Considering the amount of money that the Rush Hour pulled in over three moderately tolerable films, a remake of some sort was to be expected, if not exactly inevitable. And last year, we got word that CBS was mounting a mini-series of sorts as a reboot of the Jackie Chan–Chris Tucker vehicle, which would be overseen by Scrubs and Cougar Town producer Bill Lawrence. (Lawrence, of course, got his start on the venerable Drew Carey Show in the 1990s.) The first footage from the series was released late last year in a trailer-cum-sizzle-reel for the series, which will premiere in late March, which has Jon Foo, who appeared in Tekken and The Protector, in for Chan and Justin Hires, of 21 Jump Street and Key & Peele, in for Tucker. You can check out the footage from the imminent CBS comedy right below:
According to EW, Lawrence and his stars got a bit of flack this past week at the TCAs, thanks largely to a journalist who questioned the racial insensitivity and stereotyping of the series’ two leads. This, as the journalist pointed out, was a problem with the franchise from the get-go, and looking at the sizzle reel, I can’t say there’s anything that strikes me as particularly offensive, though the series does clearly lean on worn-out racial stereotypes. There are several jokes here that seem ripped directly from the original films, with little adjustment for modern context, and the storyline seems to be a hodgepodge assemblage of the plots of the first two films.
The racial stereotyping is troubling, to be sure, but the problem with the series, from the look of things, is more a lack of originality and invention. This is mildly surprising considering that Lawrence has proven to be a pretty fresh comedic mind, having shepherded Scrubs, The Drew Carey Show, and Cougar Town through a variety of seasons, though none of those shows were particularly creative. Still, there’s no telling what the series will actually be until we get a clear look at the whole thing on March 31st at 10 p.m., when the Jon Turtletaub-directed pilot hits the airwaves.