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Series / Arli$$

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Arliss (stylized as Arli$$) is a cult TV show that aired on HBO. It lasted from August 1996 to September 2002, for a total of 80 episodes.

The show follows the adventures of sports agent Arliss Michael, played by Robert Wuhl. Also in the regular cast are Sandra Oh as his personal assistant Rita Wu, Michael Boatman as his financial advisor Stanley Babson, and Jim Turner as retired football star turned associate agent Kirby Carlisle.

The show also features a great many appearances by real-life athletes and other sports figures playing themselves.


This show provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: In one episode, Arliss praises the first Batman movie (in which Wuhl had a supporting part), but is uninterested in the sequels.
  • Broken Pedestal: Used several times, most notably when Arliss helps a retired ballplayer accused of beating his second wife. His first wife says that the two were together but then confesses to Arliss that she's covering for her husband. When Arliss asks why, she responds "why do you think we got divorced in the first place?" and she'd rather the world think her husband a cheater than a wife-beater. Arliss is rocked to discover his idol is this way and, while not calling him out on it, does drop him as a client.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The show's name was sometimes stylized as "Arli$$".
  • Special Guest: Arliss had big-name clients, as befitting a sports agent.
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  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: The title character really is a scumbag.