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Forever Knight: Amateur Night

"Hey, I know her. From the movies! The movie star with the big—"
"Be nice."

It's the mid-90s, which means at some point your favorite TV show is going to take their very white characters to the inner city to explore gangs, poverty, and other Very Important Issues.

Let's start by admitting how awkward it is that we're heading into the seedy underbelly of Toronto to meet some stereotypical 90s gang members. Shows used to love doing this, because it was a way of demonstrating the producers knew and cared about problems happening in minority communities. Or maybe it was a way to capitalize on the popularity of Black media in a show whose main cast is whiter than a fish belly. Whether this is shameless pandering or an honest attempt at representation is up to you.

Schanke's affiliation with the gangs is surprising given his taste for odd European food and Canadian dad rock, but it's certainly helpful to have his expertise when things get out of hand. Drive-by shootings were a favorite lead story for news casters in those days, so this probably had a "ripped from the headlines" feel when it aired.

But the fun part is Schanke's gig as a film consultant. Remember, he loves the spotlight, and this is not the first or second time he's tried to break into the entertainment industry. Unfortunately, he's only succeeded in bringing an annoying actress into the police world, where she can't stop messing things up.

Sometimes the actress is endearing. She's trying her best to elevate her art form, and who wouldn't be fascinated by being so close to a murder case? But she's also about as useful as string cheese, and her attempts to relate to the young gang members is just embarrassing. Everyone who approved putting her on this case needs to go to jail, because her meddling cost someone their life.

Our Big Reveal is a heartbreaking moment. Like I said, it's supposed to be a "ripped from the headlines" situation. The problem here is that the plot hasn't got squat to do with vampires. Just another recycled Law & Order script. Fortunately, Schanke's here to make us laugh.


Nick learns how to be a cop from some Irish lawmen in Chicago. Nick's failure as a rookie is sort of pathetic to watch, but it's all worth it to see La Croix arrogantly walk into the police station, like he owns the place, and tear Nick a new one. He's perfectly demonstrating how dumb he thinks it is that Nick is playing by "their" rules. He's a vampire. He can do whatever he wants. Why lower himself to silly lawbooks?

Little Bites:

(Some decades-old spoilers below.)

-Schanke is always right: Not only can he point out every flaw in the cop movie, he's on top of everything that happens in the hood. If only he could remember his lines.

-Furthermore, early in the episode Schanke said he would rather avoid violence and de-escalate a situation by convincing a perp to down their gun. That's exactly how he saves the day at the end, and it lands him a role in the movie.

-Fashion police: some of the gangsters look like they wre dressed by a senior citizen Sunday School class who only learned about gangs from the Nextdoor app. Oh, and the actress in this episode is a walking fashion disaster from a time when 90s producers thought it was still the 80s.

-Hard to believe Nick was so dumb only a hundred years ago. He seemed wiser in some older flashbacks.

-It's impossible not to smile at La Croix when he happily points out that the injured cop "may yet die!" A villain's villain.

-The big reveal is that the killing was done by a kid... but the scene isn't filmed quite right. The camera angles they chose make this kid look about the same size as the other gang members.

Final Analysis: Schanke is fun, and so are parts of the flashbacks, but this isn't a vampire story. 2 out of 5 keyrings.

Adam D. Jones is a writer, historian, and undefeated cat wrestler. He is also something of a movie consultant himself, having recently stopped a movie a dozen times to explain to his wife why faster than light travel was being unrealistically portrayed.


  1. Hmm, the Doux Review episode order for season 2 is very different to my DVD set. Mine has four other episodes between Can't Run, Can't Hide and Amateur Night (Near Death, Crazy Love, Baby Baby, Partners of the Month). I guess for such an episodic series there isn't really one correct order, but I'm curious as to why there's so much difference. Production order? Series creator preference?

    1. Hugh, I always just use the order of episodes listed on IMDb, which I believe is strictly by airdate. There are some old series that do it differently on DVDs because episodes sometimes didn't air in the order that the producers wanted. I had that problem with The Prisoner, too.


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