A Deputy US Marshal must bond with his deceased father’s dog in order to improve at his job and find a new meaning in life in the Disney+ Original Series, “Turner and Hooch.” The first season of this series starts with Scott Turner Jr. trying to make his way as Deputy Marshal in San Francisco not long after the death of his father, Scott Turner Sr. He has to learn to take care of his dad’s dog, Hooch, while his sister; a veterinary student; learns about the final case their father was working on as a police officer.
I was a little wary of this series when it was announced, but was pleasantly surprised with how the first season turned out. Basing a TV series off a movie from more than 30 years ago can be tricky given the younger audience might not have seen; and might not have even heard of:; the original film. Admittedly, the series began on shaky ground as it tried to constantly re-create popular movies into single episodes. While I liked the homage to “Die Hard,” the rest were kind of cheesy and I’m glad the creators moved away from that and focused more on Scott; his relationships with Hooch, his partners, the dog trainer, his boss, his sister and his dad’s former partner who is now the Mayor of his hometown.
I really enjoyed Scott’s quest to become part of the elite squad of marshals, only to find his place with the most out-there character as his best human partner. I understand what it’s like to see the people getting all the breaks and wanting to be with them, but sometimes the person who sits off to themselves has more to offer than the person who is in the spotlight. Xavier always has what he thinks are words of wisdom that never really make sense to Scott, or the viewer. But, when it matters, those words of wisdom usually end up being exactly what Scott and Hooch need to solve the case. I also like how Scott’s relationship with his sister grows throughout the season. She knows animals and he knows police work. It seems odd their father would leave the dog to Scott and the case to Laura, but it works to bring them together, which may have been his ultimate goal. And, I enjoyed seeing Reginald Vel Johnson reprise his role after appearing in the original film.
While I enjoyed a lot of it, the series still has a lot of flaws. It fell into the boring relationship trap that many series fall into. Scott meets the dog trainer, Erica, in the first episode and it’s clear she has a crush on him. Despite this, the series takes all 12 episodes to get him to even ask her to dance. In the middle, we see him try to date a lawyer who he had previously dated 5 years later. She was an unnecessary obstacle to try to make it believable that Scott and Erica weren’t going to end up together. The “will they, won’t they” story can carry some shows, but this wasn’t one of them. The other thing I didn’t like was the tease that Reginald Vel Johnson’s character might be evil. We know he plays a friend to Scott Turner Sr. in the film due to them referencing them being old partners. Anyone who knows Vel Johnson’s work, also knows that he almost always plays a good-hearted police officer; whether it was in “Turner and Hooch,” “Die Hard,” “Family Matters,” or even an episode of “Girl Meets World.” Him being the villain wouldn’t have worked, and the tease didn’t work either.
If this series gets a second seaons, I will be excited for it. If it doesn’t, I think they ended it in a good way where it can be a fun one season show. There’s no cliffhanger that leaves unanswered questions. It’s a good ending, but there are still more stories that can be told. I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it.