Identity crisis

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In My Own Worst Enemy, Christian Slater is Henry, an efficiency expert who's frequently separated from his family by business trips to places like Akron. Slater is also Edward, a former military man and Medal of Honor recipient who's now a globetrotting secret agent fluent in 13 languages.

Both personalities exist in the same body, and with the flip of a remote software switch, the dominant personality changes, depending on the needs of the super-secret underground government operation Edward works for.

It's easily one of the more over-the-top premises of the new fall season, but from the first episode, it appears that Slater and show creators Jason Smilovic and David Semel approach it with the right combination of intrigue and tongue-in-cheek humor.

In its debut, the series presents a malfunction with the main character's switching device that has Henry waking up at absolutely the wrong moment, and with his newfound awareness of his other identity comes some internal sparring about the borrowing rights on Edward's car and Henry's wife (Madchen Amick).

Slater might not stretch his limited chops too much for the parts, but so far he's compellingly watchable. And he's backed by a small but strong supporting cast, including Alfre Woodard as Edward's M, and dough-faced Mike O'Malley as Henry's best friend and Edward's take-no-prisoners fellow operative.