L.A. Heat (1996–1999)
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The cast did a great job too. Wolf Larson was brilliant as Det. Chester 'Chase' McDonald. Yes, he reminded me of Mel Gibson's Martin Riggs. Believe me, Chase was as great as Riggs. Steven Williams, Renee Tenison, Dawn Eason and Kenneth Tigar were no less impressive.
The main theme is another achievement of this show. Even nowadays it sounds very fresh. BRAVO!! There is only one bad thing about this show - it was canceled! It deserved way more than 2 seasons.
Brilliant but so underrated series!!!
humor of the "Lethal Weapon" films, by far the afternoon-TV cop
drama "L.A. Heat" is the most successful. This show is almost a
carbon copy of the hit movies that starred Mel Gibson and Danny
Glover, because "L.A. Heat" is practically using the same
characteristc format. You have two cops, black and white,
ridding the city of Los Angeles of crime. The white cop is wacky
and cool, while his African-American partner is more laid-back
and careful in their jobs.
Even though this show can be terribly cliched, "L.A. Heat"
stands out as a really good show thanks to the rapid-fire action
and the excellent chemistry between the two leads, played by
Wolf Larson and Steven Williams. This show has so much
explosions, car chases, and shoot-outs, it almost gives "Lethal
Weapon" a run for its money, almost as if the original has been
undone by the carbon copy. A discriminating viewer might
consider "L.A. Heat" to be a bit hokey because of the many
outrageous action sequences (cars flying up to 30ft in the air
after a collision, a whole building blowing up to smithereens).
Reality basically has no call in this show, compared to other
cop dramas like "NYPD Blue" or "Homicide," where outrageous
occurences barely happen in those shows! So, if you're in the
mood for good, mindless fun regarding a couple of cool cops,
The show relies very much on a 'Lethal Weapon' formula where Brooks is the older, black cop who is more mature and laid back while McDonald is the young, reckless white cop whose over-energetic ways often requiring reining in by his veteran partner. The two leads, Steven Williams as Brooks and Wolf Larson as McDonald, have a great rapport and portray their characters in a likable manner.
'LA Heat' often does pushes the boundaries of realism with the number of car chases, shootings and explosions shown every episodes but that's what makes it fun. It doesn't pretend to be deep and dark and instead revels in light-hearted action, excitement and humour. Definitely a must for fans of 'Lethal Weapon' and 'Bad Boys'.
Even the title - "L.A. Heat" - sounds like the kind of bad cop show people in TV shows or movies either watch or see being filmed. Steven Williams should have stuck with "The X-Files" or "21 Jump Street"; this is right down there with "T.J. Hooker" and "Dempsey and Makepeace" in the ranks of Cop Shows That Should Never Have Been Made.
The cast had an irony I hated. (Wolf Larson), strangely the first name in the opening credits, was just a blond guy with colorful shirts, while (Steven Williams), best known as the mysterious Mr. X in (The X Files), was the only important actor around. That's a problem, since it's a buddy show, where the 2 leads have to have a sort of balance. So forget the star value or the productive chemistry. The production wasn't big. And it had a taste in bad comedy. Oh My God, this show did the worst comic moments I have ever seen in TV. Sometimes it was embarrassing to follow a relief moment, between one hot scene and another, being acted very blandly. At times the actors were curbing their laughs in no laughing situations (the very definition of SILLY !). However, when it comes to action, this show wasn't good only; it was exceptional.
It runs pretty usual, except whenever there is an action sequence. There were obvious efforts behind every chase, fight, or explosion. Clearly they saved the money for these parts. The stunts were perfect. And I didn't watch a choreography of that thoroughbred kind in many action shows. In the second season, they raised the bar a bit, challenging their own selves, giving us some action gems indeed (one of them, concerning "Larson" getting down a building by a robe speedily, still reruns in my head for more than 10 years now !).
While having awesome action and gruesome comedy, it is way better than (Nash Bridges) which is another buddy cop show that started in the same year of 1996. Although (Nash..) lasted for 6 years, but the action there, along with the comedy, both SUCKED. Makes me a little sad for the 2 year old (L.A. Heat) !