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  • Wiseguy - Mel Profitt Arc (Season 1 Part 2)
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Wiseguy - Mel Profitt Arc (Season 1 Part 2)

28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When OCB agent, Vincent Terranova is assigned to investigate assassin, Roger Lococco, neither he nor his superiors are aware that Lococco is working for international arms and drug dealer, Mel Profitt. More importantly, Lococco is carrying out a covert and illegal assignment for an errant branch of the CIA working to overthrow the government of a developing country. As "The Profitt Arc" unfolds, Vinnie finds himself drawn deeper into a complex and bizarre world beyond anything he has ever experienced. At the same time, he is fighting his feeling for Mel’s beautiful sister, Susan. Ultimately, he finds himself in the midst of a deadly triangle between Susan, Mel, and himself. Vinnie now must fight for his own life at the hands of Mel Profitt as well as the American government when he threatens Lococco’s secret mission.

After the intense "Sonny Steelgrave" arc of first-season episodes, the producers of Wiseguy faced the challenge of topping themselves, and they did it by casting a relatively unknown New York stage actor named Kevin Spacey, who proceeded to chew up the scenery as only a future Oscar®-winner could. But Spacey's not the only reason for the giddy success of the "Mel Profitt" arc, which finds OCB agent Vinnie Terranova (Ken Wahl) teaming up with sociopathic assassin Roger Lococco (William Russ) in an effort to infiltrate the global drugs-and-guns empire of the Proffitt siblings Mel (Spacey), a "manic-depressive genius with acute paranoia," and his codependent sister Susan (Joan Severance), who keeps her incestuously devoted brother happy by injecting home-brewed narcotics between his toes (hence giving Spacey his trademark line, "Only the toes knows!").

TV audiences in 1988 had never seen such a twisted sibling relationship, and there's plenty of eccentric chemistry between Spacey and then-newcomer Severance, who later developed a loyal male following as a B-movie sexpot. Completing their triangle of terror is Russ, playing Lococco as a tormented Vietnam vet with a massive chip on his shoulder, luring Vinnie into a life of luxury and lethal behavior, thus complicating matters considerably for Vinnie's covert handlers McPike (Jonathan Banks) and Lifeguard (Jim Byrnes), who grow increasingly worried as Vinnie gains Mel Profitt's hard-won trust. The quality of these 12 episodes remains consistently high as the Profitts reach "psychotic critical mass," leading to Mafia connections and a new direction for Vinnie's loving mother (well-played by Elsa Raven). Through it all, Wahl (who proves himself a man of few words in a sparse one-episode commentary) maintains his strong presence as a leading man, generously allowing Spacey's rising star to shine. Wiseguy still had some highlights in its future, but the "Mel Profitt" arc represents the series at its best. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Contains all 11 episodes from the Mel Proffit arc, plus a bonus, stand alone episode
  • Commentary by actor Ken Wahl on episode #4
  • Interviews with co-creator Stephen J. Cannell, producer David Burke and actors Kevin Spacey, Joan Severance, Elsa Raven, & William Russ

Product Details

  • Actors: Ken Wahl, Kevin Spacey, Joan Severance, Manolo Villaverde, Martika
  • Directors: Charles Correll;Jan Eliasberg;Larry Shaw;Peter D. Marshall;Helaine Head;William A. Fraker;Aaron Lipstadt;Robert Woodruff (II);Kim Manners;James A. Contner;James Whitmore Jr.;Rod Holcomb;Zale Dalen;Douglas Jackson;Jonathan Sanger
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Studio Works
  • DVD Release Date: December 30, 2003
  • Run Time: 600 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AZKKN
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,580 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wiseguy - Mel Profitt Arc (Season 1 Part 2)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 25, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In the first television showing Kevin Spacey had a wonderful diatribe about how people will eventually rip open the bellies of others for the food inside. In the re-runs a couple of minutes were cut from each episode to make more room for more commercials. For some reason the DVD uses the "edited for more commercials" versions, so this wonderful scence is missing. You can hear a brief audio segment of the diatribe during the episode where Roger Lococco plays a tape of Mel Proffit in order to drive Susan insane.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 27, 2003
Format: DVD
OCB boss assigns his top agent Vinnie Terranova (Ken Wahl) to investigate Roger Lacocco (the always brilliant William Russ), they have no idea where the thread will lead them. In quick time, Vinnie learns Roger is the strong arm for the Profitts - Mel and Susan (Kevin Spacey in a tour d force performance and Joan Severance). They are a brother and sister (a little too close perhaps to Vinnie's eyes), but they are big business of the shady kind. Vinnie works his way into Mel's confidence and into Susan's desires, causing Vinnie to have to tip toe around both profits very carefully. Vinnie, for a hardened OCB agent, never can see to keep his distance from the people he is sent in to bring down and ends up emotionally involved. As the drugged out insanity of Mel seems to grown more paranoid, Vinnie finds it harder to keep that emotional balance - AND HIS LIFE - as Mel does not like his sister getting too close to any man.
Somewhere along the way, only Roger seems to be quite sane and able to distance himself, but even that will be tested as his past going all the way to Vietnam is dragged into a military plot to throw over the leadership of a small island.
It keeps you guessing, the acting and writing is Telly at it's best. With super performances by all, along with the droll Jonathan Banks as Vinnie's immediate boss, this is one that bears repeat viewing. But then so do all the WiseGuy arcs...cannot wait for the Winston Newquay Arc with the magnificent Tim Curry!! Bring them on already!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 29, 2003
Format: DVD
Wiseguy was truly a ground-breaking entrant into the episodic world of television, and the first "arc" featuring Sonny Steelegrave took the viewer on an emotional rollercoaster. Just as we were getting off of that "ride", along came the Mel Profitt arc to throw us back onto the 'coaster! Kevin Spacey burst onto the scene with an amazing performance as the brilliant, psychotic criminal mastermind, Mel Profitt. His "balance", sister Susan, (the sexy Joan Severance) was herself twisted by her own genius and inability to distinguish right from wrong. Her familial attraction to Mel drove her to both protect him emotionally yet dispense his heroin "as needed" (0nly the toes, knows...), with more than a hint at familial lust, displaying the ongoing duality prevelent in this arc. Vinny Terranova works for the OCB and poses as a criminal...Roger Lacocco (the great William Russ) poses as a criminal and actually works for a splinter group of the NSC (?)...Mel Profitt is a criminal genius and an emotional cripple...Susan Profitt is his counter-balance and emotional guide, yet is herself an emotional cripple as well, waiting for Vincent's strong embrace to take her away from it all...words won't do these episodes justice, so please, run, don't walk, to purchase this DVD series. You won't be sorry!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Photoscribe on February 5, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Never in your life will you ever see acting like this in a television series! Kevin Spacey, Joan Severance, William Russ, Jonathan Banks and Elsa Raven and others shine like newly minted dimes in this incredible show. Elsa Raven, a likeable, grandmotherly actress, seems to be every casting director's idea for a chubby, middle-aged mama, except for her turn as Gertrude Stein in "The Moderns".
I caught about three or four episodes of the "Sonny Steelgrave" arc of this show just channel surfing and noticed how intense and gritty the acting was. I watched for about four episodes. THEN the Mel Profitt arc started, and it was a roller coaster ride from then on! Spacey chews the scenery like a piranha as the paranoid, charismatic and reputedly brilliant Mel Profitt, an enfant terrible of organized crime who runs his empire of weapons-trading and illegal drugs with the help of his sister, Susan, played by the gorgeous and talented Joan Severance.
Stephen J. Cannell must have been on one of those legendary rolls that writers, specifically TV, movie and sci-fi writers, get on sometime, becaue he has everything covered here....humor, pathos, psychoses, sociopathology, charisma, situations, and a VERY good sense of governmental corruption. Sadly, he never equalled his work on "Wiseguy" again, and never got the same quality of cast for any of his other projects on TV. "Wiseguy" was one of a kind.
Kevin Spacey's take on Profitt is unlike any protrayal of a crime boss you've ever seen...he parlayed him as self-educated, witty, playful, unpredictable and moody, and it was done perfectly!
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