The affable TV sequel you didn’t ask for but won’t mind

Given Disney’s obsession with reviving every piece of intellectual property in its archives, whether you want it or not, you’re going to get sequels, reboots or remakes to many classics.

The latest offering? Turner and Hooch, a sequel series to the 1989 Tom Hanks buddy cop movie about a small-town investigator and a very drooly and jowly Dogue de Bordeaux.

Even though probably no one asked for it, the Turner and Hooch series has something in its favour – low expectations. Maybe that’s harsh, but truly few expect the wit of Stoppard or the human insight of Chekhov from a TV show about a cop and his dog.

So, from that baseline, Turner and Hooch is fine. It’s even more than fine because the affable series scratches a very specific itch.

Australian viewers may not be intimately familiar with this but there is an American cable channel called USA Network and for 10 years, it had a programming mantra called “Blue Sky”, characterised by a slate of episodic light dramedies with quirky, loveable characters.

We’re talking about Psych, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, White Collar and In Plain Sight, shows which had fanbases in Australia, often broadcast at odd hours or on pay TV, or found on DVD box set at JB Hifi.

They had stories that resolved in 42 minutes, often supported by unimposing longer arcs, while being sprinkled with quippy dialogue. And it never rained.

They’re bingeable and required little emotional or cerebral investment. And you always felt, maybe not satisfaction, but a sense of contentment afterwards.

Turner and Hooch is cut from the same good-natured TV cloth, at least in the first three episodes made available for review.

That’s abundantly clear when you take in the fact the series was created by Matt Nix, the man behind Burn Notice, while its visual style was established by the pilot director and executive producer McG, who did the same for Chuck, another series with a similar vibe.

Hanks isn’t part of the show whose character has been killed off, nor is Mare Winningham whose Emily has been recast but Reginald VelJohnson pops in for a cameo, reprising his role as Turner’s police friend David.

The series is centred on Scott Turner Jr (Josh Peck), Turner’s son. Like his father, he’s a fastidious law enforcement officer. Scott keeps a clean apartment, has a regimental morning routine and talks to his Roomba robot vacuum cleaner.

He’s a rookie US Marshal, the partner to Jessica (Carra Patterson), a more experienced cop.

He’s shaken out of his perfectly curated world when his sister Laura (Lyndsy Fonseca) turns up to his apartment with an enormous dog, a dead ringer for the original Hooch, and just as destructive.

RELATED: Loki director reveals what changed in the finale

RELATED: 13 Cannes movies we’re excited about

It’s all chaos and exaggerated physical comedy, inspired by the original film and the likes of the Beethoven movies, as Hooch, the fountain of spit, tears up everything he touches.

And just like the original film, Hooch quickly proves himself an indispensable asset to both’s Scott’s job and to his life, which includes getting to know the Marshals’ animal trainer Erica (Vanessa Lengies).

It follows many of the same beats as the 1989 film, just restructured as week-by-week mysteries. There is an overarching story, and it involves Turner senior’s death, supposedly a heart attack by the side of the road.

But Laura finds a tranche of suggestive case files in the back of her father’s wardrobe – could he have been working on something and was he killed for it?

There’s nothing subtle about Turner and Hooch – at one point Hooch becomes obsessed with a red herring squeaky toy – and it’s mould-perfect a lighthearted American broadcast dramedy, even if it’s on a streaming service.

You may not have asked for a Turner and Hooch series, but it may just be the inoffensive, low-stakes series you were looking for when you need something easygoing. We all need that.

Turner and Hooch is on Disney+ now.

Share your TV and movies obsessions | @wenleima

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *