“Turner & Hooch” was a film that originally came out in 1989, and starred Tom Hanks. Whenever a show builds off of a movie, people tend to go in with their guard up. What needs to happen when a show branches off is that it needs to be just as strong as the film we hold with high regard in our memories. I’m happy to report that Disney+’s “Turner & Hooch” does just that.
First, I want to comment that if you’ve never seen the original, you don’t really need to in order to understand what goes on in this show. Josh Peck plays who would be Detective Scott Turner’s son, Scott Turner Jr.. To set the story up Det. Scott Turner (played by Hanks in the original) has passed away, leaving his son his newest rescue dog. The rescue dog (also named Hooch) is meant to be his dad’s last gift to his son.
There are many things that I liked about the pilot episode but we’ll start with the dynamic between Scott and Hootch.
A Dog Is A Man’s Best Friend
When Hooch is introduced you can see that Turner is uncomfortable having him in his apartment. Up until this point they had him shown as a very clean and pragmatic minded character. To show this he uses his finger to scoop off the excess protein powder for his morning drinks. He has everything organized in a separated tray when he gets dressed. And he seems happy with how things are going even referring to his Roomba as his roomie.
What we find out later is that Turner is actually very lonely having just gone through a break up. Hooch comes into his home and breaks things, makes a mess and drives him crazy. But we later find out that it’s all because the dog can read his emotions. The dynamic between the two grows exponentially within the first episode and I don’t want to spoil anything really important. But the speed at which they bond was a good factor in why the show was interesting to watch. This kind of set up makes for a good episodic run where they can go on to solve mysteries and cases together.
They Wrote A Real Pregnancy Into The Script
Carra Patterson who plays Turner’s partner Jessica in the show was actually expecting a child when they started filming. It’s really nice to see that kind of real representation on screen because most of the time when someone comes to film and they are pregnant they tend to do face shots only. Completely ignoring it and treating it like the elephant in the room. In this first episode they not only wrote it in but addressed it in a humorous way. When other characters would come up with reasons as to why she shouldn’t be doing something Jessica always had a funny comeback ready to go. That kind of humor made the show really enjoyable to watch.
Rescue Dog Awareness
Instead of playing it off as Hooch being one of the originals descendants they write him in as a rescue dog. It’s mentioned a few times that he is one and when Turner Jr. says he wants to take him to the pound they push back. They tell the audience what happens to animals that get taken to the pound. It’s a nice touch that makes kids and adults aware of how to be a responsible pet owner. The show encourages you to do the right thing and work with your animal, which brings us to the next part.
Erica played by Vanessa Lengies is brought in to help Turner with Hooch when they need to find out if they can train the dog. She’s gung-ho on not only helping the dog but also seems to have a bit of a crush on Scott which makes the scenes with them really cute and fun to watch.
She goes on at length about how dogs can read our emotions and that they react to them. She says never to give up on the dog and hopefully that means if they do establish a relationship it will be one that lasts.
All The Feels
A big part of this episode was Turner coming to terms with his new life. Not only does Hooch spark new friendships for future episodes, but he’s also growing as a person. The best kind of transformations in television shows is when the main character needs to work on themselves and does so successfully. You watch along as Turner Jr. is left a letter from his father in addition to his new best friend. During the episode you get hints that their relationship may not have been the smoothest but they really loved each other. And when he does finally read that letter your heart melts a bit.
For the first episode of the show I’m really hopeful it continues to be just as good. They seem to have set up a system for the episodes in the future to follow and if they do I’ll be happy to watch it every week.
New episodes of “Turner & Hooch” drop on Disney+ every Wednesday.
Don’t miss it!