Above: Sketch of Dean Winters on "Battle Creek" as Russ Agnew. Purple Grape Prismacolor pencil on Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media paper.
Let's face it, Dean Winters acting in anything makes me happy.
I don't care if he is playing Liz Lemon's ne'er-do-well Beeper King boyfriend Dennis Duffy in "30 Rock," Johnny Gavin (Tommy's police detective brother) in "Rescue Me," or Russ Agnew on "Battle Creek." Even as "Mayhem" on the Allstate ads…
Seeing him act just makes me happy. As soon as the music for "Battle Creek" would start to play on Sunday nights, these past few months, I'd start to smile.
(What is wrong with CBS—putting a new show on Sundays after live events so it's overrun and people can't find it???!!!!)
(I'm really angry at CBS as you can tell. It's like the "Square Pegs" mess all over again—let's hide a show so no one can find it; though in that case they also moved it all around. Yes, I'm still upset about that.)
If you missed "Battle Creek" try to get the episodes via On-Demand or Hulu or any place you can find them. (You can buy the season on Amazon.)
The show, set in Battle Creek, Michigan, also starred Josh Duhamel as a squeaky clean FBI agent Milt Chamberlain, who gets assigned to Battle Creek and ends up working with Detective Rush Agnew—the cynical detective played by Winters. There's one line early in the season, when the two are driving and Milt is talking about something good he sees or expects of the people he is interviewing, and Russ says, "Do you even know people?" The delivery, with a slight beat between know and people is priceless.
The two work cases together with the help of a promising supporting cast, including an under-utilized Kal Penn. (I'm sure there would have been more of all the supporting cast if the show had lasted.)
The show had interesting back stories, and obvious character chemistry. A foul-tempered coroner, played by Meredith Eaton, hated Russ and would do anything for Milt.
I could tell you more, but you really should seek it out and find out for yourself. Vince Gilligan and David Shore created the show.
The cancellation of this show is a total loss to rich, enjoyable TV. I feel robbed.
I am very angry with CBS. They just killed a great show. My mood on Sunday nights is now decidedly grumpy.
Besides which, it was great fun to sketch Dean Winters.
So again, I urge you to find episodes of "Battle Creek." Watch the episodes in order because there is a progression to the characters' development that is fun to see unfold. And they do manage to wrap up some story lines in the final episode.
And then go look at anything else Dean Winters is acting in, because he's that good.
In other news, and this news is good, "Orange Is the New Black" begins its third season on June 12! (Only on Netflix of course.)