Lunchtable TV Talk: What are Public Morals?


Public Morals has only been on for a few weeks, and I can’t say that I have feelings about it one way or another. It has not grabbed me in the way a lot of things do, but it is not utter nonsense either.

What did strike me is Michael Rapaport’s centrality to the show – how actors like Rapaport and Edward Burns are the serious, older guys now. Rapaport has turned up everywhere in the last couple of years – in an appearance in Louie that feels closely aligned to how I usually perceive his characters (i.e., annoying, irritating), in a brief appearance in the surprisingly funny and engaging Black-ish, and in the gone, overlooked but brilliant Justified.

In the penultimate season of Justified, which was the formidable show’s weakest, Rapaport’s villain (the mastermind of the addle-minded Crowe clan) and his family could not live up to the level of Harlan’s previous, superb villains. Not Rapaport’s fault, but he was not a worthy match for Raylan Givens, even if the character lived up to what we had come to expect from the Crowe crew – incompetence.

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