Eagleheart tv show photo

By John Gilloly

Debuting last year with little to no advertising, Adult Swim’s live-action scripted show “Eagleheart” caught viewers and critics by surprise. Produced by Conan O’Brien’s production house, Conaco, in its first venture into the world of scripted television, the “lone soldier cop” satire gained eyeballs through word of mouth. What has been described as “Nash Bridges meets Walker, Texas Ranger on a bad acid trip,” “Eagleheart” stars the supremely funny and overlooked Chris Elliott as U.S. Marshall Chris Monsanto, a single-minded, gung-ho marshall that either luckily fumbles or violently destroys his way through his missions. Rounding out the cast are the overlooked Maria Thayer and Brett Gelman as straight-woman Suzie and man-child Brett, respectively, his partners in the Marshall’s office. Thayer and Gelman are almost pitch-perfect foils for Elliott to bounce his charmingly insane character off of, this quite possibly is the best starring and supporting cast in TV and definitely underrated.

The season two premiere, “Gaby, Calvin, and Stu,” picks up thematically and structurally right where season one left off. The best “Eagleheart” episodes are the ones that best satire police procedurals of the past two decades. After yet another brilliant costume by Mosanto, the marshalls all quit in order to avenge the mysteriously related deaths of their loved ones.

As with any good episode, there are twists and turn you’ll never see coming, and it ends with a glorious reveal involving a cake maker that becomes some mind-bending meta-textual stuff.

Kudos and tipped hats really go to the creative team of Michael Koman and Andrew Weinburg for coming up with a show so comically simple from a satire level that I personally can’t believe it has been done to this great of an effect before.

Writer/Director Jason Woliner, whose credit lists include other great yet overlooked shows such as “Human Giant,” “Jon Benjamin Has A Van,” and another Adult Swim live action show “Delocated,” does exceptional work here too. It’s a combination of low-brow satire, over-the-top violence with cheap effects, and the brilliant comedic styling of Elliott that make this show an actual gut-busting laugh riot.

“Eagleheart” has not skipped a beat, in fact, it’s probably stronger than its first season. Cartoon Network/Adult Swim could greatly benefit from some stronger promotion for this show. It can be tough for underground comedies to reach a larger audience, especially on a late-night cable network. However, this is one of those shows, despite glaring strangeness, that could probably reach to a higher audience with just a touch more exposure. And trust me, it’s well worth the watch.

“Eagleheart” is on Thursdays at Midnight on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

“Eagleheart: Season One” is available on DVD