Quickie Review: Is ‘Lethal Weapon’ Worth Your Time?

Ken Tucker
(Credit: Richard Foreman/Fox)
(Credit: Richard Foreman/Fox)

Note: Occasionally during the new fall TV season, I’m going to write brief reviews of new shows. (Have you noticed? There’s Too Much TV!) Maybe I’ll revisit the show down the line with a longer appraisal. Or maybe this “quickie” will be the final judgment. Now let’s get to it.

Yes, Lethal Weapon is definitely worth checking out. Based, of course, on the 1987 Mel Gibson-Danny Glover movie, the show stars Damon Wayans and Rectify’s Clayne Crawford as mismatched cops. Chemistry is key to a project like this, and Wayans and Crawford have it. Even in the series’ cartoonish exaggeration of what crime-fighting is about (yelling, screaming, and car-chasing), Lethal Weapon has a comic snap that is entertaining.

Developed for TV by Matt Miller (remember the short-lived-but-fun The Human Target?) and director McG, Lethal Weapon is no great brain-strain; it’s fun escapism rooted in a certain seriousness. After all, the reason Crawford’s Riggs acts so dangerously nutty is because he’s a military vet driven to a breakdown after the death of his wife: You have sympathy for him. And as Murtaugh, Wayans does project a welcome maturity while also conveying a fussy reluctance. The partnership works, but whether Lethal Weapon can come up with weekly capers that keep us watching is another matter.

Lethal Weapon airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.