My Own Worst Enemy (TV, 2008)
Who remembers this TV show? Interesting, but unsuccessful. From Death Ray 16.
TWO AND A HALF STARS
Directors: david Semel, Adam Kane
Writer: Jason Smilovic
Starring: Christian Slater, Mädchen Amick, Alfre Woodard, Mike O’Malley, Saffron Burrows
Two-faced drama from the man behind The Bionic Woman
If you can ignore the ludicrous premise of My Own Worst Enemy, it is good TV. The set-up is that Henry Spivey (Slater) is a constructed front for deep-cover assassin Edward Albright (er, Slater) who works for a very secretive black-ops part of some unnamed US intelligence service. When the chip that activates the dormant Edward goes awry, Henry finds himself in Edward’s bloodstained shoes, and vice versa. Rather than just kill him, Edward’s boss (Woodard) keeps him alive and in action, because to reveal the failure of his brain modifications would lead to the liquidation of her department. This really is no way to run the spying game at all.
Once you get past this Alias-esque nonsense, you can appreciate the dramatic situations and moral questions the show throws up. There is even space for levity, with Henry constantly waking up next to his grinning wife, who is sexually blissed out thanks to super-spy Edward’s bedroom skills. We could make some grandiose point about America’s relationship between its light and dark sides: Henry enjoys the American dream, yet terrible things are done to uphold it. That, however, would be a stretch.
Otherwise it’s a typically slick piece of UStelevision, though, like Alias, its numerous far-flung locations are mocked up in a slipshod way. They might get the sound of sirens right in London, for example, but cars drive on the left here, and you only get “thru” on signs written by illiterates in this country, chaps.
The best thing in the show is Slater’s performance as the split man. This alone sells the shonky concept, but for how long we’ll swallow it is very debateable. Fun, but flawed.