The cop action/drama Lethal Weapon has started its first season on Fox. The show, a reimagining of the classic movie franchise, centers on Riggs (Clayne Crawford) and Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) as a mismatched cop duo working in modern-day Los Angeles.
In this season, Riggs, stricken with grief after losing his wife and unborn child ex-Navy SEAL-turned-detective, moves to California to “start over” at the LAPD. He’s paired up with Murtaugh, just coming back to the job after a near-fatal heart attack. While Riggs’ headlong attempts to fight crime are a major clash with Murtaugh’s measured, by the book style, in time, the two come to appreciate each other. Murtaugh finds a new sense of life, while Riggs gets to see the family that keeps his partner going every day.
So far, reviews for LW seem to be middling. The actual acting by Crawford and Wayans has been praised, managing to be entertaining while not feeling like they are aping the original work of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. The two also have a believable buddy-chemistry, perhaps the single most important aspect of the show. In addition, the actual action of the show has been called decent, if not a little overly polished. However, the actual writing of the show has not been as well received. In order for a cop show to stand out in a packed environment, it has to stand out, and critics are quick to point out that #LethalWeapon often falls into some of the cliches of the genre.
Ultimately, another season for #LW is still up in the air. Remakes are always going to be a hot property, and it has been proven that they can be a success by combining a memorable name with a new take. However, while it is clear that the writers are trying to do an admirable job of updating this show, there may still be an issue. The fact of the matter is that the buddy cop premise is a very oversaturated concept, and while the original LW was credited with popularizing the trope, this show is coming sometime later, and many other shows and movies have played with it to various success.
As can be seen by the failure of the Rush Hour remake, it’s not that difficult for this idea to flop on its face. However, to #LW’s credit, the writing has been better received and the lead actors are doing a better job of trying to put their own spin on the classic characters rather than trying to imitate the original actors. Fox appears to be behind the show also, so it may boil down to how well #LethalWeapon performs in the ratings to see how long it lasts.
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