If you’ve been keeping an eye on any of the social media platforms, it’s likely you will have come across the updates on an adaptation of the genre-giant Lethal Weapon film franchise: Fox is bringing the big screen to the little screen in September, and it looks like it’s going to be explosive.
My immediate response is twofold: first, can this televised series ever come close to matching up to the atmosphere of the films, and can the Buddy Cop gimmick work taken away from its iconic filmic setting of the 1980s? The latter convention is still evident in a postmodern sense in contemporary tv dramas, remoulding the somewhat dated clichés by switching up the stereotypical gender and culture roles with such partnerships as the Burkhardt & Griffin bromance of NBC’s spooktacular Grimm series (2011–) to the Amazon Prime sizzler Lucifer (2015–) where the good cop bad cop takes on a whole new meaning when devil himself teams up with an entirely unimpressed blonde.
The imdb.com site for the series boldly states that this show is “based” on the film franchise, loosely acknowledging the renaissance of the rough cop-sassy cop camaraderie and extravagant plotline templates which made the films so popular.
There are some bookmark conventions which flag this series up as one to watch. The trailer sets the mood by teaming the dulcet tones of a sentimental power ballad against the near-instantaneous violence of Riggs (Clayne Crawford) being shot in the foot by his partner Murtaugh (Damon Wayans), before Riggs manages to grab a handily reachable gun and shooting a gun toting nasty who had him in his cross-hairs. The action, overlaid by the contrapuntally soothing song and dubbed hair-brained scheme to defeat the bad-guy gunman, is broken by a near predictable excerpt of brotherly banter about the time lapse between one partner shooting the other. Cue shared chuckle before the remainder of the trailer sums up the rough, tough and frankly absurd scrapes that this disaster duo get themselves into.
At under a minute long, the trailer is pithy, punchy and packed full of the film convention titbits that we would hope a series linked to such an iconic franchise would have: it has action, no small amount of violence, a partnership that bridges age, cultural and racial differences, and humour galore. Of course, there is always the risk that the trailer contains the juciest bits and the remainder of the show will reveal itself to be the younger, ill-gotten sibling that wants to be like Big Brother… but really should have been left in the corner with his popgun and sheriff’s hat. We’ll just have to see.
Lethal Weapon comes to our tv screens in September 2016.