This review is for the first three episodes of Turner & Hooch.
Before Forrest Gump, Cast Away, and Saving Private Ryan, Tom Hanks was best known for his work in comedy. His career took off with Big, in which he played a child in an adult’s body. That was followed up with a strain of other Hanks showcases such as A League of Their Own and Sleepless in Seattle. Smack dap in the middle of these box office hits came Turner & Hooch from Touchstone Pictures. At this time, the Disney subsidiary was still fairly new and was providing a way for the company to release more adult content without muddying Disney’s family brand. After their success with Hanks in their debut film Splash only five years before, casting him as Detective Scott Turner seemed a natural choice. The film went on to become a box office hit. However, despite a failed attempt at reviving the franchise- and Hooch himself- a sequel never saw the light of day.
Fast forward 30 years and the Disney+ streaming service is released. With the promise that “The Stories Continue”, Disney+ has made a name for itself in rebooting, remaking, and reviving both old and new franchises. The newest offering from Disney+ makes good on that promise and serves as both a revival and a soft reboot of the 1989 classic.
The series picks up several years after the original, with Scott Turner’s (Hanks) son, Scott Turner Jr. (Josh Peck) taking up the mantle of detective, now in the city of San Francisco. Scott Sr. has recently passed away, and Jr. has become somewhat estranged from his family. However, this doesn’t stop Scott’s sister Laura (Lyndsy Fonseca) from dropping off their dad’s dog Hooch (new dog, same name), at her brother’s pristine apartment. Like Hanks in the original film, Scott Jr. wants nothing to do with this interruption from his usual routine. Despite his hesitations, he soon comes to realize that Hooch is an asset to his police work that cannot be replaced.
The show offers a unique blend of a buddy-cop, detective action-comedy, with some family drama sprinkled in. Peck is at the top of his game here, and a real standout among the cast. His banter with the other characters and his irritation with Hooch received genuine laughs more than once over the course of the first three episodes. Another standout is Matt Hamilton, playing the confident senior deputy to Peck’s sometimes timid Scott. These contrasting personalities are hilarious to see together and are indeed familiar to those in the workforce.
As for Hooch, I must admit that the grumpy adult in me certainly concurred with all of Scott’s frustrations: I cringed when Hooch knocked expensive things over. I grimaced when he drooled all over the floor. I winced when he wouldn’t stop squeaking his new chew toy. But that’s all part of the charm, isn’t it?
Turner & Hooch has a lot of heart and, once it latches onto its intended audience, it will likely become a Disney+ family favorite.