18 March 2012 8:56 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

It really doesn’t matter how popular a show was back in the day. As long as it’s a vaguely recognizable title with a good cast, you’re guaranteed a certain level of results. “Swat” lasted only one year, memorable mostly for its theme song, and yet the movie version grabbed $37 million back in the summer of 2003. Nine years later, a similar opening has greeted “21 Jump Street,” the television show of which ran for four forgettable years in the late '80s and is more famous for spawning megastar Johnny Depp than for having any great storylines or standout moments.

21 Jump Street” existed in that difficult nexus of action comedy, an enormously difficult genre to sell. If you push the action too hard, it makes your protagonists look too capable, and not very funny. Push the comedy, and audiences immediately know that when bullets start flying you won’t have to take anything seriously. »

- Gabe Toro

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