Remember Katey Sagal? Of course you do. How could you not? Known for her iconic Peg Bundy on the 90’s classic “Married With Children” and the powerful infamous biker mob mom Gemma Teller Morrow on “Sons of Anarchy,” and lately she’s been seen as Louise on the “Roseanne” spinoff, “The Conners” as love interest for Dan Conner (John Goodman) after the “death” of Roseanne Barr’s iconic character of the same name.

Well, Ms. Sagal, has returned, seemingly without taking a breath, on ABC’s new series “Rebel,” and she appears to have lost 20 years. She looks 37 again.

Meet Katey as Annie “Rebel” Bello, a firecracker powerhouse advocate for folks who stood in the path of major corporations and got trampled on.

“Rebel,” we’re told, is based on the fiery career of Erin Brockovich who is an American legal clerk consumer advocate, and environmental activist, despite her lack of education in the law.

Most remember Julia Roberts as Brockovich in the 2000 film “Erin Brockovich.”

But Julia didn’t have the tiger eyes and street corner mouth of Katey’s “Rebel.”


And I guess they decided that “Bello” was easier to spell and remember than Brockovich?

As “Rebel” opens on our TVs this month, our rebel walks onto a country club fundraising bash in Beverly Hills, hosted by medical parts CEO Mark Duncan (a welcome Adam Arkin) with a battery of sign carrying protesters.

In the first 10 chaotic minutes we find it’s all about a heart valve Mr. Duncan’s company manufactures, that is making recipients sick to death.

Up on the palatial estate’s balcony, one of the victims, Helen, (Mary McDonnell from “Dances with Wolves,” looking like she still tangos with wolves) is dying from one of Duncan’s mysterious valves. To make matters worse, Helen’s daughter’s pregnancy is being threatened by the same valve.

Apparently, Rebel has been spending her days since we last saw her, flying around the country and planet, making trouble for bad-ass companies like Duncan’s.

Now, she’s home and kicking up dust around Los Angeles again.


Ms. Sagal, dressed in various costumes like tight-fitting leather pants and assorted tops, gives us exactly what’s needed, energy and plenty of it. All she lacks is a whip and shield to become a new Marvel hero.

But you can’t field a character like Rebel who brings down major companies without fielding the progeny of her multiple marriages that include a doctor and lawyer. Talk about keeping the action in the family.

You need back up, and the various producers, including the original Erin Brockovich, provide plenty, including the great Adam Arkin, and much missed and very welcome Andy Garcia, (who plays a major part as the lawyer husband of Rebel’s deceased best friend). Jeff Doucette, James Lesure and Jalen Thomas Brooks are also aboard.

And of all people, John Corbett from “Sex In the City” fame turns up as her current husband who is bringing a surprise.

“Rebel,” created by Krista Vernoff, runs Thursdays on ABC and on demand.


J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

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