The Cleaner Premiere: Recovering Addicts to the Rescue

The new original A&E series, The Cleaner, premiered last night and it held true to the intriguing previews that drew me in to check it out.

Anything inspired by a true story perks interest pretty easily, especially when it's an unconventional story like that of The Cleaner in which the main character, William Banks (played by Benjamin Bratt), is a recovered drug addict who made a deal with God that if God would help him through his recovery, William would help other save addicts.

But he certainly doesn't do it by becoming an official man of the law, but instead creates a sort of under-ground, or at least word-of-mouth crew that help addicts out in often dangerous, but effective, ways.

While I often complain about a show premiere being too straight-forward about making it ever so clear what the show is all about and who all the characters are, the premiere of The Cleaner did well with unfolding the story and characters, but not until about halfway through did I feel I knew what was going on.

We jumped right into the story and saw a combination of William's rocky life at home with his wife and two children who are very supportive, but definitely still having a rough time with his issues and work, and his crew who it seems are also all recovered addicts not quite as on board with William's slightly religious way of focusing on his new "calling."

While there was a good balance of getting to know the aspects of William's life, there seemed to be more implication of the hard times to come on both the personal level and in work than there were clearly shown in the premiere, but as an introduction, it all functioned pretty well.

We also got an extended sneak peek at the end of the episode that gave a good look at the dangerous situations William and his team are going to be getting into this season which look fascinating considering his methods of diving in, seeing what happens, helping the addict, then maybe calling the cops somewhere in there.

With so many cop and crime shows around, it's interesting to see a completely different spin on things - we're not quite in with the "bad guys," but we're not quite in with the "good guys" either.

This crew is more like the tempted souls who have found a way to be better people to strangers, but not quite good enough to themselves and their loved ones.

For those who caught the premiere, was it what you were expecting? Is The Cleaner a new summer favorite?

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