimes while driving a cab.
Clearly, this is not a reality show. Not with a cab driver who is a native English speaker who grew up in the city and actually knows how to find the Reading Terminal Market.
Here's another thing that strains our credulity: The Morse character is supposed to have been fired for being a bad cop.
We know that would not happen here.
There are television shows with less credible premises, but why not create one that could actually work?
So here are a few ideas that we'd pitch for improvements to the show. The advantage is you wouldn't even have to change the name.
News Hack: In this combination sitcom and cooking show, David Morse plays a journalist who favorably "reviews" restaurants owned by his friends in exchange for a lifetime of free food. Each week, he's put into situations that risk this sweetheart arrangement.
Political Hack: Each week, David Morse gets an infusion of walking-around money, which he has to spend in one episode in a desperate race to land a cushy well-paid desk job with a city authority or agency. Like Seinfeld, this is a show where nothing happens. Special guest stars include Vince "of Darkness" Fumo, Buddy Cianfrani, Jimmy Tayoun and Marty Weinberg.
Computer Hack: Each week, David Morse creates a new computer virus that threatens the U.S. economy. In each episode, Kiefer Sutherland has 24 hours to disable the virus.
Hackysack: David Morse plays a dreadlocked unwashed twentysomething who uses a small bean-filled footbag to solve crimes.