Bad Lieutenant


Ray Donovan is a fixer. When one of Hollywood’s rich and stupid makes a mess, he cleans it up. We’re not talking about dirty dishes.

Ray’s in a bind. His ex-con father owes big money to the Armenian mob. And Mrs. Minassian and her boys are losing patience fast.

Ray DonovanIncidentally, Ray hates his father. However, a couple of his brothers are now involved. Mickey “Mick” Donovan has a bad habit of mixing clean family with dirty business – one reason Ray hates him.

The only Armenian Ray knows is Hasmik – a pop star famous for her curves and a spicy hot “Thighs Go Boom” (think JLo + Kim Kardashian).

Hasmik is currently promoting “One Night in Yerevan”, a ballad about the early 20th century genocide of her ancestors.

Sung in her native Armenian, it’s not getting a lot of airtime (or interest).

He’s obviously done a bit of “work” for Hasmik in the past, although we don’t know specifics.

When Ray approaches her at an after concert party, she’s happy to see him but offended by his assumption.

“You think all Armenians know each other – especially ones like these?!”

“Why should I help your family when your government refuses to recognize the genocide of my great-grandfather, my family!”

“Fair Enough. Sorry about your great grandparents,” he offers as he quietly slips away.

Ray proceeds to track down Flip, another former client who owes him a favor.

It just so happens that the former weatherman has a new prime-time talk show. The big premiere is the next day.

With a bit of strong-armed persuasion involving damning S & M photos, Flip reluctantly (“career suicide”) agrees to put Hasmik on the show, knocking off his big musical act. “Yeven”, not “Thighs”.

Here’s the in-your-face video summary of the Case of the Armenian Diva.

Later that day, Ray accompanies Mick to an over-due “sit down” with the Minassians.

He offers to pay off his father’s debts. Preferring LA without Sr. and Jr., they refuse and draw their weapons.

With a gun pointed at Ray’s head, Hasmik bursts into the room. Action stops. Hugs and kisses are dispersed. Near execution becomes silly misunderstanding.

Click here to continue reading “Good End, Bad Means: A Hollywood Case Study” from my other blog – “The Path to Peak Performance”.


Yes, when I’m not waxing poetic about music, books or films I’m helping people and organizations achieve positive change. But I digress.

Back to the best TV I’ve seen in 2015. In addition to Showtime’s Ray Donovan (1 part Departed-2 parts Sopranos-1 part Californiacation), I’d highly recommend:

The Americans Season 3 (John le Carre writes The Ice Storm part 2)

Fargo Season 2 (“You Betcha” meets No Country for Old Men)

Mr. RobotMr. Robot Season 1 (Social Network meets Girl with Dragon Tattoo)

As a fan of Heathers and a few other classic films from the late 80’s/early 90’s, it was good to see Christian Slater pop up in Robot  – I thought he might have gone the way of the dodo.


What shows turned you on in 2015? If not TV, what movies, books or music lit a fire under you this past year?