Arliss Michaels is not a sports agent, he is a sports super agent. To his team of associates, the athletes he represents and the world around them, he is God. He is like Jerry Maguire, but without a conscience.Written by
Steve Richer <email@example.com>
In one episode of the show, we see Arliss Michaels watching old video footage of himself winning money on The $10,000 Pyramid (1973), and learn that Arliss used his winnings as seed money to start his agency. The footage was real; actor Robert Wuhl was a contestant on the show in 1973. See more »
[During a radio show]
Well guess who just grabbed a vine? The maestro of manipulation himself, Arliss Michaels.
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I watched HBO only on business trips back in the 90's so I saw only a dozen or so 'Arli$$' episodes over its run but I recall always liking them. That's why I'm surprised that it became almost a fad in the media to bash the show in its final seasons. 'Entertainment Weekly' included 'Arli$$' on its worst series lists a few years in a row, ESPN commentators randomly criticized it, and 'Saturday Night Live' for unknown reasons mocked it a few times. Honestly the circa 2000 'SNL' daring to call another program unfunny is like the pot with so much baked on burnt rancid gunk that it smells like decaying feet calling the slightly tarnished kettle black. Anyway I recently watched an 'Arli$$' best of season 1 and 2 DVD collection and I think it's still a good show with well-drawn characters, talented cast, and satirical writing. The only things I didn't like were the distinctly amateur performances from the actual athletes and other celebrities. One episode that wasn't in the collection but still sticks in my memory after 20 years is "The Real Thing" from season two. It had a great convoluted plot, brilliant characters like a tech billionaire whose collection of Disney memorabilia includes a frozen Walt Disney, and some sharp satire of sports. Some of the details might be wrong because I saw this once in 1997 but my favorite scene involved an assistant MLB coach who had possession of the 500th home run ball that the team's star player just hit. He asks for what sounds like an outrageous sum for it and everyone looks scandalized. Then the coach reminds them that the player gets more than that for every single game he plays. That was cutting and it's truer now than ever.
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