LETHAL WEAPON Season 1 Blu-Ray Review

A TV series of Lethal Weapon could have easily been a bad idea, watering down a beloved franchise. But thankfully, Lethal Weapon: The Series is a pretty great new twist on the Mel Gibson and Danny Glover starring films. Instead, Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans take up the mantle of Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, two cops who are forced to work together against their will, but learn that they may actually bring the best out of each other instead. Now, WB has released Lethal Weapon: The Complete First Season on blu-ray. Featuring all eighteen episodes of the show’s inaugural run, the new set lets fans and new comers dive back into the action, adventure, and mystery that Riggs and Murtaugh face together.

It’s easy to see why fans of the films would be uneasy about the idea of bringing the beloved film series to the small screen, but honestly, it’s been handled with the type of love and care that makes for a fun viewing. The show really hinges on the performances of Crawford and Wayans, as well as their chemistry, because that’s part of what made the films so beloved. Riggs and Murtaugh were brought so incredibly to life by Gibson and Glover, and their chemistry really sold the films. It’s impossible to expect that Crawford and Wayans could share the same sort of flair and chemistry, but honestly, they do great work together. Crawford in particular brings that brutal honesty of Riggs to life, who just like in the film series, is a man on the verge of sanity after the death of his wife. But what comes with that emotional character is also a wry smile, and natural comedy, making a likable hero you can pull for, and Crawford truly lands that balance.

But taking a franchise like Lethal Weapon to the small screen also means potentially losing the edge of the R rated series. It’s impossible not to lose some of that, since this is a network series, but those behind the series have found a way to find that dark, gritty nature underneath, making the show feel as familiar to fans as possible. It’s no easy task to make a series have life and death stakes and real world consequences to these characters, something an R rated film can do to better effect. Thankfully the show runners have figured out how to replicate that feel on TV, and more often than not, it works well. But the show also has a heart, and humor, to balance the darker stories set to the Los Angeles backdrop, making for a pretty charming show that’s hard not to love.

Lethal Weapon: The Complete First Season comes to blu-ray with a few special features alongside the episodes. Those include:

    • Extended Pilot (Uncensored): Nothing to really write home about, it doesn’t add too much extra to the pilot episode, outside of an extra F bomb.
    • Deleted Scenes (1080p; 1.78:1): Each disc on the set features deleted scenes from various episodes. Again, like the pilot, it’s nothing terrible substantial, but fans wanting more from the episodes, this is the place to go:
      • Disc 1
        • 1. Pilot (4:03)
        • 3. Best Buds (1:54)
        • 5. Spilt Milk (0:40)
      • Disc 2
        • 8. Homebodies (3:22)
        • 10. Can I Get a Witness? (1:55)
        • 11. Lawmen (1:29)
      • Disc 3
        • 15. As Good as It Getz (1:45)
        • 16. Unnecessary Roughness (0:54)
        • 17. A Problem Like Maria (1:09)
        • 18. Commencement (8:49)
    • Reloading Lethal Weapon (disc 3) (1080p; 1.78:1; 15:41): This is the most interesting feature on the disc, giving us a look into the making of the series, and how they developed it for TV. Honestly, it would be even more interesting if it was longer, but it still works.
  • Gag Reel (disc 3) (1080p; 1.78:1; 2:53): Short, surprisingly so in fact with the talent in the series, but as far as gag reels go, it’s fun.

Lethal Weapon: The Complete First Season is well worth a pick up if you’re a fan of the films, or of course, of the new series as well. Featuring outstanding performances from its two leads, this was easily on of the biggest surprises of the 2016 TV season. The blu-ray looks and sounds great, and doesn’t offer much in the way of special features. If you’re in it just for the show, this is more than well worth your purchase.

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Film/TV Pundit. Creator/Host of Reel Film Chatter. Full time geek who loves movies, tv, corgis, baseball, & pasta.