“Rush Hour” (CBS) pilot preview: Run the other way!

RUSHHOUR

Written & produced by Bill Lawrence (Spin City, Scrubs, Cougar Town, Undateable) & Black McCormick (King of the Hill, Cougar Town). Co-produced by Jeff Ingold (Undateable, Ground Floor), Brett Ratner (Rush HourHorrible BossesPrison Break) & Arthur Sarkissian (Rush Hour) Directed by John Turteltaub (Ninja Kids, Rasta Rockett, National Treasure, Jericho). For CBS, Warner Bros. Television & Doozer.

Description: Lee, a stoic, by-the-book Hong Kong police officer is assigned to a case in Los Angeles, where he’s forced to work with James Carter, a cocky black LAPD officer who has no interest in a partner…

With Justin Hires (21 Jump Street), Jon Foo (Tekken, Extraction, Bjankok Renaissance), Aimee Garcia (Dexter, Trauma), Page Kennedy (Weeds, Backstrom, Desperate Housewives, Blue Mountain State), Jessika Van (Awkward, The Messengers)…

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Initially, I held my nose while reading the first pages of Rush Hour‘s pilot script, ‘cos the whole idea of a reboot smelled bad from the get go. But then I couldn’t do it anymore ‘cos my eyes were closing as my brain was instinctively looking for a safer place. I won’t bullshit you: I had a very hard time finishing it and I may have jumped a few pages in the process. Rush Hour as a movie was not my thing. It was safe to assume it still wouldn’t be my thing as a TV series. I wanted to take a look at it anyway, ‘cos you never know. I can promise you now that if CBS orders it to series, I won’t watch a minute of it. Not because it’s bad. It’s not. Not really. Okay, it is. I think. But what do I know? Because IT’S NOT MY FUCKING THING. It’s the same for you: if the movies made you laugh, even just a little bit, try it: you never know. But if it didn’t, don’t even bother. It’s a waste of time.

Honestly, I have no desire to write a long article about it. I don’t even know what to say. There’s no need to tell you what it is about -the pitch up above says it all- or to give you further details. It’s exactly what you think it is. What you expect is what you get. It’s funny, for those who like that kind of humor (and I’m not judging you in any way when writing this). Me? I hated it. I thought the character of detective James Carter was a pain in the ass. He never stops talking. He always has a joke to crack. He’s a big joke himself. He couldn’t care less about his job. Or so it seems. He got on my nerves pretty quickly and I felt the same way about him until the end. But I’m pretty sure a lot of people will like him very much. His partner, Lee, is boring for half the pilot. The fact that he pretends that he can’t speak english doesn’t help. Once he stops hiding it, he gets a little bit more interesting. He can be funny too, cynical. That’s the kind of humor I enjoy more. But it’s sooo conventional. It doesn’t sound fresh at all. Of course, you get a lot of action: choppers, explosions, gun-fires, a little bit of fighting ninja style… I don’t know what we can expect from the cast, but they don’t seem very charismatic. CBS wanted Damon Wayans Jr. (Happy Endings, New Girl) for the lead. It turned out he prefered to be jobless than accepting the offer. He would have made a great pair with John Cho. I don’t know if he was approached. With them, I think I would have been able to give it a fair chance.

The first Rush Hour movie came out in 1998! You can’t make the same shit as a TV series almost 20 years later and expect the same result and the same welcome from the audience. As entertaining as it may be, and as tempting as it is for CBS to pick it up to series -and prove for once they can also have minorities for their leads, after every other networks did- I don’t think it’s a good move for them. And they don’t even produce it themselves so they won’t make that much money out of it even if it does well internationally. Scorpion & Hawaii 5-0 are enough in this department. Hopefully, like the Beverly Hills Cop reboot they made two years ago, they’ll stop in time.

5 comments

    • Lulla says:

      Yeah, it could work there. I mean: if it were good and appealing and relevant, it would be the perfect timeslot. But it’s not.

      • Boby says:

        It doesn’t need to be good and relevant. It needs to be a procedural that the audience of “NCIS New Orleans” will like : a fun and a light show. I don’t think “NCIS New Orleans” was something appealing and relevant for you…
        And the syndication point is not a good point : CBS can not have only CBS TV Studios productions. With “Person of Interest” ending soon and “The Mentalist” gone, CBS needs some diversity, not only on casting. And for the procedurals, CBS also needs new brands, and not just picking up spin-off from NCIS, CSI and Criminal Minds ! And “Rush Hour” is the perfect candidate for this among the CBS projects for next season. Plus, the afro-american / asian cast!

        • Lulla says:

          It has to be a GOOD and relevant procedural to work, or anything and everything could work as long as it is fun and light. And you know it doesn’t work this way. Look at “Scorpion” last year. I found it efficient, I was pretty sure it could work. And the fact that it was not my thing personnally didn’t cloud my judgement. And it worked. It’s not me saying “I was right”. I just don’t think “Rush Hour” is good enough to work on CBS, or anywhere else. But good for them if I’m wrong! We’ll see about that.
          I have to add, the problem of the show is that it wants to appeal to the young demo, with young characters and lots of jokes, but the young demo is not interested in that kind of show anymore. In 2000, maybe. Not in 2015. So, on CBS right now, it won’t appeal to the young demo and I don’t think the procedural stuff is solid enough to appeal to the older demo either (the one that watches CBS, and especially the NCIS franchise).

        • Lulla says:

          Oh and about productions from outside studios, let’s not forget they already have “Supergirl” (Warner Bros.) as a sure thing, and maybe “Code Black”, co-produced with ABC Studios. They’ll want at least two other CBS dramas. It gives “Limitless” a better chance than “Rush Hour” I think.

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