While browsing the Internet, I came across the news that my beloved Lethal Weapon movies were being rebooted and turned into a television series for Fox. Now my first instinct was to run into my shower, fully clothed, and sit in cold water crying at how far away my childhood had gone away. All those days at Grandma’s house watching Lethal Weapon movies on VHS (remember those things?) and marveling at the magic badass chemistry of Riggs and Murtuagh. But once I got over my emotions I realized how big of an opportunity this was for Lethal Weapon fans. The old movies are classics but trying to watch them now with someone who hasn’t seen them before is like watching a comedy in all its 80’s glory: The fashion, the awkwardly close stare downs, Riggs homoerotic threats, Mel Gibson’s mullet.
These are all funny things in hindsight, but they do not take away from the core story, and how it is perfect for an update on television. Let the old lethal weapon movies reign supreme on the theater screen where they belong. But in today’s golden television era, television is the only chance these characters have a chance at a decent comeback. So let us begin.
Rule 1. -Let this show be a cop drama with action. Not a Soap opera with guns.
This is important for ANYTHING bearing the name Lethal Weapon. This franchise works best when it’s about two good cops hitting the streets, none of this drawn out, over the top Soap Opera stuff we see in tv shows. We don’t need any unnecessary plot lines about how Murtaughs son is caught up in a relationship with some 4 ft Lephracaun,She-wolf and he wants to marry her. No, let’s not get weird with this show. Leave that hot mess express for other shows. This needs to be a show about brothers in arms caught in over their heads trying to come out on top.
Rule 2. – Keep the Eric Clapton guitar and Michael Kamen score.
I don’t know what kind of licensing agreement Fox has with the music from the films, but the music of those movies was a character of its own. Every action and dramatic beat had its own mellow theme that complemented the acting well. The music is what makes the original films so ageless. Please, I hope they try to keep it in.
Rule 3. -Riggs needs long hair, a mullet, a man bun, I don’t care.
Martin Riggs is a loose cannon. This is a guy who doesn’t keep himself as groomed as he should and their just seems to be something wrong about Riggs with short hair. When he had short hair in Lethal Weapon 4, it felt like Mel Gibson was in the wrong movie. It was weird, like when your dad shaves off his mustache and you can’t even look at him till it grows back.
Rule 4. -Let each season try to focus on one major threat.
Lethal Weapon was great was because their stories about 2 buddy cops who happen to be underdogs and come out on top. If Riggs and Murtaugh are just killing and shutting down drug cartels every dang week, that will just kill all the tension and drama that the movies build up. Let the stories build every season, show how good of detectives these guys can be, how the learn and play off each other. And as they get closer to cracking the case, up the ante.
5. Let the show tell the full story of Riggs and Murtaugh.
I love all the Lethal Weapon films, a lot of people do. Every black guy/white guy friendship looks to those movies as the ultimate Bro guide. Hell, I call one of my best friend Riggs (and he happens to be white) and when we play Xbox we never leave each other behind dammit! So add to the mythology of the characters, give us those details the movies didn’t have time to give us. Let us see Riggs back when he was doing special ops mission, show us his sorrow when he first found out his wife had died. Show us how good of a cop and family man Murtagh was before he met that crazy SOB he would soon call a brother. And then when both of their worlds collide show the positive influence they have on each other.
There are a lot of things that could go wrong with this television reboot, okay let’s be honest, there is a crap ton that could go wrong. As a matter of fact a lot of productions face the same challenges. But “Lethal Weapon” has enough ground work to bring Riggs and Murtaugh back for another generation. We’re not too old for this s*** just yet.