Monday, July 25, 2022

Power Rankings: Guest stars in "Cop of the Year"

There's little point in ranking the cast members of McMillan and Wife--John Schuck, duh--but there are so many interesting people in Season 3's "Cop of the Year" that it is fun to rate them. Remember, this is based on how these people would do if they squared off on a neutral site in Banff, Alberta:

1) John Astin: I'm counting him as a guest, even though the character Sykes appeared in two other episodes, because I hadn't seen those others when I watched "Cop of the Year." Astin's offbeat energy and interactions with Mac and Enright really elevate the episode and add some flavor to what could have been a standard "lab guy" police show character.

2) Lorraine Gary: She's melodramatic, yes. She's over the top, yes. She's--where was I going with this? Oh, yes, she's entertaining and creates a memorable villain. It's another unique persona that adds to the distinctive nature of the episode.

3) Edmond O'Brien: EOB is just so easy to dislike in this one, bringing the heat right away as Enright's former father-in-law. Even when you realize he's suffering from long-term paste poisoning (NOTE: This is total conjecture from us and not stated in the teleplay), you can't help but hate the old cuss.

4) Vito Scotti: You could be forgiven for assuming his information-wielding Alonzo is a regular on the series. At least, I hope so, because I assumed that! It appears that though he was in several other episodes, this was the only one where he played Alonzo, and he did exactly what you'd want Vito Scotti to do.

5) Michael Ansara: I was a  little disappointed the show didn't do more with his hotshot lawyer who defended Enright, but as I mentioned on the podcast, that one cool semi-argument scene he had with Mac was stellar.

6) Karate guy: All right, the man has a name. It's Colby Chester, and he had a long run on The Young and the Restless and all kinds of solid credits. I still think of him as Karate Guy because of his aggrieved brother's threats to Mac, even though I don't think karate was even the martial art he bragged about practicing.

7) Charles Nelson Reilly: "Hey, Chuck, be 'eccentric' and annoying." "You got it!"

8) Kenneth Mars: A notable performer who is relatively subdued here.

9) Paul Winchell: It's barely a cameo, and I don't think he even gets a close-up, so that's why he gets the bottom spot--not due to the long-simmering feud between he and Mike that we exposed on the pod.

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