Lethal Weapon returns, this time to TV

Action-packed show has its shortcomings

Lethal Weapon returns, this time to TV

John Owen, Mass media

FOX’s Lethal Weapon is one of the network’s new classic movie-to-television series, along with The Exorcist and their revised TV-movie version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The original Lethal Weapon movie, which was originally launched in 1987, was one of the biggest action hits of the decade. Now after 18 years since the last film in the franchise, Lethal Weapon is back with actors Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans replacing Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as officers Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh. When Lethal Weapon first came out in ‘87, it invented many of the cop show/movie cliches that we now see constantly in shows like C.S.I. and Hawaii Five-0, but does the new Lethal Weapon blend in with the crowd, or does it bring a fresh new offering to the table?

While I have only seen two or three episodes of the  six aired, I can safely say that for the most part, Lethal Weapon balances both classic tropes as well as bringing new things to the table. However, the new Lethal Weapon is not perfect, as it does have its shortcomings, but nevertheless it makes for a worthwhile watch.

What are its negatives? First off, for a show that is adapted from a movie known heavily for its action, the action in this is really underwhelming. The only scene that sticks out in my mind is when Riggs is leaping from car to car trying to reach this gasoline truck, but the scene is so short the audience hardly have time to be caught up in the intensity of it all. Most action consists of basic shootouts and on-foot chases. Nothing special. Nothing horrible either, or bad even, but nothing out of the ordinary. Thankfully, Lethal Weapon has more going for it than action scenes.

In fact, I’d argue that maybe the reason the action scenes aren’t so spectacular is because it’s not the show’s main focus. Instead, what sets the show apart from other crime programs on TV right now is the chemistry and comedy between Riggs and Murtaugh. Right off the bat, the by-the-books veteran Murtaugh isn’t fond of the young, reckless, and suicidal Riggs, but their relationship grows and develops throughout the following episodes. Even though they don’t get along at first, the two bond with each other slowly but surely. They don’t just start instantly liking each other, it’s a gradual process, which is one that the audience can believe and relate with.

You are able to really buy that even though Riggs and Murtaugh are two totally different people, that they need each other, and that’s what makes them a good team. The audience sympathizes with Riggs because he lost both his wife and the baby she was carrying on the day she was about go into delivery, and since then he has gone into a depressive and suicidal state, getting into bar fights and alcohol addictions, and trying to kill himself on every police job he is assigned. We’ve all lost someone we love before in our lifetime, and we’ve all been in a prolonged saddened state as well, which is what makes Riggs such a good character; it’s because he is relatable. The more relatable a character or concept in a show, or any other form of media is, the more believable it is, and the more believable it is, the more immersive the show becomes.

So far, I’ve enjoyed my time with FOX’s new Lethal Weapon. It strikes a healthy balance between comedy, drama, chemistry, and characters. While the action scenes are a tad underwhelming, the show compensates in other areas. I look forward to watching more of the series, and hope that it is renewed for another season.