Pilot Perception: Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show – here Lethal Weapon – in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Lethal Weapon, FOX in the U.S. and City TV in Canada, Wednesdays at 8/7c

The Pedigree: The show was created by Matt Miller (Forever), who executive produces with McG (Supernatural), Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes), and Jennifer Gwartz (Veronica Mars). The first episode was written by Miller and directed by McG.

The Cast & How You Know Them: The show stars Damon Wayans (My Wife and Kids) and Clayne Crawford (Rectify). The supporting cast includes Kevin Rahm (Mad Men), Keesha Sharp (The People v. OJ Simpson), Dante Brown (Mr. Robinson), Jordana Brewster (Dallas), Johnathan Fernandez (Younger), and Chandler Kinney (Girl Meets World).

The Premise: This is a “reimagining” of the movie franchise, focusing on LAPD cop partners — maverick Riggs and by-the-book Murtaugh — as they solve cases and deal with their personal lives and past tragedies. And have lots of car chases and shootouts and stuff.

A Taste:

 

What Works: Both Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford held an adorable baby! No, seriously: I wasn’t into the case or action stuff – which is what the show thinks is its strength – but I was surprisingly sold on the main characters’ backstories and developing personal relationship, and how Murtaugh’s wife and kids played into that. I’m interested in seeing more of that dynamic, but not . . . the rest of the show, really.

What Doesn’t: As I said above, the action sequences, as well as most of the case of the week stuff, didn’t hold my interest at all. Now, I’m not particularly into action stuff, and if you are, you may like this! But the actual A plot didn’t really track for me, and obviously that’s a problem if it continues. And while the “Isn’t he crazy??” “Isn’t he cautious??” stuff worked to set up the characters in the pilot, it will get old fast.

Our Favorite Line: “Is the DOA dead?” “Dead on arrival. Does it mean something different here?”

You Might Like This if you like action-packed procedurals with some heart and don’t care too much about the plot making sense. I’ve never seen the original movie, so I don’t know if liking that would make you more or less likely to like the show, honestly.

If You’re Interested: Watch the pilot on demand or on the FOX or City TV sites, then set your DVR for Wednesday at 8/7c.

(Photo courtesy of FOX.)

About Kate

Kate Linnea Welsh is a New Hampshire-based writer and taxonomist. (No, that doesn't involve dead animals.) She keeps us up to date on TV news in her weekly column "Caffeine." She writes about other TV shows, books, and more at her blog and her site Read the Screen. She'd love to talk to you on Twitter: @katelinnea