RogerBW's Blog

Lethal Weapon season 1 26 June 2017

2016-2017, 18 episodes: Murtaugh is a straight-arrow cop, Riggs is his ker-razy partner.

That really is about all there is to it. I was hoping for some vaguely original spin on the whole buddy-cop thing, which let's face it has been done to death, buried, dug up, stitched back together, and done to death again. It's a copy of a copy of a copy and should only have been made if someone involved felt there was something new to say about this worn-flat setup. But no, this is a Fox show, and while all the networks are somewhat guilty it seems that Fox is sometimes particularly averse to showing anything that might confuse its audience or cause them to have to think.

But it can actually get worse than that. Riggs in the films was the wild and wacky comedic kind of broken; here his genre whipsaws between cheerfully blowing stuff up and being seriously depressed about the death of his wife (she was pregnant, of course, and turns up in lots of flashbacks), getting drunk and contemplating suicide. Now that's entertainment, ha ha ha ha ha. Meanwhile this iteration of Murtaugh is trying to do stereotyped masculine roles from the 1950s (though not, of course, black roles ditto) while surrounded by a family that's actually living in the modern world.

And then they're thrown into various wacky crime situations. Things get blowed up real good (the series' one good point) in between the endless cuts to brief shots of swaying breasts and buttocks, a desperate attempt to keep the viewer's limbic system engaged. The cast do the best they can with some terrible material; I'd like to see Clayne Crawford (Riggs) with an actual script rather than raw output from the Plot-o-Matic. You can predict scene by scene what's going to happen. It goes without saying that the cops are always good, and always right, and completely justified in everything they do. Every episode ends with a cheap moral lesson on the importance of Family.

Cthulhu help us, the series is bringing in six million and more viewers per episode, and has been renewed.

  1. Posted by Jonathan at 04:16pm on 26 June 2017

    I was incredulous that they'd made a tv series of the movies; my assessment from watching about 10 minutes is pretty much on par with yours.

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