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ASSIGNMENT X – Clayne Crawford is having a wonderful fall season. The actor from Alabama stars in Fox Networks’ new Wednesday-night action series LETHAL WEAPON, which premiered September 21. Based on the feature film franchise, LETHAL WEAPON has Crawford cast as dangerously daredevil – and heartbroken – L.A.P.D. cop Martin Riggs, opposite Damon Wayans’ more cautious fellow police detective Roger Murtaugh. Then, On October 26, Crawford will be back as troubled Ted “Teddy” Talbot Jr. on Sundance TV’s fourth and final season of RECTIFY.
ASSIGNMENT X: Were you looking to do another series once RECTIFY wrapped, or were you looking to stay home with the family for a little while?
CLAYNE CRAWFORD: Me and my wife laughed. It was a lot when I was struggling, trying to get work, which is most of your career. We would plan a vacation, and inevitably, I would get a phone call to go do a job, right? So I told my wife, “February. I’m going to finish RECTIFY, it’s the final season, I’ve got a movie coming out with Legendary, let’s take six months off.” We’ve been remodeling my farmhouse for three years. “Let’s just really enjoy the property and let’s wait for the best job ever. And I don’t know what that is.” I’d love to go work for HBO, I thought maybe Netflix.
Three days later, that man [points to his agent, Paul Santana] called my phone. “Fox wants you.” “No, no, I’m good.” I genuinely wanted to do nothing, but when I read the material, I felt like it was the chance of a lifetime. Even if we failed, I just wanted to play that role and show people I had a little bit of comedy chops.
AX: Riggs is coping with tremendous personal tragedy. Is he just able to close off and have a veneer of humor? If not, where does the comedy come from?
- Lethal Weapon > Season 1 > Episode Stills > 1.06 “The Ties That Bind” Episode Stills
Sorry these are so late. I’ve had pneumonia for the last 3 weeks and am just now getting caught up.
BUDDY TV – Well folks, Lethal Weapon has done it again with “Spilt Milk,” the show’s fifth freshman installment. While the guffaws continue, the relationship between Murtaugh and Riggs deepens as we delve into the details revealing the breadth and intensity of Riggs’ military experience. This episode gives us Riggs at his most sane yet. For Murtaugh’s part, he faces the possibility that he’s just not as sharp as he used to be before the heart surgery.
With every episode of Lethal Weapon I’m loving it more and more. The humor remains fresh and entertaining without overkill. Murtaugh deals with some aging issues which ring true to life. And Riggs, while funny and daring and revealing (but not too quickly), continues to demonstrate that his “madness” is not so much calculated but mindful. At the same time, Murtaugh’s character is charming while Riggs is hot. A very good combination for primetime viewers starving for quality and engaging programming. Well done.
The Deranged Vet Asks, ‘Got Milk?’
All he really wanted was a job and a glass of milk. Chad Jackson, a veteran Navy Seal and sniper trashes and rips off a jewelry store after his application for a security guard position is rejected. However, it seems like the heist might have been the guy’s plan from the beginning, but he’s not concerned that his victims have seen his face and it just feels spontaneous. Throughout Jackson remains cool-headed and fearless. As we move forward, we find that there was always only one mission, and only Riggs and Murtaugh can help Jackson achieve it.
When talking to Dr. Cox, the therapist at the veteran’s hospital where Jackson was being cared for, we learn that the only help Jackson was getting was some pills and group therapy.
Having been familiar with your work since your early performance in A Walk to Remember, and more recently in a supporting role on Sundance’s heartbreaking Rectify, it’s safe to say that I was quite shocked by your current appearance on Fox’s Lethal Weapon. It was like gazing upon a baby deer as it took its first steps, but in a really powerful manly way. You know?
Seeing how you’ve matured and grown was not just breathtaking but reassuring, like maybe there’s hope for the rest of the hair on TV. Maybe one day I won’t throw my remote and scream toward the heavens when an actor suddenly decides to spend the barber money on yet more cheap whiskey. You’re living proof it can be done. And be done well.
BUDDY TV – “There Goes the Neighborhood” is rife with high quality goodies. Right out of the gate we get Dr. Mo Cahill all smokin’ hot in a shortie wetsuit at the same beach where (surprise) hobo Riggs crouches over a spicket rinsing his delicates. She does look impressively smoking hot, by the way, and hotter yet when she slams Riggs about his raggedy-man appearance. This is the kind of feistiness that gives a character depth and staying power, so it’s a huge boost for the LAPD shrink.
Let’s not forget Officer Murtaugh who kicks it with Junior Murtaugh at their old neighborhood barber shop where they run into an old classmate of Junior’s selling bootleg DVDs. Buckle your seatbelt for another roller coaster ride and lots more interesting banter between this two hotties my friends. And while your savoring that deliciousness, the action continues with Murtaugh and Riggs chasing down a professional home robbery duo in Murtaugh’s own neighborhood. One of the guys looks like Mr. Clean, or the black Hulk, as Murtaugh likes to call him. (He looks like The Rock on steroids to me. Kinda handsome, but wide as a barn and 100% muscle.) The team chases the thieves through a closed garage door only to watch them fly out of there on a motorcycle moments later. And we’re off to the races.
Lethal Weapon Wows Millions (12.4 Million, to be Exact)
Oh, and in case you haven’t heard the joyous news, let me be the first to lay it on you: Lethal Weapon has been picked up for a full season. Yessir, that’s right. We’ve got another 14 whole episodes in our future. Hot damn. So lots more blood-pumping, testosterone-juicing, chase scenes, humor and romance is on the way. Onward.
Best Takedown Scene In a Decade of TV
Wow. There are no words … how do you do justice … just, wow. Talk about wildly entertaining! I’m talking about the takedown scene in the men’s locker room shower where Riggs and Murtaugh try (mostly unsuccessfully) to cuff the Black Hulk. “Come over here and try to take me down” threats and splashing and naughty bit humor and Murtaugh sliding across the room while Riggs gets his head lodged between the man’s massive thighs. Rajon “Black Hulk” Phillips literally cleans up the place with Starsky and Hutch … until Riggs finally slugs the man in his massive family tripod so Murtaugh can shock the shine out of him. We’re only 15 minutes in and my evening has already been made.
Riggs tackles and cuffs suspect number two, John “Boogie” Baker who stole the getaway van from his ex employer, Valley Star Cable, at a neighborhood basketball game run by Coach Marshawn Wiley. Remember that name because its important later.
EW – Fox is pulling the trigger on a full season of Lethal Weapon.
The network has ordered an additional five episodes of the freshman buddy cop drama, bringing its total to 18 for the season.
The show was Fox’s top-rated fall premiere in two years and is averaging 8.3 million viewers and a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49 on Wednesday nights.
Lethal Weapon joins a few other freshman shows in getting full season orders since the start of the season: ABC’s Designated Survivor and Speechless, along with NBC’s This Is Us.
Fox’s cop dramedy stars Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford and airs a new episode on Wednesday night.
BUDDY TV – Ratings-conscious viewers (which guillotine-wielding broadcasters have forced us to be lest we get too attached to a freshman show) can be rest assured that Lethal Weapon will be providing us with our weekly dose of sexy adrenaline-pumping action, self- and partner-deprecating hilarity, torturous grief, and syrupy sweet romance for the foreseeable future.
“Best Buds,” Lethal Weapon’s third outing of the series, delivers lots more of all of the above as the partnership continues to solidify (“He took a cattle prod for me”) and Riggs begins to open up to Dr. Cahill (“I shot my TV!”). This super fun episode is especially intriguing due to the introduction of Murtaugh’s old training officer, Ned Brower. It’s unclear if Brower’s appearance is a one-off, but I vote he should be a regular.
You Had Me At $17 Million
An armored car carrying $17 million in tax money collected from the booming Californian cannabis trade gets brutally smacked off the road by two masked guys. The driver, Murtaugh’s retired training officer, is knocked senseless and the loot is carried away. Ned Brower, played masterfully by Ted Levine (who will always be Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs to me in the same way Gene Wilder will always be Willy Wonka) does cash pick-ups for Joint Assets Securities Company, the money managers who insure the cannabis trade. Immediately, I have Ned pegged as part of the heist, but I pray hard that Lethal Weapon eschews cliche in favor of something more interesting.
What Some Call Illegal, California Calls Tuesday
One of the victims of the theft is medicinal cannabis dispensary Budding Blossom (though I didn’t see anyone waving a page from a legitimate Rx pad anywhere). Riggs and Murtaugh visit the home of the Budding Blossom owners, Lonnie and Donny and find themselves in the midst of a group therapy session, er, mid-day pot party. Riggs, having already had a date with Mary Jane that morning (which was when he shot his television screen for displaying two frolicking lovebirds) imagines he sees his deceased wife and follows a dark-haired woman up the stairs while Murtaugh talks to Donnie and Ronnie. By the time they leave the party they are none the wiser, but Riggs has a pretty good buzz going.