By Gregory Robinson
I have never been a fan of the ‘turn films into TV shows’ movement and once you watch the new Rush Hour series, you won’t be either. I don’t know how Bill Lawrence has managed to turn one of the best cop comedies into a tepid, banal and cheap hour long procedural. The show stinks of orthodoxy and conformity and fails to re-capture the tone and most importantly, the humour of the original.
What was CBS thinking? We all know they love police procedurals and crappy comedies but now they have decided to merge the two together using a great film as a platform. Or maybe due to CBS’s mostly white crop of actors and lack of diversity in comparison to other networks, they thought a Rush Hour adaptation would bring some much needed diversity to their network. The only problem is, John Foo (Detective Lee) and Justin Hires (Detective Carter) who take their roles from Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are simply caricatures of the original actors. While the film certainly made use of stereotypes for both of the lead characters, the writing and tone of the film helped to make the characters more than simple stereotypes. Carter was from the streets of LA but had style and always wore a suit. In the show, he dresses like every other token black character you may be lucky to see on CBS. Chan brought a certain type of naivety to Lee which is replaced with stale stoic-ness in the TV show.
I cannot describe how painful it is to see a TV show rip-off several iconic scenes you have seen time and time again, such as Carter visiting his cousin in the shady bar downtown which leads to Lee getting into a fight with the cousin’s henchman. The only good thing I can say about this show is that, like actual Rush Hour, at some point it stops.