A couple of years ago, Ray Sharkey revitalized his career as the sinuously sleazy Sonny Steelgrave on Wiseguy, but everything he has done since then suggests he hasn’t had the foggiest idea how to capitalize on that success. A few months ago he snarled and sneered his way through Showtime’s over-wrought The Neon Empire; now he snarls and sneers his way through USA’s under-wrought The Take.
In The Take, Sharkey plays a tough guy drummed off the Miami police force for being — you got it — on the take, for boosting drugs from the creeps he was supposed to be arresting. In the first 10 minutes, Sharkey is caught, does four years in jail, and reunites with his wife — oh yeah, I’m sure — Lisa Hartman.
He wants to stay clean, but he stumbles on another drug gang. So he pretends to be a crook while helping the cops to…oh, you know the rest — The Take is every episode of Miami Vice.
Freed, therefore, from the pressures of plot-following, I whiled away the hours trying to figure out why I was getting Twilight Zone goosebumps every time Sharkey and Hartman nuzzled. Then I realized: Simmering beneath what looks like a fresh set of artfully curly hair-plugs, Sharkey resembles Knots Landing’s Kevin Dobson these days. And Hartman, of course, reached the height of her dramatic career as Knots’ neurotic rock star, Ciji.
So, dig it, in the middle of this bad cable movie, there was this weird Knots Landing-flashback-subtext kinda thang going on. It was all too much; I had to start patting my throbbing forehead with a cold washcloth. If you plan to watch The Take, have one ready for your own noggin. D