Mike Olshansky in Hack

David Morse - Hack

July 18, 2002
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Encore Section

by Joanne Weintraub (Journal Sentinel TV Critic.)

Unlike the title character of David Koepp's Spider-Man, the hero of the Pewaukee-born writer's new CBS drama has a very prosaic way of getting around.

But the two have more in common than you'd guess. Koepp told critics Tuesday. Hack's Mike Olshansky (David Morse) is, as the title of the fall drama suggests, a cab driver. He's also a disgraced ex-cop who prowls the gloomier districts of Philadelphia dispensing vigilante justice.

The show "does sort of follow a superhero dynamic, which is that someone who feels like they've done something wrong needs to make amends" Koepp said.

"That's sort of the mythic hero structure--somebody who has to leave the city because they did something terrible, and then they have to figure out who they are and come back and save the city from a terrible dilemma. I like to think of (Olshansky) as a superhero with no superpowers."

Where Spider-man had both sunshine and shadows, though, the Hack pilot is pretty grim, as is its haggard, haunted hero.

"See, I like that," the rangy, boyish Koepp said with the kind of smile that appears never to have disturbed Olshansky's lips, "I'm really drawn to that. "He's not the guy in the PG-13 movie where you're really rooting for him, and he's really cute and sweet. He's the guy in the horror movie where you're not sure if you like him or not. And sometimes you actually think, 'I don't like him. That's terrible. I don't like him at all because he's like my father!'"

Koepp's grin got a little wider. "No, I'm just kidding! My dad is a lovely man. I love him a lot."



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