Knights of Prosperity

You can’t help but be drawn in by a show that is just plain weird. A guy wakes up. He gets ready for work in his dump of an apartment, accompanied by the music of Journey. He’s a middle-aged high school dropout who works as a janitor. In the show’s first minutes, he is spurred to better his life by witnessing his co-worker’s undignified demise while cleaning a urinal. And, somehow, by the first commercial break, he has assembled a group of ragtag wannabe thieves to rob Mick Jagger.

It’s like, really? This is a premise for a show? They have T-shirts. They have binoculars. They have an intern. It’s a little reminiscent of the geeks in Office Space trying to get into the embezzlement racket.

The show stars Donal Logue, who is not a household name, but recognizable from a role in the terrible Grounded for Life, and redeemed by roles in some good indie films like The Tao of Steve.

Comedic pilots seem to work well when they move fast, throwing information and characters at you so that you can’t blink lest you miss something. Knights does that. We meet a Middle Eastern cab driver who used to be a lawyer, a big black dude with a broken heart, a wise-cracking New Yorker stereotype, and a hot Latina who invites herself into the group.

The goal, in this episode, is not to complete the robbery. It is to complete phase one of Operation Dick Mick, which is to obtain the key to his luxury Manhattan apartment. Ostensibly, each subsequent episode will lead our antiheroes to another phase of the plan until they succeed (or fail?) at the final heist. Then what? Next year, they’ll rob the Kardashians? Only nine episodes ever aired—and I’ve only seen this one—so I don’t know. (Though it was rumored they would later target Kelly Ripa and Ray Romano.) Apparently the show was originally titled Let’s Rob Mick Jagger, but perhaps that was too limiting??

I can’t say the pilot left me dying to see what happens next. It felt more like a predictable screwball heist movie than a series—the kind of thing you might commit to for 90 minutes but not 22 half-hour episodes. But it’s different, which is why I’ve taken the time to write about it. Oh, and there’s a Star Wars reference. Always good.

Memorable quote: “We’re like Robin Hood. We’re stealing from the rich to give to the poor—us.”

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