Scott Turner Jr. (Josh Peck) is still a rookie on the police force, but he’s ambitious and self-disciplined, with a great partner in Jessica Baxter (Carra Patterson). Then Scott inherits a slobbering, unruly dog – specifically a Dogue De Bordeaux – from his sister, Laura (Lyndsy Fonseca), who is named Hooch after the dog that his late dad used to own.
While Scott doesn’t want Hooch, and the dog can’t stop making trouble, Hooch also proves to be something of a crime solver, and helps Scott in his career. Their biggest case yet is solving Scott’s father’s death, which may not have been accidental…
‘Turner & Hooch’ is childish, silly and formulaic, as most Disney live-action programming has proven to be. This is for family viewing, essentially, and is toned down much from the original movie.
Fans of the 1989 film will get a kick, at least, out of the neat tie-in to the original, as the series is a legacy sequel. But unlike the movie, this really is made for kids. After all, who loves the slapstick comedy of dogs being naughty and making a mess more? There’s also lots of talking up how great dogs are. By this show’s standards, they’re practically magic.
More mature audiences will quickly tire of the show’s repetitive nature as it’s basically the same episode over and over. Hooch drives Scott Turner crazy, the dog gets assigned to a case but is totally unhelpful; then Scott brings Hooch to the dog trainer, Erica (Vanessa Lengies), who makes her crush on Josh obvious, reveals something that dogs can do, and makes Scott realise that Hooch was onto something with his strange and seemingly bad behaviour after all. Then they solve the case.
Mind you, there are also some witty ‘Die Hard’ references in episode 2 which are certainly there for the grown-ups (perhaps to make watching the show with their kid that bit more bearable).
The cast is good too, even if the characterisation is lazy, and Josh Peck makes for a solid lead as Scott Turner, even if his character can be a bit obnoxious.
This reviewer hasn’t seen the series ending yet, but if anything happens to Hooch, another star will be deducted.