History Main / Profit

21st Nov '13 6:29:28 AM Morgenthaler
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[[quoteright:194:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/profit_pasdar.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:194:Jim Profit: A Name You Can't Trust.]]

->''"Gracen & Gracen, spearheaded by its aggressive acquisitions policy, has a capital base of $14.8 billion, making it the fifteenth largest corporation in the world and a very exciting place to work, especially if you're willing to put in that extra time and effort it takes to get ahead. And there's plenty of room for career advancement as well, if you know what you want. I want to be President of Acquisitions."''
-->--'''Jim Profit'''

Aired (and quickly [[ScrewedByTheNetwork yanked]]) by Creator/{{Fox}} back in 1996, ''Profit'' told the story of Jim Profit, an immaculately-groomed, sandpaper-voiced sociopath with a twisted {{backstory}}, who was making his way up the corporate ladder of Gracen & Gracen Enterprises through a series of Machiavellian schemes.

The show was created by David Greenwalt (''Series/{{Angel}}'') and John [=McNamara=] (''LoisAndClark''). It was meant to be a modern take on Shakespeare's ''Richard III'': the show centered around Profit's quest for advancement and the several employees within the company who, realizing his true nature, try to get him arrested or (worse) fired.

Special note should be given to the narration by Profit in each episode: it's done in a cheerful, inspirational, corporate-cliche-ridden style, which subverted as hell by his bribery, extortion, incest, kidnapping, identity theft, and occasional murder.

Although the show was critically acclaimed, the series died a quick and sudden death because of low ratings. Only four of the eight episodes (seven hour-long episodes and the two hour pilot) aired in America, its country of origin; the complete series would air in Europe ([[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff it was particularly well received in France]]).

This series has been singled out as being ''way'' ahead of its time. Later shows, such as ''Series/BreakingBad'', ''Series/TheSopranos'', ''Series/TheShield'', and ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', proved that there was a market for sophisticated dramas about [[VillainProtagonist villainous protagonists]].

Compare to Showtime's ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', a more recent and far more successful show which has been likened to ''Profit'' in its left-of-center morality and use of voice-over, though Dexter's voiceover narration.

Also notable as the last series to come from [[Creator/StephenJCannell Stephen J. Cannell Productions]] (although the great man didn't write any episodes of this one).

----
!!This show provides examples of:
* AbusiveParents: Profit's sociopathy seems to come from the fact that he was raised in a ''cardboard box''. His rival Joanne suffered an equally Gothic childhood, being raised by her abusive and mentally ill older sister, but turned out quite normal, leading to much angst between the two as far as Profit tended to exploit their similar hellish childhoods.
* AffablyEvil / FauxAffablyEvil: Profit alternates from both extremes, sometimes in a single episode.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys
* AlmostKiss: Profit and Nora Gracen, though this was intentional on Profit's part as part of his scheme to seduce Nora. Bobbi and [[spoiler: Constance Gracen, intentional on Bobbi's part to seduce Connie away from Chaz]], though the fact that it was "almost" is only due to [[ExecutiveMeddling executive]] [[HideYourGays meddling]].
* AntiHero: Joanne is a Type III.
* BasedOnATrueStory: The writers came up with the "cardboard box" thing after reading a book about a serial killer who suffered the exact same childhood.
* BattleButler: Profit's loyal assistant, Gail.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Both Nora and Gail have elements of this. Neither woman starts out as anyone to be wary about, but eventually [[spoiler: Gail sends her ex-stalker on a slow boat to China - ''literally'', and locks him into a box as well - and Nora lets her uncle Arthur suffocate from a deadly allergic reaction rather than dial the phone that's in her hand.]]
* BlackAndGreyMorality
* {{Blackmail}}: How Profit ended up recruiting Gail to his side.
* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord: Profit never actually says this to Gail, but a few of their conversations touch on the trope.
* BreakTheFourthWall: Profit's voiceovers explaining his actions are borderline; but at the end of each episode he would summarize what he'd done, and end by looking directly at the viewer while finishing. Usually just before he got into his cardboard box, naked.
* BriarPatching
* CassandraTruth
* TheChessmaster: Profit. It comes with the MagnificentBastard package.
* ChristmasCake: Bobbi Stakowski.
* CompellingVoice: One of Profit's most often-used abilities, right up there with blackmail and extortion. He uses it expertly to manipulate others. And hilariously {{Lampshaded}} on the commentary track for the first episode.
-->'''David Greenwalt:''' Hi, I'm David Greenwalt, co-creator.
-->'''John [=McNamara=]:''' I'm John [=McNamara=], co-creator.
-->'''Adrian Pasdar:''' Adrian Pasdar, actor.
-->'''[=McNamara=]:''' Your voice is so awesome. I want you to read me to sleep every night.
-->'''All:''' *laughter*
* TheConscience: Gail shows moments of becoming this for Profit, especially in "Chinese Box" when he's fairly truthful with her about his {{plan}} and that his family wasn't as nice as hers.
* ConsummateLiar: In the episode "Healing," Profit must beat a lie detector test. He does.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Very nearly everyone at Gracen and Gracen.
* CorruptTheCutie: What Profit does to Nora deliberately (and as of the finale, "Forgiveness", succeeds), and Gail fairly offhandedly.
* TheCracker
* CrossOver: Sadly Foiled; David Greenwalt, producer of ''Angel'', intended for Jim Profit to join Wolfram and Hart sometime during that show's lifetime but rights issues over the character and Adrian Pasdar being involved in another series (''Series/MysteriousWays'') at the time kept it from coming about.
* DateRapeAverted: And ''how'', with Gail and Jeremy Batewell in "Chinese Box". She [[spoiler: knocks him out with a statue and steals the McGuffin from him.]]
* DeadManSwitch: Profit's extra safeguard against Jack, whom Profit [[spoiler: framed and got imprisoned.]]
* DepravedBisexual: Bobbi's seduction of Connie, though it's never confirmed that she is, in fact, bisexual. It's very clear she's only playing the part to destroy Connie and Chaz's marriage.
* DevilInPlainSight
* DistressedDamsel: Nora Gracen, though the final episode has her finally showing a spine
* DoubleAgent
* EightiesHair: Despite having been made in the '90s.
* EpunymousTitle
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: In this case, in a creepy Oedipal way, but if Profit genuinely cares about anyone, it's Bobbi.
* EverythingIsOnline: One of the first shows to heavily use computers and the internet, though with really lame mid-90s level graphics.
* ExactProgressBar
* {{Expy}}: Many of Profit's darker qualities wound up finding their way into Pasdar's protrayal of [[Series/{{Heroes}} Nathan Petrelli]] a decade later.
* ExtremeGraphicalRepresentation: Gracen and Gracen has its own computer network which consists of a CGI version of their real building. Logging into the computer of a different person is shown on the screen by walking into their office and a mannequin with a black and white grid with the owners headshot shopped on it exploding.
* FamilyBusiness: Gracen and Gracen, which Jim Profit desperately wants into.
* {{Fanservice}}: Pasdar appeared naked and/or towel-clad in every. single. episode.
* FlashBack
* FreudianExcuse: Just about everyone, good and bad alike, had had god-awful childhoods.
* GirlFriday: Gail for Jim Profit.
* HannibalLecture
* KubrickStare: ... see photo above.
* ManipulativeBastard: Bobbi. While she took most of her cues on what to do from Jim, she still managed to masterfully twist every single one of her targets around her little finger.
* MegaCorp: Gracen and Gracen, of course.
* Theatre/OedipusRex
* OffTheWagon: Played straight by Pete - and also subverted [[spoiler: when Pete sobers up for his, Sykes, and Arthur [=McLean=]'s takeover]].
* ThePublicDomainChannel: Bobbi Stakowski is shown watching an old Film/TheThreeStooges clip in the pilot episode. The creators admit it wasn't a likely choice for her character but they didn't have a licensing budget.
* TheRenfield: Gail has been compared to Dracula's assistant by the show's writers, though she's hardly incompetent.
* RichBitch: Chaz is a RareMaleExample.
* SacrificialLamb
* SchizoTech: It takes place in the 90s but computers have touch screens and interfaces that run on ExtremeGraphicalRepresentation of the level of BeastWars. You can also make photos with a regular camera, connect it with a telephone (that appears to be of the kind you have in your living room but somehow works in cars without being connected to anything, too) and directly send it on the computer of a person you currently talk too. This in the time where you couldn´t even surf and phone at the same time.
* SexyCoatFlashing
* SingleTear: [[spoiler: Profit himself]], in the pilot.
* TheSociopath: Profit
* TookALevelInBadass: Gail in "Chinese Box" and Nora in "Forgiveness" - this is what happens when you listen to Jim Profit.
* TheVamp: Bobbi Stakowski - not only is she sleeping with her stepson, but she once seduced another man's wife in order to wreck their marriage, via getting her to file for divorce so that she would forsake any sort of settlement as part of the couple's clause claiming that the one who files for divorce gets nothing. Not to mention getting said husband addicted to morphine and firmly cementing her status as his soon-to-be new wife.
* ViewerFriendlyInterface
* VillainProtagonist: Profit, possibly one of the first television examples.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity
* WhatIsThisFeeling: Jim Profit gets this a lot, being a complete sociopath raised by the television, but the moment in the pilot sticks out when he's completely baffled as to what this weird wetness is on his face after he [[spoiler: kills his father]].
** He also does this in the lie detector episode. [[spoiler: In order to beat a lie detector, he puts some carpet tacks in the heels of his shoes. When he crunches his heels down onto them, his expression just says, "Hmmm..."]]
* WickedCultured
----
''"Goodnight."''[[note]]The very last line of the SeriesFinale.[[/note]]
----

to:

[[quoteright:194:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/profit_pasdar.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:194:Jim Profit: A Name You Can't Trust.]]

->''"Gracen & Gracen, spearheaded by its aggressive acquisitions policy, has a capital base of $14.8 billion, making it the fifteenth largest corporation in the world and a very exciting place to work, especially if you're willing to put in that extra time and effort it takes to get ahead. And there's plenty of room for career advancement as well, if you know what you want. I want to be President of Acquisitions."''
-->--'''Jim Profit'''

Aired (and quickly [[ScrewedByTheNetwork yanked]]) by Creator/{{Fox}} back in 1996, ''Profit'' told the story of Jim Profit, an immaculately-groomed, sandpaper-voiced sociopath with a twisted {{backstory}}, who was making his way up the corporate ladder of Gracen & Gracen Enterprises through a series of Machiavellian schemes.

The show was created by David Greenwalt (''Series/{{Angel}}'') and John [=McNamara=] (''LoisAndClark''). It was meant to be a modern take on Shakespeare's ''Richard III'': the show centered around Profit's quest for advancement and the several employees within the company who, realizing his true nature, try to get him arrested or (worse) fired.

Special note should be given to the narration by Profit in each episode: it's done in a cheerful, inspirational, corporate-cliche-ridden style, which subverted as hell by his bribery, extortion, incest, kidnapping, identity theft, and occasional murder.

Although the show was critically acclaimed, the series died a quick and sudden death because of low ratings. Only four of the eight episodes (seven hour-long episodes and the two hour pilot) aired in America, its country of origin; the complete series would air in Europe ([[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff it was particularly well received in France]]).

This series has been singled out as being ''way'' ahead of its time. Later shows, such as ''Series/BreakingBad'', ''Series/TheSopranos'', ''Series/TheShield'', and ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', proved that there was a market for sophisticated dramas about [[VillainProtagonist villainous protagonists]].

Compare to Showtime's ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', a more recent and far more successful show which has been likened to ''Profit'' in its left-of-center morality and use of voice-over, though Dexter's voiceover narration.

Also notable as the last series to come from [[Creator/StephenJCannell Stephen J. Cannell Productions]] (although the great man didn't write any episodes of this one).

----
!!This show provides examples of:
* AbusiveParents: Profit's sociopathy seems to come from the fact that he was raised in a ''cardboard box''. His rival Joanne suffered an equally Gothic childhood, being raised by her abusive and mentally ill older sister, but turned out quite normal, leading to much angst between the two as far as Profit tended to exploit their similar hellish childhoods.
* AffablyEvil / FauxAffablyEvil: Profit alternates from both extremes, sometimes in a single episode.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys
* AlmostKiss: Profit and Nora Gracen, though this was intentional on Profit's part as part of his scheme to seduce Nora. Bobbi and [[spoiler: Constance Gracen, intentional on Bobbi's part to seduce Connie away from Chaz]], though the fact that it was "almost" is only due to [[ExecutiveMeddling executive]] [[HideYourGays meddling]].
* AntiHero: Joanne is a Type III.
* BasedOnATrueStory: The writers came up with the "cardboard box" thing after reading a book about a serial killer who suffered the exact same childhood.
* BattleButler: Profit's loyal assistant, Gail.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Both Nora and Gail have elements of this. Neither woman starts out as anyone to be wary about, but eventually [[spoiler: Gail sends her ex-stalker on a slow boat to China - ''literally'', and locks him into a box as well - and Nora lets her uncle Arthur suffocate from a deadly allergic reaction rather than dial the phone that's in her hand.]]
* BlackAndGreyMorality
* {{Blackmail}}: How Profit ended up recruiting Gail to his side.
* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord: Profit never actually says this to Gail, but a few of their conversations touch on the trope.
* BreakTheFourthWall: Profit's voiceovers explaining his actions are borderline; but at the end of each episode he would summarize what he'd done, and end by looking directly at the viewer while finishing. Usually just before he got into his cardboard box, naked.
* BriarPatching
* CassandraTruth
* TheChessmaster: Profit. It comes with the MagnificentBastard package.
* ChristmasCake: Bobbi Stakowski.
* CompellingVoice: One of Profit's most often-used abilities, right up there with blackmail and extortion. He uses it expertly to manipulate others. And hilariously {{Lampshaded}} on the commentary track for the first episode.
-->'''David Greenwalt:''' Hi, I'm David Greenwalt, co-creator.
-->'''John [=McNamara=]:''' I'm John [=McNamara=], co-creator.
-->'''Adrian Pasdar:''' Adrian Pasdar, actor.
-->'''[=McNamara=]:''' Your voice is so awesome. I want you to read me to sleep every night.
-->'''All:''' *laughter*
* TheConscience: Gail shows moments of becoming this for Profit, especially in "Chinese Box" when he's fairly truthful with her about his {{plan}} and that his family wasn't as nice as hers.
* ConsummateLiar: In the episode "Healing," Profit must beat a lie detector test. He does.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Very nearly everyone at Gracen and Gracen.
* CorruptTheCutie: What Profit does to Nora deliberately (and as of the finale, "Forgiveness", succeeds), and Gail fairly offhandedly.
* TheCracker
* CrossOver: Sadly Foiled; David Greenwalt, producer of ''Angel'', intended for Jim Profit to join Wolfram and Hart sometime during that show's lifetime but rights issues over the character and Adrian Pasdar being involved in another series (''Series/MysteriousWays'') at the time kept it from coming about.
* DateRapeAverted: And ''how'', with Gail and Jeremy Batewell in "Chinese Box". She [[spoiler: knocks him out with a statue and steals the McGuffin from him.]]
* DeadManSwitch: Profit's extra safeguard against Jack, whom Profit [[spoiler: framed and got imprisoned.]]
* DepravedBisexual: Bobbi's seduction of Connie, though it's never confirmed that she is, in fact, bisexual. It's very clear she's only playing the part to destroy Connie and Chaz's marriage.
* DevilInPlainSight
* DistressedDamsel: Nora Gracen, though the final episode has her finally showing a spine
* DoubleAgent
* EightiesHair: Despite having been made in the '90s.
* EpunymousTitle
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: In this case, in a creepy Oedipal way, but if Profit genuinely cares about anyone, it's Bobbi.
* EverythingIsOnline: One of the first shows to heavily use computers and the internet, though with really lame mid-90s level graphics.
* ExactProgressBar
* {{Expy}}: Many of Profit's darker qualities wound up finding their way into Pasdar's protrayal of [[Series/{{Heroes}} Nathan Petrelli]] a decade later.
* ExtremeGraphicalRepresentation: Gracen and Gracen has its own computer network which consists of a CGI version of their real building. Logging into the computer of a different person is shown on the screen by walking into their office and a mannequin with a black and white grid with the owners headshot shopped on it exploding.
* FamilyBusiness: Gracen and Gracen, which Jim Profit desperately wants into.
* {{Fanservice}}: Pasdar appeared naked and/or towel-clad in every. single. episode.
* FlashBack
* FreudianExcuse: Just about everyone, good and bad alike, had had god-awful childhoods.
* GirlFriday: Gail for Jim Profit.
* HannibalLecture
* KubrickStare: ... see photo above.
* ManipulativeBastard: Bobbi. While she took most of her cues on what to do from Jim, she still managed to masterfully twist every single one of her targets around her little finger.
* MegaCorp: Gracen and Gracen, of course.
* Theatre/OedipusRex
* OffTheWagon: Played straight by Pete - and also subverted [[spoiler: when Pete sobers up for his, Sykes, and Arthur [=McLean=]'s takeover]].
* ThePublicDomainChannel: Bobbi Stakowski is shown watching an old Film/TheThreeStooges clip in the pilot episode. The creators admit it wasn't a likely choice for her character but they didn't have a licensing budget.
* TheRenfield: Gail has been compared to Dracula's assistant by the show's writers, though she's hardly incompetent.
* RichBitch: Chaz is a RareMaleExample.
* SacrificialLamb
* SchizoTech: It takes place in the 90s but computers have touch screens and interfaces that run on ExtremeGraphicalRepresentation of the level of BeastWars. You can also make photos with a regular camera, connect it with a telephone (that appears to be of the kind you have in your living room but somehow works in cars without being connected to anything, too) and directly send it on the computer of a person you currently talk too. This in the time where you couldn´t even surf and phone at the same time.
* SexyCoatFlashing
* SingleTear: [[spoiler: Profit himself]], in the pilot.
* TheSociopath: Profit
* TookALevelInBadass: Gail in "Chinese Box" and Nora in "Forgiveness" - this is what happens when you listen to Jim Profit.
* TheVamp: Bobbi Stakowski - not only is she sleeping with her stepson, but she once seduced another man's wife in order to wreck their marriage, via getting her to file for divorce so that she would forsake any sort of settlement as part of the couple's clause claiming that the one who files for divorce gets nothing. Not to mention getting said husband addicted to morphine and firmly cementing her status as his soon-to-be new wife.
* ViewerFriendlyInterface
* VillainProtagonist: Profit, possibly one of the first television examples.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity
* WhatIsThisFeeling: Jim Profit gets this a lot, being a complete sociopath raised by the television, but the moment in the pilot sticks out when he's completely baffled as to what this weird wetness is on his face after he [[spoiler: kills his father]].
** He also does this in the lie detector episode. [[spoiler: In order to beat a lie detector, he puts some carpet tacks in the heels of his shoes. When he crunches his heels down onto them, his expression just says, "Hmmm..."]]
* WickedCultured
----
''"Goodnight."''[[note]]The very last line of the SeriesFinale.[[/note]]
----
[[redirect:Series/{{Profit}}]]
4th Sep '13 5:30:35 PM MarkLungo
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->--Jim Profit

Aired (and quickly [[ScrewedByTheNetwork yanked]]) by {{Fox}} back in 1996, ''Profit'' told the story of Jim Profit, an immaculately-groomed, sandpaper-voiced sociopath with a twisted {{backstory}}, who was making his way up the corporate ladder of Gracen & Gracen Enterprises through a series of Machiavellian schemes.

to:

->--Jim Profit

-->--'''Jim Profit'''

Aired (and quickly [[ScrewedByTheNetwork yanked]]) by {{Fox}} Creator/{{Fox}} back in 1996, ''Profit'' told the story of Jim Profit, an immaculately-groomed, sandpaper-voiced sociopath with a twisted {{backstory}}, who was making his way up the corporate ladder of Gracen & Gracen Enterprises through a series of Machiavellian schemes.



This series has been singled out as being ''way'' ahead of its time. Later shows, such as ''Series/TheSopranos'', ''TheShield'', and ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', proved that there was a market for sophisticated dramas about [[VillainProtagonist villainous protagonists]].

Compare to Showtime's ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', a more recent and far more successful show which has been likened to ''{{Profit}}'' in its left-of-center morality and use of voice-over, though Dexter's voiceover narration.

Also notable as the last series to come from [[StephenJCannell Stephen J. Cannell Productions]] (although the great man didn't write any episodes of this one).

to:

This series has been singled out as being ''way'' ahead of its time. Later shows, such as ''Series/BreakingBad'', ''Series/TheSopranos'', ''TheShield'', ''Series/TheShield'', and ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', proved that there was a market for sophisticated dramas about [[VillainProtagonist villainous protagonists]].

Compare to Showtime's ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', a more recent and far more successful show which has been likened to ''{{Profit}}'' ''Profit'' in its left-of-center morality and use of voice-over, though Dexter's voiceover narration.

Also notable as the last series to come from [[StephenJCannell [[Creator/StephenJCannell Stephen J. Cannell Productions]] (although the great man didn't write any episodes of this one).
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.Profit