The Top Twenty TV Lawmen Ever

The Top Twenty TV Lawmen Ever (photo)

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Timothy Olyphant is a master of the clenched jaw. That and his glare, which would stop most men in their tracks (and ladies, too, but for entirely different reasons), are what make him such a natural for playing lawmen. Perhaps best known for wearing the sheriff’s badge in “Deadwood”, he’s also played a cop in “Damages” and tonight reprises his role as Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens in the second season of “Justified”. His roles in shows about law and order and mayhem and justice are due in part to his working relationship with David Milch, the man who created Sheriff Seth Bullock of “Deadwood”. Milch is no stranger to the inner workings of American justice. He co-created acclaimed cop show “NYPD Blue” and is now working with Michael Mann to create “Luck”, about life on a horse racing track. Michael Mann, of course, is the man who brought us one of the best police dramas ever to wear pastels, “Miami Vice.”

In honor of those great shows about law and order and truth and justice and the American way, we present a list of the top twenty lawmen and women to ever grace the small screen.

1. Dominic West as Jimmy McNulty from “The Wire”. McNulty is a cop through and through. More than that, he’s a Baltimore cop who is willing to work as a beat cop, a harbor cop, whatever it takes to save his city. He is tenacious, stubborn, cynical and determined and you can’t help but root for him even when is really screwing up. He also swears impressively well:

2. Peter Falk as Columbo in “Columbo”. With his rumpled raincoat, excellent manners, and ever present cigar, Columbo could solve crimes faster than Encyclopedia Brown on speed and all without a gun:

3. Erik Estrada as Officer Francis “Ponch” Poncherello on “CHIPs”. Ponch made ever boy want to be a motorcycle policeman and every girl wish she could date one or at least sue the department to let her ride, too:

4. Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison on “Prime Suspect”. That’s DAME Helen Mirren to you, criminal:

5. Andre Braugher as Det. Frank Pembleton on “Homicide: Life on the Street”
. The fiery and uncompromising Detective Pembleton was resolute in his pursuit of justice, even if he ticked off his entire squad and put himself at odds with his lieutenant while doing it:

6. Telly Savalas as Theo Kojak on “Kojak”. He may have had a thing for lollipops, but Kojak was no sucker:

7. Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas as Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs on “Miami Vice”. Don’t pretend you didn’t start wearing pastel t-shirts under white blazers and somehow lost all your socks after this show started airing:

8. Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul as Det. Dave Starsky and Det. Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson on “Starsky & Hutch”. Raise your hand if you had a “Starsky & Hutch” lunchbox. These cops were pretty much the coolest part of the 1970s. Plus, nobody this side of the “Dukes of Hazzard” drove a car like Starsky and Hutch:

9. Jerry Orbach as Lennie Briscoe on “Law and Order”. As the oft-divorced cynical cop who had seen it all and was always quick with the one-liner, Lennie Briscoe owned the wizened police detective role. They broke the mold when he passed on. Pour a little stale black break room coffee out for the man:

10. Chief Clancy Wiggums on “The Simpsons”. He’s not the best cop, but there’s just something about Chief Wiggums:

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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