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           Lethal Weapon:

The Complete First Season               review by Bobby Blakey

There is a big resurgence of bringing back old shows as well as turning old films into TV series. One of the more successful of these takes the iconic Mel Gibson and Danny Glover action franchise Lethal Weapon this time with Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans stepping into the title roles. Could this show actually work and capture everything that made the films so great or will it be a partnership that just doesn’t work? For those that didn’t check it out on TV you can find out when you bring home Lethal Weapon: The Complete First Season.

Lethal Weapon follows Roger Murtaugh and Martin Riggs are back on the streets of L.A., in Warner Bros. Television’s adaptation of the classic buddy cop action-comedy. The series introduces these two polar opposites: Riggs a volatile former Navy SEAL-turned-detective out of El Paso, Texas with a tendency to dive into the line of fire following the tragic deaths of his wife and unborn son; and Murtaugh, a seasoned, by-the-book detective cautiously returning to the LAPD in the wake of a heart attack that nearly killed him.  While the partnership seems doomed from the start, the dynamic is crazy enough that it just might work. The question remains… can the two of them work together to protect the crime-ridden streets of Los Angeles, or will Riggs get the two of them killed first? As someone who loves the entire franchise I was hesitant to give this show a chance, but I am glad I did. While it has some of the same vibes of the films it stands on its own as a good buddy cop show. All the elements of the characters are intact without trying to just mimic them which was the smartest choice of all.

Crawford is great as Riggs offering up a more country version of the character that still has his usual suicidal tendencies and emotional turmoil involving the death of his wife. The idea and behaviors are the same, but Crawford makes the character his own without trying to just be Gibson. It took me a bit longer to warm up to Wayans version of Murtaugh. He is great in the role, but this version is just so much cooler than Glover’s which at first felt like he was all wrong. Thankfully the same family mad persona is intact with a twist on the character dealing with a heart issue instead of retirement. These two have great chemistry which is important for this series to work. There are the usual ongoing story elements throughout all sprinkled into a case of the week story structure.

Once I got past thinking about the connection to the movies and just let this series be its own take I really enjoyed it. There is some great action, drama and overall fun making it an enjoyable take on the iconic franchise while still being its own thing. Join this unlikely partnership when Lethal Weapon: The Complete First Season hits Blu-ray and DVD on September 19th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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