• Lethal Weapon: A Little Humor, Lots of Violence

    by  • September 9, 2016 • Fox, Paleyfest 2016 • 3 Comments


    This reboot of the ‘80s movie franchise features a large amount of intense action.

    Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh are police detectives who are both facing challenges. Murtaugh has just turned 50, is recovering from triple-bypass surgery, and has a new baby at home, causing him to want to take life more slowly. By contrast, after his pregnant wife is killed in a car crash, Riggs’ despair drives him to nearly suicidal levels of reckless behavior on the job. When the two are partnered, their friction nearly drives each other crazy, but they soon come to a grudging respect and resolution to help each other deal with their problems as they work together solving crimes.

    Based on the popular ‘80s movie franchise with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, Lethal Weapon is a cop drama deriving humor from Riggs’ over-the-top insanity and Murtaugh’s constant moaning. However, the show is unbelievably violent. Hardly a scene passes without a barrage of machine-gun fire or a multi-car crash. In the first episode alone, Riggs uses sniper fire to overturn a fleeing car; casually guns down a trio of bank robbers, then allows a bomb to destroy the bank; and with Murtaugh’s help slaughters an entire warehouse of criminals, while managaging to survive being shot twice himself. While the violence isn’t bloody, it is constant and extremely intense, especially for young children. The first episode also features frequent profanities like “ass,” Riggs endorsing marijuana use to Murtaugh’s kids, and ongoing sexual innuendo between Murtaugh and his wife. At a Paley Center panel, producer Matt Miller revealed that the second episode will feature Riggs being badly beaten up in a bar fight.

    While possessing engaging lead actors, and action entertaining for adults and older teens who love over-the-top violence, Lethal Weapon is too intense for younger children.   

    Lethal Weapon premieres Wednesday, September 21 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox.



    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    3 Responses to Lethal Weapon: A Little Humor, Lots of Violence

    1. Patrick Richmond
      September 13, 2016 at 8:10 pm

      I am so annoyed with Hollywood. Not only do we have several corporations supporting this type of garbage, but so do some of the politicians that we have in Washington. It is time that we also let our elected officials know about this. I want all politicians that supports sex and violence in the entertainment industry to be voted out of office. I will vote for only those who are hard on Hollywood.

      • Jonathan
        September 15, 2016 at 8:23 am


        That is hilarious. So you want the government to interfere with Hollywood? That my friend is called censorship. The government should be no where near any form of entertainment. Let me guess if you could have it your way we would go back to the mideval days where if the government didn’t like what you wrote or made they could have you killed.

        No politician should be hard on Hollywood their hands should never touch anything that Hollywood does.

      • Roman Moronie
        September 15, 2016 at 10:48 am

        Are you talking about THIS government? Because they’ve done soooo well with everything else they’ve touched…..The economy,…the auto industry,…. healthcare,….education, etc,… And you expect them to get THIS right? Ask Detroit or Flint how that’s worked out for them.

        Fact is, if you’re going to have censorship, then someone will have to decide what is to be censored. I honestly can’t think of anyone in public office, or running for public office who I’d trust with that job, can you? And think of somebody who actually WANTS to be a censor, ie, to have the power to decide what the average citizen can read, view, or hear. Would you really trust such a person’s judgement? Eventually they will likely ban something that you do care about.

        Luckily, the first amendment(still) prohibits such a move.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *