The Cleaner hasn’t received the best of reviews since it first aired on A&E in 2008. That said; Benjamin Bratt (The Andromeda Strain, Miss Congeniality, LA Law) is the kind of body-perfect eye candy that could make a toothpaste commercial look like soft porn. Sporting a goatee that would make a Hells Angel proud, Bratt plays William “The Cleaner” Banks, a character based on real life “extreme interventionist” and executive producer of the show, Warren Boyd.
The Cleaner uses 1960’s terminology to describe an advocates’ thankless job that at times seems more a savior to the actual interventionist rather than the drug addict he/she is helping. William Banks is not even close to the friendly after-hours-call advocate often portrayed onscreen. Instead, he uses the resources of an unconventional team of no nonsense recovery junkies, (Esteban Powell and Grace Park) who together use all means necessary to help people steer clear from their addictions. It is this over the top semi-mercenary acts of rehab that haven’t rung true to viewers, who rightly so, consider one persons addiction as a close knit problem rather than the universal threat to mankind and civil order, as depicted in the series. In one episode we see Banks team of “just say no” evangelists use radar trackers and frenzied car chases in order to grab just one poor gal into rehab.
Of course, our hero must fight inner demons, this is TV after all, and Banks old addictions come back to haunt him. But it is his present addiction to work and his commitment to his wife (Amy Price-Francis from Nip/Tuck), children, and to the God he made promises to, which find cause to push him over the edge.