Profit: The Complete Series review, Profit: The Complete Series DVD review
Starring
Adrian Pasdar, Lisa Zane, Keith Szarabajka, Jack Gwaltney, Allison Hossack, Lisa Darr, Lisa Blount
Director
David Greenwalt & John McNamara
Profit: The Complete Series

Reviewed by Will Harris

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T

he Fox Network has always had a tendency to keep its fingers on the pulse of America’s TV critics... if not necessarily that of the average Nielsen viewer. Fortunately, many a show that lasted a season (or less) on Fox has found a new life on DVD: “Wonderfalls,” “Greg the Bunny,” “The Lone Gunmen,” and, now, “Profit.”

“Profit” only managed to see three of its eight episodes make it to air, but just watching the two-hour pilot leaves one wondering, “Who was naive enough to think that Joe Mainstream would ever appreciate this darkly hilarious series?”

Adrian Pasdar stars as Jim Profit, the most evil character ever to appear on a Fox show...and, yes, “Simpsons” fans, that includes C. Montgomery Burns. It’s inconceivable that a series would have as its lead character a total and utter anti-hero; you’re supposed to actually like the person around whom a series revolves. Jim Profit, however, is a creature of pure malevolence that does anything and everything to get what he wants. Putting things in perspective, by the end of the pilot, he’s hacked into his company’s computer network, embezzled money from the firm, blackmailed several co-workers, concocted plans to remove various board members, slept with his stepmother, and killed his father...and gotten away with it all, though, not without earning a certain degree of suspicion from a few folks at Gracen & Gracen.

Pasdar’s performance as Profit is a tightrope walk, flipping back and forth between a cheerful, good-humored manner (reminiscent of Kyle MacLachan in “Twin Peaks”) and a dark, breathy delivery during his most evil moments. It’s the glee with which Profit performs his dirty deeds that what makes the show so wonderful.

Created by David Greenwalt (“Angel”) and John McNamara (“Eyes”), “Profit” was a Stephen J. Cannell production, hence its release on Anchor Bay (they hold the rights to release almost all of Cannell’s shows on DVD); the biggest complaint is the company’s endlessly frustrating choice not to include chapter stops on the TV episodes it releases. Of the special features, which include commentary on several episodes, the unquestioned highlight is “Greed Kills,” a new documentary that details the show’s conceptualization, development, and brief run, featuring new interviews with Cannell, Greenwalt, McNamara, Pasdar, and other stars of the show.

If you can imagine a cross between “Wall Street” and “American Psycho” being made into a weekly series, then you can also imagine why the show never had a chance in hell on network television – the thought of what “Profit” might’ve become on HBO, however, is enough to make me giddy – but hail to Anchor Bay for releasing this set, so those who missed it the first time around can see what made Jim Profit an anti-hero for the ages.

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