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TV Series Review

Television has always had a soft spot for buddy cops: Starsky and Hutch, Crockett and Tubbs, Mulder and Scully. And now, Carter and Lee.

That latter pair made their debut way back in 1998 in the movie Rush Hour, starring martial arts legend Jackie Chan (Lee) and motor-mouth comic Chris Tucker (Carter). The film spawned two sequels and the franchise earned more than $500 million.

CBS, always in the market for teams of off-kilter crime busters (see Elementary, Hawaii Five-0 and Scorpion), decided to bring the dynamic duo to its small screens, changing the faces— supplanting Chan and Tucker with Jon Foo and Justin Hires—while hoping the popularity of the oddball pair lives on.

Hurrying Along With the Background Description

Jonathan Lee is one of Los Angeles' newest cops—a stoic, straight-laced detective from Hong Kong who brings his dour persona and high-flying martial arts to the City of Angels' most devilish streets. His partner is James Carter, who's about as stoic and straight-laced as a drunken carnival barker. If Lee's a by-the-book stickler, Carter's pure seat-of-the-pants renegade. Naturally they get along famously, because that's the way TV shows work.

And it's a good thing, since you never know when they'll have to tackle—perhaps literally—a mad bomber or a dastardly smuggling ring or the Chinese mafia. To that end, they're joined by a cadre of supporting characters, including Carter's old partner Didi Diaz; his jovial and wayward cousin Gerald; and captain, Lindsay Cole.

Rush to Judgment

In an era when television's heart is set a-flutter by serialized storylines, gut-wrenching twists and vats of problematic content, Rush Hour feels a little like a throwback to that first franchise film. You probably don't have to worry about Carter, Lee or anyone else of note being eaten by zombies or stabbed by the Black Guard. As long as there are no unforeseen contract disputes, these characters are as safe as your grandmother's wedding ring. You don't have to worry about missing an episode either, because they're all more or less interchangeable. And perhaps because this is as much a comedy as it is a cop show, you're not going to see the sorts of innards ook you might in a 21st-century crime procedural, and far less searing violence as you're likely to run into on today's aforementioned prestige programs.

But lest you take all that as some sort of glowing endorsement and decide to launch into this show like Lee launching into an escaping criminal, be warned: Rush Hour has its share of problems.

There's lots of violence to consider, certainly. Lee is, after all, known for his martial arts, and he's not going to show off his skills on a sack of melons. No, he's liable to unleash a number of fearsome roundhouse kicks on somebody's torso, and with little warning. Guns get screen time, too. Explosions go boom. People die, and there's nothing funny about that.

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Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Rush Hour: Apr. 21, 2016 "L.A. Real Estate Boom"



Readability Age Range



Justin Hires as James Carter; Jon Foo as Jonathan Lee; Aimee Garcia as Didi Diaz; Page Kennedy as Gerald; Wendie Malick as Captain Lindsay Cole; Jessika Van as Kim Lee; Kirk Fox as Donovan






Record Label




On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay

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