JP Devine Series Review: ‘Rebel’
Do you remember Katey Sagal? Of course you do. How could you not? Known for her iconic Peg Bundy on the ’90s classic’ Married With Children ‘and infamous Mighty Biker Mother Gemma Teller Morrow on’ Sons of Anarchy ‘, and most recently she has been seen as Louise on the’ Roseanne ‘spin-off. “The Conners” as love for Dan Conner (John Goodman) after the “death” of Roseanne Barr’s iconic character of the same name.
Well, Ms. Sagal, has come back, seemingly without taking a breath, on ABC’s new series “Rebel”, and she seems to have wasted 20 years. She is still 37 years old.
Meet Katey as Annie “Rebel” Bello, a powerful advocate for the firecracker for people who have stood in the way of big business and been trampled on.
“Rebel,” we are told, is based on the fiery career of Erin Brockovich, an American consumer lawyer and environmental activist, despite her lack of legal education.
Most remember Julia Roberts as Brockovich in the 2000 movie “Erin Brockovich”.
But Julia didn’t have tiger eyes and Katey’s “Rebel” corner mouth.
And I guess they decided that “Bello” was easier to spell and remember than Brockovich?
As “Rebel” opens on our TVs this month, our Rebel heads to a country club fundraising night in Beverly Hills, hosted by Medical Division CEO Mark Duncan (a welcome Adam Arkin ) with a battery of placards bearing demonstrators.
In the chaotic first 10 minutes, we find out that it is a heart valve that Mr. Duncan’s company manufactures, which is making recipients sick to death.
On the balcony of the palace, one of the victims, Helen, (Mary McDonnell from “Dances with the Wolves”, who seems to always dance with the wolves) is dying from one of Duncan’s mysterious valves. To make matters worse, Helen’s daughter’s pregnancy is threatened by the same valve.
Apparently, Rebel has spent her days since we last saw her, flying across the country and the planet, causing trouble for evil companies like Duncan.
Now she’s home and is once again raising dust around Los Angeles.
Ms. Sagal, dressed in various costumes like skin-tight leather pants and matching tops, gives us exactly what we need, energy and plenty. All he needs is a whip and a shield to become a new Marvel hero.
But you can’t field a character like Rebel who brings down big business without facing offspring from his multiple marriages that include a doctor and a lawyer. Talk about keeping the action in the family.
You need support, and the various producers, including the original Erin Brockovich, provide a lot of it, including the great Adam Arkin, and the much missed and very welcome Andy Garcia (who plays a major role as husband lawyer for Rebel’s deceased best friend). Jeff Doucette, James Lesure and Jalen Thomas Brooks are also on board.
And of all the people, John Corbett of “Sex In the City” fame introduces himself as her current husband which brings a surprise.
“Rebel,” created by Krista Vernoff, airs Thursdays on ABC and On Demand.
JP Devine de Waterville is a former theater and film actor.
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