Lethal Weapon (FOX) pilot preview: So harmless and useless

LETHALY

Created and executive produced by Matt Miller (Forever, The 100, Chuck). Directed by McG (The Mysteries of Laura, Chuck, The OC, Supernatural). Also executive produced by Produced by Dan Lin (Forever, Sherlock Holmes) & Jennifer Gwartz (Forever, Party Down, Veronica Mars). For FOX, Warner Bros. Television & Good Sessions Productions.

Description: When Texas cop and former Navy SEAL Martin Riggs moves to Los Angeles to start anew after the loss of his wife and baby, he gets partnered with LAPD Detective Roger Murtaugh, who, having recently suffered a “minor” heart attack, must avoid any stress in his life. But avoiding stress and working with this guy are not compatible…

With Damon Wayans (My Wife and Kids, In Living Color), Clayne Crawford (Rectify, Rogue, The Glades), Jordana Brewster (Dallas 2012, American Crime Story, Fast & Furious), Kevin Rahm (Amy, Mad Men, Desperate Housewives), Keesha Sharp (American Crime Story, Are we there yet?), Chandler Kinney, Johnathan Fernandez

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I was not a fan of buddy police comedies like Rush Hour and Lethal Weapon in the 90s. Suffice to say I’m even less of a fan two decades later. Rush Hour already proved the audience couldn’t care less about those properties anymore. It was a huge flop on CBS. You can’t blame the studios to try to cash on it a little bit more, but you can blame the networks which decide to give them a chance, even when everything points it’s doomed to fail. Even when they have way better options waiting for their approval. It’s just bad pussy moves from their part. The ratings decline they’re all experiencing can’t be reduced to those decisions but they’re probably part of the problem. Anyway, Lethal Weapon as a TV series is not a very seductive proposition and I’m certain if it gets ordered it won’t last long, even though quite frankly it’s not that bad.

We can certainly thank Matt Miller for that okay script. Forever creator is very talented and they certainly picked him to rejuvenate the Lethal Weapon franchise for at least two good reasons: his writing is very efficient and the man is funny as hell! Remember he also has a comedy pilot in contention at NBC, The Trail, which happens to be the best of the pack (Learn more). Warner Bros. must be very happy with their deal with him. So yeah, if Lethal Weapon had to be summed up in one word it would be : funny. The jokes never end. Broad jokes. Some dark ones too, since this Martin Riggs is suicidal. But probabl not enough to match the movie franchise’s tone. It was darker. And that what made it different and, I guess, successful. Plus the fact that they had Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the leading parts. Sorry but Damon Wayans is not as cool. I don’t really know Clayne Crawford but from what I’ve read from people who watched Rectify in its entirety, he’s good, they liked him very much. But he doesn’t have star power. It’s gonna be a hard sell: a has been and an unknown. Let’s just hope they have chemistry, which is the most important thing there so it works. It’s only based on their tense relationship.

You can do whatever you want to modernize the characters –and the job is halfway done here– that won’t make your concept more relevant, especially when everything has been done in the police procedural genre, including this. It’s just outdated. And what bothers even more is that the other characters, most precisely the women, are non-existent so far. They’re just there, because the show needs them to make the story and the investigation move forward, but that’s it. And they just cast beautiful women to play there. Because they don’t need to be good, they’re asked so little! I mean, whenever Jordana Brewster is cast somewhere, I’m like “Whaat?”. I think I don’t have anything left to sa, sadly. It just doesn’t inspire many thoughts.

Lethal Weapon is not the big fail I kinda expected. It’s an honest and harmless comedic police procedural, that is able to entertain but not much more. It needs rework, obviously. But obviously, they can do without it. And they should.

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