A TV series adapted from a popular film franchise has the benefit of brand recognition and a built-in audience. On the other hand, the TV project is saddled with its own set of expectations and inevitable comparisons to the films. In the case of Rush Hour on CBS, the movies leave their TV adaptation in the dust.
Chris Tucker played wisecracking maverick detective Carter and Jackie Chan played straitlaced Hong Kong detective and martial arts expert Lee in three Rush Hour movies. Now CBS is reimagining the interracial buddy-cop action/comedy franchise in a new hourlong series starring relative newcomers Justin Hires (21 Jump Street) as Carter and Jon Foo (a former martial arts circus performer in his first TV role) as Lee. It’s an unenviable task for Hires and Foo, made more difficult by material that’s not nearly up to speed with the source.
The pilot episode offers the expected shootouts, chases and fight scenes in abundance. It also offers lines from Carter like, “Check y’all out. Guns on the table, drinking 40s, just hanging out perpetuating negative stereotypes.”
Of course, pilot episodes aren’t always indicative of a series’ direction, though it’s hard to imagine a viewer lured in by the film franchise wanting to see how this story shakes out over 12 more weeks. Executive producer Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Cougar Town) says the characters will evolve in future episodes, “because we can’t do the movie over and over for five years.”
Eh. It likely won’t be an issue.
Rush Hour premieres Thursday, March 31, at 10pm ET/PT on CBS.
Photo: ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. Credit: Neil Jacobs