I know there’s a familiar wind blowing through TV land where they look at old movies, old shows, old scripts, old tropes, old everything and think, “Hmm, if we rebooted THAT, maybe we would increase our chances of a hit”. This year, Lethal Weapon is one of the reboots (Rush Hour went nowhere last year, but hey, why not try again?).
When I read the premise, which isn’t much different from the movie, I thought, “Really? Who are you going to get who could replace Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as Riggs and Murtaugh?”. They were iconic in their roles.
Now, replacing Riggs should be easy…pick someone with a flair for crazy, and you got a shot. But Murtaugh has to walk a fine line between serious detective and WTF moments. Maybe they would change the ratio, but still, it’s a hard line to nail well. Glover did it expertly.
When I saw the casting and it was DAMAN WAYANS, I thought, “Seriously? This is your best catch?”. Oddly enough, Wayans wasn’t bad. Not Glover-good, but okay. More like his role in The Last Boy Scout with Bruce Willis. Good secondary characters around him too with his wife, kids, captain, a couple of other cops, and a shrink (the Rene Russo character from the movie).
But Riggs? He is terrible. If they named him something else, and tweaked the backstory, I’d take it. But not as Riggs. Pale, pale imitation.
I gave it my one episode try, and it will be the last. I’m sticking with my original prediction — 4 episodes and gone for good.