Forging a loose connection with the 1989 film, the series focuses on Scott Turner (“Drake & Josh’s” Josh Peck), a San Francisco-based US marshal who happens to be the son of the character played by Tom Hanks. But Dad recently passed away leaving a big, wild dog that Scott can take in that is “almost like the original Hooch who came back”.
Scott doesn’t want the furry monster to destroy his apartment, of course, so the show replicates the same beats as the movie. This also means that Scott meets a new potential love interest, Erica (“Glee’s” Vanessa Lengies), who trains police dogs and is immediately enthusiastic about him, although he realizes these clues painfully slowly.
Developed by Burn Notice producer Matt Nix in collaboration with action director McG, Turner & Hooch has a pretty prestigious pedigree for such an accomplishment, but doesn’t really manage to do anything special in the three previewed episodes . In fact, they’re pretty much everywhere, including an incongruous “Die Hard” tribute and a semi-serialized mystery that is only slowly taking shape.
Although designed somewhat family-friendly, the tone proves to be uneven. Part of this may be due to the thinness of the source material, as the original has its moments but was hardly a classic so no one really howled for it.
Peck is charming enough, but at some point it can’t help but watch the lovable French Mastiff mess things up or steal a bunch of donuts (being around cops has its perks on the latter point) nothing but diminishing returns on what felt like a TV series from the days before everyone had cables, let alone streaming.
At best, the series complements a long legacy of wonderful film and TV mutt (including the Disney + films “Togo” and “Lady and the Tramp”) who don’t just hear “blah blah blah” when people shout orders. But even if Hooch sits tight like a good dog, it’s hard to share that patience or loyalty after a few episodes of “Turner & Hooch”.
Turner & Hooch launches July 21 on Disney +.