Lethal Weapon (Fox TV Series) Review – Episode 1 – Pilot

Lethal Weapon (Fox TV Series) Review – Episode 1 – Pilot

September 28, 2016 3:00 pm 0 comments



I’m always intrigued by a new TV show based on a 70s or 80s property (stay tuned for my review of the Exorcist pilot.)  Sure, the intrigue has turned to hatred over mishandled properties like the “Knight Rider” reboot and the <shudder> “Smokey and the Bandit” TV series </shudder>, but I always stay hopeful that they’re going to do justice to the source material.  Some, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, are even better than the movie they’re based on.  After watching the previews and seeing that none other than Homey D. Clown was playing Sergeant Roger Murtaugh, I couldn’t stay away.

As basically stated, Damon Wayans has been brought on to play Roger in the series, while the pivotal role of Martin Riggs is played by Clayne Crawford.  The story has been tweaked a bit, as now Riggs is an ex-Navy Seal and veteran of the Gulf War as opposed to an ex-Army-black-ops specialist.  Early on, we actually get to see Riggs’ wife Miranda momentarily before her death triggers Riggs to become a loose cannon bent on line-of-duty suicide.  Murtaugh is just coming back to work after suffering a heart attack, and Riggs is made his new partner.

Fans of the films will feel comfortable with everything that follows.  There’s the initial meeting, a whacked-out stand-off with bank robbers and plenty of Murtaugh questioning Riggs’ stability and fitness for duty.  Wayans adds a comedic element to Murtaugh while Crawford mutes Riggs’ insanity a bit.  He does some seriously crazy things, but when not on duty he doesn’t look like he belongs in a straight jacket like Mel Gibson’s Riggs.  There are plenty of in-jokes also, like when Riggs tells Murtaugh that he understands, that he’s “getting too old for this sh….”

There are plot holes that leave you scratching your head but it’s Lethal Weapon, not Downton Abbey.  If you’re watching the show then you should expect to just enjoy eating some microwave popcorn, laughing a little and watching things go boom.  I couldn’t help but wonder when they’ll introduce Leo Getz.  Will it be during sweeps week or will they hold off until the ratings dip?

All in all, I think Fox and the show’s creator Shane Black have done a good job of modernizing the Lethal Weapon property.  It’s different and it’s OK that it’s different.  If you enjoyed the films, you’ll enjoy the show.  They’ve got me hooked at least through episode two.  I’ll give the pilot 3.5 out of 5 stars, mainly due to those aforementioned nagging little plot holes.


recallbutton  By:  Recall, vintage entertainment enthusiast

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