Action was a short-lived Fox series (September-December, 1999. One further episode was broadcast in August, 2000) , starring comedian Jay Mohr as ruthless movie producer Peter Dragon, who's just had the biggest bomb of his career, and is now trying to get his comeback movie, Beverly Hills Gun Club, made. Not an easy task. Helping him is his new partner, Wendy Ward (Illeana Douglas), and his Uncle Lonny (Buddy Hackett). Also, there are Peter's assistant, Stuart Glazer, and the film's irritable, unsavvy writer, Adam Rafkin. Together, they deal with prima donna actors, crazy directors and the arrogant studio head, Bobby G, who also happens to be Peter's ex-wife's Straight Gay current husband.
This TV series provides examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming: Peter constantly forgets Adam's name.
- Adam Westing: A lot of celebrities made cameos on this show, including Salma Hayek (who beats up Peter), Sandra Bullock (who beats up Peter), Scott Wolf (sensing a pattern here?)...Lonnie: You're threatening me? That's a laugh...I'm 79 years old. I've got one kidney, one ball and one lung. I take Viagra just to keep from peeing on my shoes, and you're threatening me? Who are you frightening?
- Blood Brothers: Hilariously inverted. A very drunk Peter declares he and Adam to be this, then stabs both himself and Adam through the hand with a toothpick. Adam's horrified reaction shows the feeling is not mutual.
- Butt-Monkey: Stuart, especially when he complains that Peter is now taking movie advice from his "whore" (Wendy). Peter's response?"She's not my whore, she's my prostitute. You're my whore."
- Cluster F-Bomb: Everyone, especially Peter. This is particularly notable as the series was the first network television show to allow such language on air, even bleeped out.
- Comedic Sociopathy
- Comic Sutra:Wendy: Adam, do you know what I used to do?
Adam: You were a prostitute.
Wendy: Adam, do you know what a two-fingered Mexican oil job is?
Wendy: I do. Do you know what a double-knobbed rubber-bottom sex-basket is?
Adam: No.Wendy: I own one, Adam. Adam, have you ever had a Dominican face-hat?Adam: No.Wendy: Of course you haven't. Cause I'm one of only six people in the world who knows how to do it, and Adam, when you get to page 80 I will do it to you. I'm even gonna throw in the incredibly difficult reverse ceiling squad, which normally requires a permission slip from a cardiologist.
- Cosmic Plaything: The entire series is based around Peter Dragon's fall from grace and his chance to claw his way back to the top of the heap. This trope is explicitly acknowledged and lampshaded when spoiled A-List star Holden Van Dorn makes the mistake of claiming he has Bad Luck in front of Peter...Peter: Hey, hey, hey... bad luck? Let me tell you something - thirty-three years old I had cancer of the mole, that's "bad luck". *to Lonnie* I'm calm! Heart attack at thirty-four is "bad luck". Overdosing the Director while fucking his wife in the hot tub, he's wearing water wings for christ's sakes! That! Is! Just! Sheer! STUPIDITY!!!
- Cut Short: The series ends while Beverly Hills Gun Club is still being filmed.
- Determinator: Peter, in spades. He may be a cold-hearted amoral coward, but he is bound and determined to get to his place on top no matter what it takes.
- Downer Ending: The result of being cancelled before its main arc could be finished.
- End-of-Series Awareness: The final handful of episodes include Peter legally dying of a heart attack (time of death: 9:30 on a Thursday night), and Peter saying to an interviewer that a TV series about his life would be a hit if it was in the right timeslot.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Peter does have a few stray morals lurking in his heart, though they usually manifest themselves at inopportune moments... like when his drug-addled A-List star accidentally murders the director of his movie.
- Eye Take: When Peter realizes what a smarmy agent asking him to cast a "falsely accused former football player" is really doing...Peter: You're pitching me OJ Simpson?!?
Agent: Every kid knows his name!
Peter: Yeah, every kid knows to stay away from him!'
- Gag Penis: Bobby G. He isn't shy about it either, typically whipping it out in front of Peter to end an argument.
- Genre Blind: Adam seems completely unaware of the kind of people he's dealing with.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Subverted; Wendy's more or less just as misanthropic as everybody else, but she at least has some good qualities.
- Implausible Deniability: When confronted with a furious Sandra Bullock, Peter denies he had anything to with releasing a sex tape featuring the two of them. Bullock then points out the DragonFire Films logo on the box, and adds that it's currently the #1 video in Taiwan.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: When Peter asks Stuart to get the bookish Jewish screenwriter Alan Rifkin to write his film, Stuart mistakenly signs the bookish Jewish screenwriter Adam Rafkin instead. Could also be a lampshading of Identical-Looking Asians.
- I Should Write a Book About This: Peter states to a tabloid interviewer that if Beverly Hills Gun Club failed, he would have to move to television, and floats an idea about doing a TV series about his film career.
- Narrating the Obvious: Invoked in-universe. On the above-mentioned sex tape, Peter keeps using Sandra Bullock's full name all through the act. Why? So the tape's viewers would know it was her.
- No Dead Body Poops: Lampshaded and zigzagged! When Titus Scroad drowns in his pool, Uncle Lonnie isn't quite convinced he's dead... until he [Lonnie] manages to spot a suspicious bulge.Lonnie: How do we know he's really dead?Peter: What?
- One-Word Title: As a reference to "Lights, Camera, Action", as the show deals with Hollywood.
- Playing Against Type: R. Lee Ermey had absolute ball playing Titus Scroad, a drug-addled, reclusive perfectionist of a director who comes out of retirement to direct "Beverly Hills Gun Club". Amusingly, while Scroad's filmography is mostly modeled on Francis Ford Coppola, his personality and appearance are based on Stanley Kubrick, who gave Ermey his big break in Hollywood (and had remained a close friend of his in real life).
- Straight Gay: Stuart and Bobby. And Cole. This is Hollywood, after all.
- Take That!: Once it was clear that the show wasn't going to be renewed by FOX, the Creative Team took vicious aim at the Weinstein Brothers with the Rothstein Brothers, portraying them as villainous gluttons who are even more morally bankrupt than Peter.
- This Is Wrong on So Many Levels: Explicitly invoked by an Orthodox Jewish investor when Peter attempts to give him a Beverly Hills Gun Club prayer shawl.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Pretty much everybody to some degree, but especially Peter.
- Very Punchable Man: Either Peter's Too Dumb to Live, or he simply doesn't care about getting the crap kicked out of him.